Missouri lawmakers voted yesterday to tighten controls on the cold medications used to make the highly addictive drug methamphetamine. The bill’s sponsor calls it the toughest anti-meth measure of its kind.
All meth recipes call for either ephedrine – a heavily regulated, expensive and hard-to-get drug – or a synthetic version called pseudoephedrine, which is used in many over-the-counter cold remedies. Current state law forbids retailers from selling more than three boxes or 9 grams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine products to a customer.
If passed, the bill would forbid stores from selling more than two boxes, or 6 grams, of medication that has ephedrine or pseudoephedrine as its sole active ingredient or selling more than three boxes, or 9 grams, of so-called multisymptom remedies that use ephedrine or pseudoephedrine along with other drugs.
The measure would require shopkeepers to stock ephedrine and pseudoephedrine products within 10 feet of a cash register, store them behind a counter or tag them with electronic sensors.
Also, the bill would ban the release of anhydrous ammonia, a farm fertilizer and meth ingredient, from an unapproved container.