Pubdate: Fri, 04 Mar 2005
Source: Messenger-Inquirer (KY)
Copyright: 2005 Messenger-Inquirer
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)
Bookmark: (Opinion)


It is clear by now that methamphetamine damages everyone it touches --
and when something this bad reaches epidemic proportions, which meth
has in Kentucky, it touches all of us in one way or another.

That is why we applaud the Senate and House for passing a bill
designed to make it more difficult for people to manufacture
methamphetamine and make it easier to arrest and convict meth makers.

Methamphetamine is a destroyer. Those addicted to the caustic
substance are in for the worst kind of physical punishment, and
experts tell us that meth's downward spiral is a quick, devastating
one. Users usually stop at nothing to buy more, including stealing.
Where methamphetamine lurks, crime follows, and that's just one of the
ways the entire community suffers when methamphetamine use becomes so

Now we are finding out that the most vulnerable among us are being
hurt by methamphetamine. When women get hooked on the drug, their
children also suffer, even their unborn children. We're told
meth-exposed babies may be irritable, uninterested in eating and
actually going through withdrawal.

Dr. Don Neel, an Owensboro pediatrician, estimated last week that one
to two babies are born every month in Daviess County to mothers who
admit to being on methamphetamine.

At Hager Preschool in Owensboro, a school official said the school is
seeing children with more developmental delays, which they blame on
drug use by their parents.

This news is just another reason, maybe the most important yet, not to
lose our resolve in the fight against methaphetamine. Senate Bill 63
is one way to put the brakes on the making of the drug. The proposed
law, which passed the House on Wednesday and is now headed back to the
Senate for concurrence, limits the availability of ephedrine and
pseudoephedrine tablets, common ingredients of methamphetamine, by
restricting the amount that can be purchased and mandating the drug be
dispensed by a pharmacists or pharmacist technicians only.

The bill would also require any person purchasing the drugs to provide
his or her name, address and date of birth, which would be kept in a
log by the pharmacy. The log would be open to police inspection at any

The bill also states that a person can be charged with manufacturing
methamphetamine if he has just two ingredients or pieces of meth lab
equipment and the "intent" to make the substance.

Endorsing a bill that requires law abiding citizens to sign a log each
time they buy a cold tablet isn't something we do lightly. But in this
case, it seems a reasonable cost to pay if it helps reduce the carnage
caused by methamphetamine.
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MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin