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Iowa Limits on Cold Medicines Lead to Major Drop in Meth Labs 8/4/05 intox.com
Iowa officials have seen a surprisingly rapid drop in the number of methamphetamine labs in the state since new restrictions on the sale of pseudoephedrine took effect in May, the Quad-City Times reported Aug. 2.
Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack said at a news conference that the state's recent success in combating illegal methamphetamine operations demonstrates why Congress should not adopt a weaker anti-methamphetamine law that could hamper state enforcement efforts.
The Senate Judiciary Committee in late July amended anti-methamphetamine legislation to allow states to adopt their own restrictions on sales of medicines containing pseudoephedrine as long as the limits were at least as strict as federal restrictions.
Iowa officials announced that in the period from early May to July 29, law enforcement identified 70 reported meth labs, down from 286 labs discovered in the same period a year earlier. Restrictions that took effect May 21 require most sales of products containing pseudoephedrine to take place from a pharmacy counter, with consumers showing identification and having their purchases recorded in a log.
Vilsack said few concerns have been expressed about the restrictions since the effective date. "No matter how much the profit motives may generate concern about this law, the reality is this law is working," he said.
Ken Carter, director of the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, told reporters that with fewer meth labs, law enforcers can turn their attention to combating shipments of the drug from out of state, which accounts for 80 percent of Iowa's supply.