WKU Public Radio News Staff
Fighting Meth in Kentucky
Thu March 1, 2012
Bill Limiting Pseudoephedrine Purchases Gets Early Support
A supposed compromise on a bill aimed at cracking down on meth production in Kentucky is once again making its way through the state Senate. The bill passed committee quickly Thursday morning.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Robert Stivers, says the bill could be voted on the Senate floor as soon as Thursday afternoon.
The compromise will allow pseudoephedrine—a key ingredient in meth—to continue to be bought over the counter, but will limit consumers to only three point six grams, which is equivalent to one box of cold medicine, a month.
It also limits the annual amount to 15 grams a year. But not everyone is on board with the compromise, including Carlos Gutierrez of the Consumer Health Products Association.
“We’ve always said we feel very strongly about the rights of consumers to purchase the safe and legal product and I think we feel just as strongly about their ability to purchase these products in the dosage amount necessary to deal with their symptoms,” Gutierrez said.
He says just under four grams a month would hurt those with chronic allergies. Stivers says if that’s the case, a clause allowing doctors to prescribe double that amount should suffice.
Stivers also says that the original 3.6 gram limit should be enough for everyone.
“The cry has been that we don’t respond to individuals and legitimate use. If you look at this and what 3.6 grams does, that is a maximum dosage, a box that has maximum dosage for an adult, time-release basis for 20 consecutive days,” Stivers says
The bill gained one extra vote in committee than the prescription-only approach did, giving a little more support as it passed out.