Tuesday, December 13, 2005

New Restrictions on Cold Medicine Purchases in Illinois

Just about every state now has a restriction on the sale on cold medicine that are used to make meth. From what I understand there are many ways of making meth and by making restrictions like this will force meth makers to develop meth by finding ingredients to replace cold medicines that are now legal. After the 15th of January, if you want to buy cold medicine you'll be forced to sign your name and address plus you will be restricted to buying 7500 mg of that product every 30 days. The police will have access to these records up to TWO years! What is at stake is that anyone who sells these products will be another arm of the law enforcement agency and a regular participant in eliminating privacy rights.Better get your cold medicine now before you forfeit your privacy rights. When they make laws like this its usually a short term cure for a long term problem. The real problem is not the manufacturing of meth, it's the socio-economic status of where meth is manufactured. The places where meth labs are rampant are places where unemployment is higher than the state's average. Of course our politicans aren't smart enough to realize that trend. They are so quick to criminialize human behavior rather than solve the real underlying problem. Illinois was rated 46th out of 50 states in economic prosperity. The real reason why people turn to the illegal drug trade like meth is because it's a quick money maker. Jobs leave Illinois quicker than they come in and if there are no jobs, how are bills going to get paid? Don't get me wrong, I don't like knowing that my neighbor might be manufacturing meth but I can understand why they could be doing it. I just don't like the idea that one big mistake on their part and they could risk the lives of many around them. There was an incident back in Effingham where a hotel was blown to bits killing 2 people because someone was cooking meth in the bathtub.

The story is below.


New restrictions on cold drugs OK'd
Governor signs bill to fight making of methamphetamine


Published Thursday, November 17, 2005

Starting Jan. 15, people who want to buy some kinds of cold or sinus medicine in Illinois will have to sign a log book and show photo identification.

The new state law, signed Wednesday by Gov. Rod Blagojevich, is aimed at hampering people who manufacture methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug that can be produced with household ingredients.

A key ingredient is ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, which are found in some versions of Sudafed and other medications.

An initiative of Attorney General Lisa Madigan, the new law is meant to discourage out-of-staters from flocking to Illinois to buy the pills they need to produce methamphetamine. States surrounding Illinois, including Iowa, Missouri and Indiana, already have passed laws that require consumers to sign a log and show photo ID before buying those products.

Under the Illinois measure, customers seeking to buy products with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine must write down their names, addresses, dates and times of purchases, product names and amounts bought. Log books containing the information will be kept by retailers for at least two years. The books will be confidential, but police can inspect them and make copies.

The law also will bar anyone younger than 18 from buying cold or sinus medicine with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine.

In addition, it prohibits customers from buying more than 7,500 milligrams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period. That amount exceeds the amount a person could take in 30 days, Madigan said.

Violators could face fines of up to $5,000 and conviction on a misdemeanor or a Class 4 felony, punishable by one to three years in prison.

Methamphetamine is a particular problem in rural parts of Illinois. In January 2003, a meth lab exploded in Pekin, destroying an eight-unit apartment complex and leaving about a dozen people homeless.

Tazewell County State's Attorney Stewart Umholtz said Wednesday the new law "should have a positive impact by reducing the number of manufacturing labs." But he warned that one consequence could be an increase in the amount of meth that flows into Illinois from outside sources, such as Mexico.

Illinois has enacted several meth-related laws in recent years. For instance, a law that took effect on Jan. 1, 2005, requires stores that sell medications containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine to keep them behind a counter or in a locked case. That law permits people to buy just two packages of cold medicine at a time.

Adriana Colindres can be reached at 782-6292 or adriana.colindres@sj-r.com.


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