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SnakebyteXX
06-29-2005, 05:17 AM
Buying Cold Pills? Fill Out This Form

Riverside County sets the bar higher in the war against ingredients for methamphetamine.

By Stephanie Ramos and Hector Becerra, Times Staff Writers


Consumers who buy popular cold remedies in Riverside County would be required to give their names, addresses, and telephone and driver's license numbers to store clerks for law enforcement inspection under a sweeping rule aimed at illicit production of methamphetamine.

The ordinance, unanimously approved Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors, will take effect if given final approval in the next 30 days.

The law would be the toughest of its kind in California. It comes as both Congress and the state Legislature are considering bills that would restrict the sale of medications, such as Sudafed and Nyquil, that contain the drug pseudoephedrine. It is among the ingredients used in makeshift laboratories to create methamphetamine.

Critics of the proposals say they would inconvenience law-abiding customers and pose a threat to privacy and might have only a minimal effect on the illicit drug traffic.

But in Riverside County, considered a major center of meth traffic, supporters said the measure was needed to stem a growing and often deadly drug problem.

"It's so important to let the residents know that we care about the meth problem, and we're going to do something about it," said Supervisor Jeff Stone, who sponsored the ordinance. "Anytime, anywhere, we are going to be proactive. That's the message that we want to get out."

Under the ordinance, customers who buy even one package of cold medication that includes pseudoephedrine, phenylpropanolamine or related compounds would be required to provide the personal information to a store clerk. Stores would be required to keep the logs available for law enforcement officials for three years.

Retailers who fail to comply with the requirements could face fines of up to $1,000. The ordinance would not penalize customers.

The measure drew quick criticism from some pharmacists.

"Imagine you're in line and you're sick and getting antibiotics and you have to wait behind three people who have to fill out a stupid log," said Doug Sturtz, the pharmacist at a Longs Drugs in Riverside.

"Can you imagine what's going to happen at Costco? Can you just imagine the lines?" Sturtz added.

Others objected to the potential impact on customer privacy and raised questions about the law's effectiveness, noting that major meth traffickers did not get their ingredients from drug stores and that buyers could easily purchase the same items in neighboring counties.

"I think there are real privacy issues about putting additional burdens on people who purchase over-the-counter drugs," said USC law professor Charles Whitebread.

"That's my privacy," said Diane Greagor, 46, a Riverside resident who works for the state Department of Corrections, as she walked out of a Walgreens drug store near downtown Riverside. "I don't know what they're going to be using this information for," she added. "It's not an illegal drug."

But U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), who has been pushing measures in Congress to restrict sales of cold medicines that include pseudoephedrine, expressed support.

"I say hurray for Riverside," Feinstein said in Washington.

Feinstein and Sen. Jim Talent (R-Mo.) unveiled an anti-meth bill Tuesday that would restrict access to such cold medicines nationwide.

Although she praised the Riverside County measure, Feinstein's bill, which is supported by the National Assn. of Chain Drug Stores, would preempt all such local rules in favor of national standards and would not be as burdensome on consumers.

Feinstein's proposal would require retailers and drug stores to place cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine behind the pharmacy counter. It would create alternative procedures for stores without pharmacies that sell over-the-counter remedies. It would also limit those buying such drugs to 7.5 grams a month. That is roughly equivalent to eight packets of 32 decongestant pills, rather than the one packet covered by the Riverside County ordinance.

Several major retailers, including Target, Wal-Mart and Ralphs, have voluntarily placed cold medications with pseudoephedrine behind the counter.


A spokesman for Kroger Co., which owns Ralphs and Food 4 Less, said company officials had not yet had a chance to review the Riverside County ordinance but that the company hoped the steps it already was taking would be sufficient to deter abuse.

"We're putting all our products with pseudoephedrine behind the pharmacy counter," said spokesman Terry O'Neil. "In those stores where there is no pharmacy, we plan to take these products off the shelf and put them in cases similar to what stores do with cigarettes."

Methamphetamine is a cheap and powerfully addictive stimulant that is easily manufactured in clandestine laboratories with ingredients that are inexpensive and readily available.

Research shows that the drug can cause serious health and behavior problems, including memory loss, violence, psychotic behavior and possibly neurological damage.

Methamphetamine also suppresses sexual inhibitions, and health officials have said it is a major factor in an increase in sexually transmitted diseases, including hepatitis and HIV/AIDS.

Dr. Jonathan Fielding, Los Angeles County's public health director, said he was intrigued by Riverside County's idea but said it would take time to see how well it works.

"It's innovative. But I don't think we know at this point what's going to be effective," he said.

"Trying to limit the availability to legitimate users is a reasonable approach, even though it restricts personal freedoms to some extent," he said.

Assemblyman Paul Koretz (D-West Hollywood) introduced a bill in the Legislature this year that would have required logging similar information on buyers of cold medications.

Koretz said he dropped the logging provision after it drew concerns from other legislators who worried it would infringe on privacy and that maintaining it would require creating a state database.

"For me, it wasn't a big issue," he said, adding that he thought logging could create a significant deterrent.

"The big factor with meth users is a high degree of paranoia," he said. "If they know you're keeping their name and address and other information it would make it a lot harder for them to make the purchases."




web page (http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-meth29jun29,0,7167533.story?coll=la-home-headlines)

SnakebyteXX
06-29-2005, 05:32 AM
"Methamphetamine is a cheap and powerfully addictive stimulant that is easily manufactured in clandestine laboratories with ingredients that are inexpensive and readily available."

Yes, it is. Now, let us ask ourselves if those stimulant addicted speed producers aren't both willing and able to get in their cars and drive to where ever thay have to in order to get the ingredients to make the stuff? My guess is that being too tired to drive would not be a big problem for them.

Absurd restrictions like this one are yet another example of how well meaning but misguided politicians will make rules that reduce the freedoms of the innocent while having no impact whatsoever on the guilty.

Snake

Drop1
06-29-2005, 01:18 PM
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Remember the Moral Majority? Well it was neither. Mark Twain said,"I want to go to Hell for the company,and to Heaven for the weather" Drugs are every where,and are a boon to the economy. Laws restricting legal cold medications do seem a bit abusive.

sack316
06-30-2005, 05:15 AM
we have something like that here too. You don't have to fill out a form with your info yet, but they do limit the amount you can purchase at a time to like 2 packs. Like someone said, sounds good in theory, but for someone who really needs more than that for some reason they have a huge hassle. And those who are buying it for illegal purposes and just as easily buy 2 here, buy 2 there, and all around town, and then come back to place #1 and buy again because I'm sure they wont remember them by that time

Cane
06-30-2005, 08:15 PM
Yeah, I can tell you right now how the restrictions are going to work. We already have them in place in Southeast Oklahoma... why? Because we are known by many in Law Enforcement as the Meth Capital. We have had drug labs producing this stuff and loading it into horse trailers in 55 gallon drums. Two major labs were found on a county judges property... of course, he was found innocent and was completely oblivious to what was happening on his property! RIGHT!!! Many refer to the highway that goes from here to Dallas as the White Highway.

So, our local politicians decided to restrict the sale of medications containing psuedoephedrine to ONE package of any ONE product. You must go to a the pharmacist to get those. You also can't buy more than 2 lithium batteries at a time, because the labs cut open the batteries and use their contents in the "recipe".

So, has it helped. Well, let's put it this way... Anhydrous Ammonia is a key ingredient in "cold cooking" of methamphetimine. There are parts of the county that it's hard to drive through at night, because the ammonia fumes are overpowering. Of course, the City and County law enforcement community just can't seem to find these labs, even though everyone else in the county knows where they are. Usually, the only time one gets busted is A. They blow up, so there's no choice for L.E. but to respond... B. They aren't local or locally known and we can't have strangers cooking crank in our county... or C. They don't "pay their dues".

Regardless, the restriction of sale of things that might be used as ingredients in crank have NOT slowed down the labs in this part of the world. They are going strong. Sad... you can run a crank lab here and get by with it for years, but heaven forbid if you drive through town without your seatbelt!!!

Later,
Bob

catscradle
07-01-2005, 11:23 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr> Yeah, I can tell you right now how the restrictions are going to work. We already have them in place in Southeast Oklahoma... why? Because we are known by many in Law Enforcement as the Meth Capital. We have had drug labs producing this stuff and loading it into horse trailers in 55 gallon drums. Two major labs were found on a county judges property... of course, he was found innocent and was completely oblivious to what was happening on his property! RIGHT!!! Many refer to the highway that goes from here to Dallas as the White Highway.

So, our local politicians decided to restrict the sale of medications containing psuedoephedrine to ONE package of any ONE product. You must go to a the pharmacist to get those. You also can't buy more than 2 lithium batteries at a time, because the labs cut open the batteries and use their contents in the "recipe".

So, has it helped. Well, let's put it this way... Anhydrous Ammonia is a key ingredient in "cold cooking" of methamphetimine. There are parts of the county that it's hard to drive through at night, because the ammonia fumes are overpowering. Of course, the City and County law enforcement community just can't seem to find these labs, even though everyone else in the county knows where they are. Usually, the only time one gets busted is A. They blow up, so there's no choice for L.E. but to respond... B. They aren't local or locally known and we can't have strangers cooking crank in our county... or C. They don't "pay their dues".

Regardless, the restriction of sale of things that might be used as ingredients in crank have NOT slowed down the labs in this part of the world. They are going strong. Sad... you can run a crank lab here and get by with it for years, but heaven forbid if you drive through town without your seatbelt!!!

Later,
Bob <hr /></blockquote>

The thing is even though it is useless at dealing with the problem it satisfies a politician's primary goal. He can go to his constituents and say I passed such and such legislation to stop such and such.

SnakebyteXX
07-01-2005, 11:55 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote catscradle:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Cane:</font><hr>
The thing is even though it is useless at dealing with the problem it satisfies a politician's primary goal. He can go to his constituents and say I passed such and such legislation to stop such and such.
<hr /></blockquote>

Absolutely true. Think airport security and the incredible inconvenience that air travel has become because of the increased 'security' since 9/11. IMO: A majority of that effort is designed to reassure travelers that they are safer because of it when in fact there is reason to believe that protection against a truly dedicated terrorist (or terroists) is not possible. The appearance of increased security keeps people flying and it may help to keep the airlines in business but it doesn't really mean that travelers are safe from terrorist attack.

Snake

Qtec
07-06-2005, 08:07 AM
Officials Across U.S. Describe Drug Woes
By KATE ZERNIKE
Local officials from across the country yesterday declared methamphetamine the nation's leading law enforcement scourge - a more insidious drug problem than cocaine - and blamed it for crowding jails and fueling increases in theft and violence, as well as for a host of social welfare problems.

Officials from the National Association of Counties, releasing results from a survey of 500 local officials nationwide, argued that Washington's focus on terrorism and domestic security had diverted money and attention from the methamphetamine problem in the states.

They pleaded with lawmakers to restore financing for an $804 million drug-fighting program that the group said had been proposed for elimination in the 2006 federal budget, and said the Bush administration had focused its drug-fighting efforts too much on marijuana and not enough on methamphetamine.

"This is a national problem that requires national leadership," Angelo Kyle, the president of the association and a member of the Board of Commissioners in Lake County, Ill., north of Chicago, said at a news conference in Washington that was called to draw attention to the problem.

While methamphetamine has begun to move into some cities, it has particularly devastated rural areas in the last several years. It is cheap and easy to make using chemicals commonly found in cold medicine or on farms, and makeshift production laboratories have sprung up in barns and houses. Officials said yesterday that they had even discovered small portable laboratories in suitcases.

The ingredients are highly toxic and highly flammable, often resulting in serious explosions. And the drug itself, which is smoked, inhaled or injected, is extremely addictive, producing a high that lasts several hours and leading to binges that often last days or even weeks.

Of 500 law enforcement agencies in 45 states, 87 percent reported increases in methamphetamine-related arrests in the last three years, and 62 percent reported increases in laboratory seizures.

Fifty-eight percent said methamphetamine was their largest drug problem. Nineteen percent said cocaine was, 17 percent said marijuana and 3 percent said heroin.

The problem is seen as particularly bad in the Southwest, where 76 percent of counties surveyed said methamphetamine was their largest drug problem; in the Pacific Northwest, where 75 percent of those surveyed said it was; and in the Upper Midwest, where 67 percent of county officials declared methamphetamine their worst drug problem.

Seventy percent of counties reported increases in robberies and burglaries because of methamphetamine; 62 percent reported increases in domestic violence; 53 percent reported an increase in assaults; and 27 reported an increase in identity theft.

Half the counties surveyed said one in five inmates were in jail because of methamphetamine crimes. Many counties reported that half their jail populations were incarcerated because of methamphetamine.

The officials said that reports of child abuse had increased as well, with many children neglected while their parents binged and then slept off the high for several days.

"Meth abuse is ruining lives and families and filling our jails," said Bill Hansell, president-elect of the association and a commissioner from Umatilla County, Ore., which has led that state in laboratory seizures.

The officials called yesterday for the restoration of the federal Justice Assistance Program, the $804 million program that helped finance drug-fighting efforts between different jurisdictions. "With the elimination of that program, that really stifles us from being able to combat this epidemic drug," Mr. Kyle said.

The officials also called for more money for treatment and said the Bush administration should shift its antidrug efforts, which have emphasized preventing marijuana use among teenagers.

"We're not saying that that's misplaced or that they shouldn't be doing this," said Larry Naake, executive director of the association, "but we think that there is now an epidemic that needs to get their attention because it's just as serious, if not more serious, because of the overall consequences of it."



Q............bad news

Voodoo Daddy
07-06-2005, 08:54 AM
Tweakin' isnt big down here...we got this lil problem called COCAINE /ccboard/images/graemlins/shocked.gif!! I know some folks out on that left coast that woulda burned a house down if they thought they could get the aluminum fans from the roof off to sell them for Meth...crank is tough action!!