Ninety-four times this year, Wichita, Kan., police have worked cases in which suspects bought cold medicine that appeared destined for use in making methamphetamine, reports the city’s Eagle. Many of those buyers crossed the border from Oklahoma to purchase this easy-to-find item, which since spring has been harder to purchase in the Sooner State. Police say the trend started almost immediately after Oklahoma’s Legislature passed a law in April–considered the toughest in the country–to control the misuse of pseudoephedrine, a decongestant found in Sudafed and similar medicines.
Over-the-counter cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine are “cooked” in meth labs to make methamphetamine. “We’ve seen a tremendous increase, said a Wichita police lieutenant. Across the border, narcotics officers report that meth lab busts have dropped by more than half. Based on this success, Kansas officials are now pushing for a similar law to make it harder for meth manufacturers to practice their illegal trade.