Proposal Cracks Down on Crystal Meth Production

December 28, 2004--Posted at 6:00 p.m. CST

JONESBORO-- Arkansas' Attorney General will submit a proposal to legislators next month that might limit the access to over the counter drugs.

State Representative Chris Thyer says, "We have a serious drug problem in Arkansas and really all over the Southeastern United States particularly with methamphetamine."

The decongestant psuedophedrin or sudafed is one of the primary ingrediants in crystal meth.

It is currently available over the counter at any local store.

The primary drug isn't the only combative drug, several cold medicines contain sudafed.

Once a decongestant is purchased, drug cookers' can separate the antihistamines from the decongestant in order to produce meth.

Right now, the law requires one to be 18 years or older before purchase, and buyers are limited to three boxes at a time.

Pharmacists say that it's hard to regulate buyers because sudafed can be purchased in more than one place.

Pharmacist Ken Gibson says, "Sudafed is available online where the UPS can deliver it to you. There are just too many holes available to get sudafed as opposed to coming to your local pharmacist."

Attorney General Mike Beebe proposes to improve the current law by taking cold medicines out of convenient stores and limit the buy and sell to licensed pharmacists.

"When a purchase is made the pharmacist can enter that person's name into a computer database so that people just can't go from pharmacy to pharmacy and buy three packages at a time," Thyer said.

The law would allow authorities to keep track of those buying in bulk and possibly cut off the supply for drug cookers.

"We have got to figure out a way to curve the meth production and use," Thyer says.