Thursday, February 26, 2009

Bill Would Make it Easier for Law Enforcement to Track Meth Labs

A bill in the State Senate would require electronic tracking of cold medicine that contains pseudoephedrine. The bill would make it easier for law enforcement to track multiple purchases of pseudoephedrine.

From the Des Moines Register...

Shoppers already have to go to a pharmacy counter and fill out a written logbook to buy nonprescription cold medicine with the key ingredient for the illegal drug methamphetamine.

An electronic system with real-time tracking would cost about $750,000 over two years, said Sen. Steve Sodders, D-State Center. The state is seeking a $750,000 federal grant, and if that falls through, the law would not take effect, he said.

"If someone's buying pills in Marshalltown, Ames, Newton, there's no way for law enforcement to know that under the current system with the handwritten log," Sodders said.

The bill, Senate File 104, was approved Monday by a committee in the Iowa Senate. One dissenting vote was cast by Sen. Herman Quirmbach, D-Ames, who argued that it's not worth it to spend so much tax money on a system that invades personal medical privacy and could be easily evaded with fake IDs.
I talked to Sen. Sodders over the weekend and he said after the law requiring shoppers to fill out a written logbook, the number of meth labs. However, the number of meth labs have risen over the past year or so because dealers have figured out how to get around that law.

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