(Indianapolis, Ind.) - Indiana lawmakers are looking to clamp down on the ease of access to cold medicines.
Many medicines such as Sudafed contain pseudoephedrine, which is a key ingredient in illegally manufacturing methamphetamine. Currently, Indiana law requires buyers to enter their drivers license into a database to track sales limits on cold medicines.
The Associated Press reports that Indiana had the third most meth lab seizures of any state in 2012 with 1,429, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. Law enforcement from around the state told the House Courts and Criminal Code Committee that something needs to be done to make the ingredients harder for criminals to obtain.
The committee responded by unanimously passing Senate Bill 496 Thursday. The legislation seeks to cap over-the-counter ephedrine and pseudoephedrine sales at 61.2 grams per person each year. Any amount over that would require a prescription.
The bill would also begin tracking single dose packages of cold medicine.
“This bill is another step in the right direction in the fight against meth,” said the bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Carlin Yoder (R-Middlebury). “We want to give law enforcement and retailers needed tools to combat the meth epidemic without burdening innocent Hoosiers.”
One provision of the bill was amended out. It would have created a Class B felony for meth cookers who cause a fire while making meth. House committee members thought that stipulation would fit better in another bill, Yoder said.
SB 496, which has already earned the Senate’s approval 44-4, now heads to the House floor for a vote.