Consumers who buy popular cold remedies in Riverside County, Ca., will be required to give their names, addresses, and telephone and driver’s license numbers to store clerks for law enforcement inspection under a new rule aimed at illicit production of methamphetamine, the Los Angeles Times reports. The ordinance was unanimously approved yesterday. The law would be the toughest of its kind in California. It comes as both Congress and the state are considering bills that would restrict the sale of medications that contain the drug pseudoephedrine. It is among the ingredients used in laboratories to create methamphetamine.
Critics say the the new rule will inconvenience law-abiding customers, pose a threat to privacy, and might have only a minimal effect on the illicit drug traffic. In Riverside County, considered a major center of meth traffic, supporters said the measure was needed to stem a growing and often deadly drug problem. Retailers who fail to comply could face fines of up to $1,000. The ordinance would not penalize customers. The measure drew quick criticism from some pharmacists. “Imagine you’re in line and you’re sick and getting antibiotics and you have to wait behind three people who have to fill out a stupid log,” said pharmacist Doug Sturtz.