Oregon's desperate response to combating a methamphetamine epidemic by making the crucial ingredient a prescription drug has worked so well it should be used nationwide, a House subcommittee was told yesterday, The Oregonian reports. While state and federal law enforcement officials agreed the landmark 2006 law is a success and the number of meth labs in Oregon has sharply declined, members of a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee reacted skeptically.
“But I am vexed a little bit that with the success of Oregon and Mississippi the other 48 states haven't said, 'There's the answer',” said subcommittee chair Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC). Rob Bovett, district attorney for Oregon's Lincoln County, had a ready answer – heavy spending by the pharmaceutical industry has drowned opposition in most states where the proposal has been considered. “We simply can't compete with that,” Bovett told the subcommittee. Nationalizing Oregon's law would severely restrict the base ingredient for meth and set aside a patchwork and ineffective collections of laws nationwide. “We don't need any more band-aids on this gaping wound,” he told the subcommittee. “We need a real solution.”