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Meth Fight Continues

6.8.16–State Representative Kevin Mahan, Marion Chronicle-Tribune

In honor of the recently celebrated National Police Week, I want to recognize my fellow legislators that supported legislation this past session that strengthened a critical tool used by our local police and pharmacists to combat meth labs in the Hoosier state. This tool, the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), allows law enforcement to team up with pharmacies to monitor and stop the sale of cold and allergy medicine containing pseudoephedrine to individuals that have reached their purchase limit. We’re one of 33 states working together, across state lines, to stop criminals from going to pharmacy to pharmacy to purchase the drugs to make meth.

Now, with the passage of House Bill 1157, sponsored by my friend Representative Dave Frizzell, Indiana joins six other states that instantly block the sale of any cold and allergy medicine containing pseudoephedrine to those individuals previously convicted of a meth related crime.

I’m proud of our state for taking this important step forward and I can’t wait to see the impact it will have within our communities. The success of NPLEx, coupled with a meth offender block list, has been proven in other states. In Alabama and Oklahoma, similar legislation was passed in 2012 and 2013, respectively, and these states experienced significant declines in meth lab seizures – 77 percent decline in Alabama and 88 percent in Oklahoma.

Looking back to my days as a Sheriff in Blackford County, I wish my team would have had access to technology like NPLEx. Policing our local streets is one of the toughest jobs out there and our brave local men and women in uniform need all the added support and intelligence they can get. This bill is a huge step forward and I hope we can all wait to see the positive success it will have.

Again, a big thank you to my fellow elected leaders that pushed for the meth offender block list legislation and an even bigger thank you to the hardworking law enforcement across our state keeping us safe day in and day out.

This Letter to the Editor appeared in the May 31st edition of the Marion Chronicle-Tribune.