Retailer Wal-Mart is a driving force for a national law that supersedes – and potentially weakens – tough state anti-methamphetamine laws like Iowa’s, says U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Ia.), reports the Des Moines Register. Iowa tightly restricts most sales of the decongestant pseudoephedrine, in an attempt to cut access to a main ingredient in the manufacture of meth, an illegal stimulant. The law requires Iowans to go to pharmacies to buy decongestants that had been over-the-counter remedies. Officials reported a drop in meth lab seizures of more than 75 percent in the first full month with the new law.
The federal Combat Meth Act pending in Congress could override Iowa’s law with more lenient pseudoephedrine restrictions. Grassley, a senior member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, has withdrawn as a co-sponsor of the Combat Meth Act because of the dispute over federal pre-emption of state laws. Wal-Mart has been “unbending” on the issue of a uniform federal law, Grassley said. “Anybody that’s dealing in a multistate area, a multistate business, it’s just a lot more simple for their corporate leadership,” he said. Grassley said the bill suffers because meth is not used widely in some states and so is not seen as a major issue. “Understand that meth is mostly a problem west of the Mississippi,” he said.