Mo. Lawmaker Proposes Tougher Restrictions on Pseudoephedrine

| January 31, 2013
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State Representative Stanley Cox, R-Sedalia, wants tougher limits on quantities Missourians may buy of cold medications that can be used to make methamphetamine.  He introduced a measure in the House last week that would crack down on the illegal use of the popular meth-making ingredient, pseudoephedrine, without reducing lawful access to the popular cold medicine.  Cox’s bill includes stricter sentences for meth-related crimes and strengthen the state’s electronic tracking system.  Click to hear KMZU’s Kristie Cross talk with Rep. Cox:

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Press Release from the Office of Stanley Cox

JEFFERSON CITY, MO—Representative Stanley Cox (R-52) today introduced HB 218, an anti-methamphetamine bill designed to crack down on criminals without reducing access to popular cold and allergy medicines for Missouri consumers who rely on these medicines for relief. Specifically, Rep. Cox’s bill includes reasonable pseudoephedrine (PSE) purchasing limits, stricter sentences for certain meth-related crimes and enhancements to the state’s electronic tracking system, known as the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx).

Rep. Cox introduced HB 218 as a reasonable alternative to the PSE prescription requirement approach supported by some state lawmakers and local municipalities. Unlike the prescription-only model, Cox’s bill would preserve law-abiding Missourians’ access to safe and effective medicines containing PSE.

“Missouri law enforcement officials and retailers are making progress against methamphetamine production in our state, but we still have a long way to go,” Rep. Cox said. “The National Precursor Log Exchanges is blocking thousands of illegal sales and leading to dozens of arrests and convictions annually, but we can take steps to make the system even more effective. My bill strengthens NPLEx to make life more difficult for meth offenders. Specifically, the law institutes stricter penalties for certain meth-related offenses and implements a drug offender registry that prevents former meth offenders from being able to purchase cold and allergy medicines containing PSE.”

“HB 218 also includes a sensible gram-limit reduction to the amount of certain cold and allergy medicines Missourians can purchase at a given time,” Rep. Cox continued. “This reduction will ensure that families can buy the medicines and that meth cooks won’t be able to skirt the system. Taken together, all of these measures will provide retailers and police officers with a greater capability for stopping meth crimes before they happen. By targeting criminals, my bill ensures responsible Missouri taxpayers will continue to have access to affordable cold and allergy medicines and timely care.”

Prescription-only policies have drawn opposition from a number of Missouri groups including the Missouri chapter of the AARP, the Missouri Retailers Association, The Grocers Association, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (St. Louis and Kansas City chapters), the Missouri Pharmacy Association, Concerned Women of America, Veterans in Defense of Liberty, the NAACP (St. Louis Chapter) and many others.

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