The U.S. diplomat who negotiated an international resolution on ephedrine and pseudoephedrine says it will bring much tighter control over the trade in methamphetamine ingredients, The Oregonian reports. Tom Schweich, deputy assistant secretary of state for international narcotics and law enforcement affairs, said the U.N. resolution affects all countries that import or export the chemicals and that it carries the force of international law. All nations will be asked to provide estimates of their domestic demand for the cough and cold medicines under the resolution, adopted by the U.N. Commission on Narcotic Drugs last month. The International Narcotics Control Board in Vienna could use the information to halt shipments that exceed a country’s legitimate need.
“Simply put, if there are no chemicals, there are no drugs,” said U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration chief Karen Tandy. The resolution comes at an important time of transition for the North American meth trade. Mexican authorities have dramatically reduced the amount of pseudoephedrine allowed into the country. U.S. imports of pseudoephedrine are plummeting in the wake of sales restrictions on over-the-counter cold medicine. Officials expect Mexican drug cartels — the source of 65 percent of meth sold in the U.S. — to respond by targeting nations in Latin America as sources of chemicals. The narcotics board in Vienna already has documented recent attempts by traffickers to route shipments through Belize and Nicaragua.