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General Assembly

House OKs tighter meth med rules

– The Indiana House voted 91-1 Monday to further restrict access to strong cold and allergy medicine used to make methamphetamine.

“We are trying to do the best we can to prohibit the scourge on Indiana,” said Rep. Jud McMillin, R-Brookville.

All area legislators supported the measure.

The House made several small changes to Senate Bill 496, which must be accepted by the Senate before going to the governor. If the Senate dissents, it will go to a conference committee for final negotiation.

The bill increases penalties for “smurfing” – or buying the pseudoephedrine and reselling it to make meth; limits buying the medicine without a prescription if you have a prior meth-related conviction; and requires stores selling convenience packs of the medicine to participate in a real-time electronic tracking system.

The biggest change is establishing an annual limit for purchase, which equals about 8 months’ worth of medication. If a person or family needs more than that they can seek a prescription from a family doctor, McMillin said.

Some mayors and law enforcement groups have pushed for a stronger solution – making the cold and allergy medication containing pseudoephedrine prescription only.