Pubdate: Fri, 01 Jul 2005
Source: Montgomery Advertiser (AL)
Copyright: 2005 The Advertiser Co.
Note: Letters from the newspaper's circulation area receive publishing priority
Author: Associated Press
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Buying the decongestants ephedrine and pseudoephedrine will be more
difficult for Alabama consumers, starting today.

A new state law restricts the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine
tablets because they are a key ingredient in the illegal drug
methamphetamine, considered the No. 1 drug problem in Alabama.

It requires that tablets where ephedrine or pseudoephedrine is the
sole active ingredient must be kept behind the counter or in a locked
display case in stores statewide. Anyone wanting to purchase the
tablets will have to present identification and sign for the
medication. Only two packages can be purchased at a time.

Meanwhile, retailers are busy reshelving the products covered by the

"We've spent all day trying to find out what the rules are. It's just
very confusing," Harold Walden, owner of six Stop N Shop convenience
stores in the Mobile area, said this week.

Capt. Jeff Rogers of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Board said the
agency is in the preliminary stages of designing an enforcement plan
for the law. The agency has not yet developed instructional materials
to distribute to retailers, Rogers said.

"It's going to be a monumental task," said Rogers, whose agency is
responsible for regulation.

The legislation, which had bipartisan support, passed on the final
night of the regular legislative session May 16.

Another bill -- creating a new crime of exposing children to a meth
lab -- did not pass. Attorney General Troy King previously said he
will try to pass the measure when the governor calls a special session
to address the General Fund budget. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Richard Lake