An antimeth law proclaimed to be the toughest in the nation was signed yesterday Tuesday by Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, the Des Moines Register reports. Stores have two months to comply with the new law regulating sales of pseudoephedrine, the main ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Iowans will have to show identification and sign their names to buy any medicine containing pseudoephedrine, and they will have to go to the pharmacy for most products. Many stores have already moved medicine behind the counter. Some places, including convenience stores, will stop selling certain products to avoid keeping customer logs.
State officials predict that Iowa will see an even larger reduction in meth labs than Oklahoma, which has seen a 50 percent drop in labs since enactment 11 months ago of a law curtailing sales of pseudoephedrine products. Iowa ranks second in the nation, after Missouri, in meth lab incidents. Last year, about 1,400 meth labs and dump sites were discovered in Iowa. The legislation isn’t a cure-all, with law enforcement claiming that 80 percent of meth comes from outside Iowa, but officials said it should bring some badly needed relief. “I think it’s a step in the right direction,” said Kim Graziano , a pharmacist in Des Moines. “But there are many other factors involved, like the ammonia tanks in farm fields. And it’s going to need law enforcement.”