The Senate on Tuesday approved legislation to target meth manufacturers while preserving citizens’ access to medicines. Sen. Rick Brinkley, author of Senate Bill 1634, said his proposal would provide law enforcement officials with powerful tools to fight meth, but would not make pseudoephedrine available by prescription only.
The proposal would limit over-the-counter purchases of pseudoephedrine to 3.6 grams in a single day, and 7.2 grams per month – the recommended therapeutic dosage. If approved by the Legislature, Oklahoma would be the only state with an annual purchase limit for pseudoephedrine. SB 1634 would limit pseudoephedrine purchases to 60 grams per year.
“Meth addiction is taking a horrendous toll on the people of this state and the families who are going through it,” said Brinkley, R-Owasso. “However, as we address the issue I don’t believe we need to place additional burdens on law-abiding citizens. This bill gives law enforcement the tools they need to bust these meth labs, without inconveniencing law-abiding citizens who need medicine.”
The measure will also give law enforcement officials the ability to track purchases of pseudoephedrine across state lines. Brinkley noted his bill would give investigators the ability to receive electronic notifications when suspected meth manufacturers and their suppliers purchase pseudoephedrine in neighboring states.
The measure would also institute a 72-hour purchase block for those who exceed the daily purchase limit.
“Those of us who have counseled, or have known people who have dealt with addiction, know how horrible the problem is,” Brinkley said. “But we simply can’t limit access to every item a criminal can misuse. We have to take a smarter approach, and I believe this legislation does just that. I’m grateful for the support of my colleagues who joined me in taking this step to fight meth addiction in our state.”
Senate Bill 1634 will now advance to the House for consideration.