Time to stop pushing prescription-only policy

An editorial from the Charleston Daily Mail 

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Here we go again. The Kanawha County Commission Substance Abuse Task Force is again recommending that the state legislature pass a law requiring a prescription to obtain cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, one of the ingredients used to make methamphetamine.

The task force made the same recommendation last year. It was a bad idea then, and it’s a bad idea now.

A prescription-only pseudoephedrine system would penalize law-abiding cold and allergy sufferers and burden our health care system, without any guarantee of halting the meth epidemic in the state.

Nebraska’s experience is instructive. In 2005, it limited pseudoephedrine sales. In-state meth production declined, but now law enforcement faces a different problem: Mexican drug cartels have entered the state, setting up sophisticated drug-trafficking networks to meet demand.

Nebraska law enforcement officials say meth trafficking from Mexico is “the most serious drug threat to the state,” reported the Omaha World-Herald in October.

“The volumes [of meth] that we are seeing now are significantly more than what we were seeing three years ago..

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