Since Oklahoma became the first state to regulate cold tablets containing pseudoephedrine, meth cookers have been forced to leave the state in search of this key ingredient, says the Christian Science Monitor. That has led many states – especially those that share a border with Oklahoma – to consider more drastic measures. Drug-makers and drug stores say they are being unfairly targeted and argue that pharmacists are being turned into policemen who limit access to legitimate customers.
Lawmakers are increasingly frustrated and desperate as they watch their budgets get funneled into the epidemic. Already, 28 states have restricted pseudoephedrine sales. This year, at least 19 have introduced new or stricter measures on the cold tablets, seven of which would require pharmacists to make the sale. “States on the West Coast have been dealing with the methamphetamine problem for quite a long time,” says Blake Harrison of the National Conference of State Legislatures. “But now we are seeing it spread to the East Coast, and that has prompted many other states to address the problem.” In Oklahoma, Mark Woodward of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control said, “Now we are picking up meth cookers who say they are having to travel two hours into Kansas, Texas, and Arkansas to get cold pills. That in itself is a measure of the success of this law.”