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W.Va. House panel guts pseudoephedrine Rx bill

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Under pressure from drug industry lobbyists, a House of Delegates committee Tuesday night gutted a Senate bill that aims to reduce meth labs in West Virginia by requiring a prescription for cold medications that criminals use to make meth.

Instead, the House Judiciary Committee passed an amended bill that would lower yearly purchase limits for medicines containing pseudoephedrine, a key meth-making ingredient.

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey had recommended the lower limits – from 48 grams to 24 grams annually, or from about 20 boxes to 10 boxes of the medication each year.

Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper said the House committee’s decision to overhaul the Senate bill (SB6) was “shameful.”

“They’ve turned their backs on our law enforcement officers, who wanted this,” Carper said Monday night. “I’m disgusted.”

West Virginia officers busted 533 meth labs last year, nearly double the number of labs found in 2012. The clandestine labs turned up in 45 or West Virginia’s 55 counties last year…

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