Written by wadenelson
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Topics: Drugs, Cold

Wednesday, 17 August 2005

Portland - Oregon today passed legislation which outlaws the possession or sale of pseudoephedrin based cold medicines while legalizing crystal meth. Said Governor Kulongoski, "It's not the drugs themselves that are the problem, it's the crime and tearing of the social fabric their being illegal causes. This bill will hopefully reduce the crime associated with crystal meth, while putting needed cash into the pockets of physicians. If a cold sufferer thinks he's going to purchase crystal meth and cook up a batch of Sudafed, we're going to put him behind bars.

Claiming the alcohol, coffee, and prescription drug industries were being put at risk from individuals self-prescribing, and "home-brewing" crystal meth, Governor Ted Kulongoski signed legislation Tuesday that will make Oregon the first state to require prescriptions for everyday cold and allergy medications, while offering needles and free"junk" to addicts.

The legislation applies to any medication containing pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in making meth, along with battery acid, ether, and methanol.

Kulongoski said he was aware that the law might cause inconvenience for allergy and cold sufferers but said that generous donations by the AMA convinced him that "It's worthwhile for cold sufferers to see a physician, even if it costs them $100 afor an office visit just to get a scrip for $10 worth of Sudafed.

Addicts will be allowed up to five methamphetamine refills in a six-day period, Schnabel said.

Tom Holt, executive director of the Oregon State Pharmacy Association, said he thinks the law will drive pseudoephedrine-containing products off the market within a year or two. The big pharmaceutical firms have all sorts of newer, more expensive pills for us to swallow. Why should we allow consumers to keep buying Sudafed?"

While increasing amounts of methamphetamine come from Mexico, bill supporters say the law should sharply reduce the number of home meth labs, where the chemicals used in the process can pose severe health problems, like death. "Would you cook if you could eat out for free?"

Kulongoski estimated that 20 to 25 percent of the meth sold in Oregon comes from such home labs. We can't get kids to study chemistry in school. But if you show them how to cook up some meth, or make nitroglycerine, all of a sudden they're all ears.

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