Plan of Attack for Growing Meth Problem

Lawmakers had a long discussion Wednesday on how to best attack the growing meth problem in Wisconsin.

Proposed legislation would strictly regulate the sale of medicines that contain pseudo–ephedrine. It's the main ingredient in most over-the-counter cold medicines.

Pseudo–ephedrine is also the primary ingredient in methamphetamine. Meth is a powerful drug that is considered more addictive than crack.

The law would reclassify pseudo–ephedrine as a schedule–5 narcotic. Meaning it would be kept behind the counter and you could only purchase it at a pharmacy. The bill would also make it illegal for you to possess more than two packages of cold medicine.

The Grocers Association says the bill goes too far in limiting cold medicine to the pharmacy.

Brandon Scholz, a spokesman says grocery stores can regulate the drug too. "We can put them behind our customer service counter and when you want them you come to us to get them. We'll make you show an I.D. We'll make you sign a log. We can do the same thing but is less drastic than in having customers go to a pharmacy."

Senator Sheila Harsdorf says, "What our goal is today is to pass legislation that will avoid it passing through and covering the entire state of Wisconsin. We know one of our big hurdles is building support for these restrictions we are proposing today."

This bill is closely modeled after similar bills in Minnesota and Iowa, where the meth problems are much worse.

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