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Purchasing limit on allergy medicine introduced in bid to crack down on meth

While law enforcement officials here in Georgia have always taken a rather aggressive stance toward drug crime, they have cracked down on methamphetamine-related offenses particularly hard in recent years going after addicts, suppliers and, of course, manufacturers.

While much of the justification for this crackdown can be attributed to a desire to protect the health and safety of the general public, it cannot be disputed that at least part of it is motivated by the reality that methamphetamine, perhaps more than any other illegal substance, is relatively easy to make given its use of common household products.

Interestingly, the state House of Representatives recently passed a measure that many believe will help combat the production of methamphetamine both here in Georgia and in the surrounding region.

Specifically, the House voted 151-19 to pass House Bill 588, which would limit the amount of medicines that consumers could purchase containing pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in methamphetamine.

According to HB 588's sponsor, Rep. Valerie Clark (R-Lawrenceville), the bill would add Georgia to a list of 32 states that already have such systems in place -- including all neighboring states -- and prevent people from coming here for the sole purpose of purchasing products containing pseudoephedrine.  

As to how it would work, the legislation calls for supermarkets and pharmacies that sell these types of cold and allergy products to start using an electronic system that records a buyer's information and ensures that a nine-gram monthly purchasing limit for pseudoephedrine is imposed. Indeed, a stop sale alert would be generated if a person attempted to exceed the limit.  

The bill also calls for the manufacturers of medicines containing pseudoephedrine to cover the costs of the electronic system, and offer it free of charge to establishments selling their products, as well as state officials and law enforcement agencies.

Regarding the impact that this would have on consumers, Clark indicated that HB 588 would not affect anyone who uses products containing pseudoephedrine on a regular basis.

HB 588 is now being considered by the state Senate.

What are your thoughts on this bill? Is it unnecessary or a small price to pay to help the state combat meth?

If you've been arrested for any sort of drug-related offense, please do not hesitate to contact an experienced legal professional who can protect your rights and fight to secure your freedom.

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