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New Weapons to Fight Meth

4.7.16– Representative Dave Frizzell, Journal Review

With the calendars turning to spring that means our state’s legislative session has drawn to a close. Every year, the state’s elected officials work hard to pass meaningful public policy, under the best intentions, with the hope that we leave Indiana better than we found it. Often times that means compromising so that an agreeable piece of legislation can find its way to the governor.

The anti-meth proposals put forth in each chamber of the legislature this past session, including a proposal I advanced, fit this specific criterion. These proposals revolved around varying levels of restrictions on cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), an ingredient that criminals sometimes use to make meth. My bill, which banned the sale of medicines containing PSE to known meth-related felons, eventually passed the legislature and was signed into law by the Governor.

I chose to combat the meth production problem in our state by proposing a similar law that is already in place elsewhere with proven success. For example, six other states ban the sale of PSE to known drug felons and all have experienced impressive reductions in meth labs, including Alabama and Oklahoma which reduced meth labs by almost 80 and 90 percent since implementation. Now our similar law passed this session here in Indiana specifically targets criminals, completely prevents them from purchasing over-the-counter PSE, addresses the recidivism problem that is common with drug criminals and avoids expensive incarceration costs. But best of all, it preserves full access to these important medications to Indiana families.

Despite all of the hard work and measures adopted during the legislative session this year, we are already hearing calls from some individuals and news publications for further restrictions on these cold and allergy medicines. Some have even called for a prescription requirement. Prescription proposals like that for cold and allergy medicine containing PSE have been consistently rejected by the residents of our state over the years for good reason. Instead, what Indiana needs and deserves is a commitment from all sides for patience as we work to implement the new laws.

Read more here.