Drug stores will have to start locking up common cold medicines that contain chemicals used to make methamphetamine and limiting sales of those medicines to two at a time under a bill signed into law Tuesday by Illinois Gov. Blagojevich. The new law also requires that the medicines contain no more than three grams of ingredients used in meth production.
The law takes effect Jan. 1. A number of other states have passed or are considering similar measures to combat methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug whose use has spread across the nation. The Illinois State Police discovered 971 meth labs in 2003, up from 403 in 2000. Federal officials uncovered an additional 128 Illinois meth labs last year. ”Methamphetamine is not just a problem; it’s a plague,” said one state official.