Okmulgee, Oklahoma plans to fight their community’s meth lab problem, despite the recent opinion handed down by their state Attorney General. In the opinion of the AG, Oklahoma’s cities can not enact their own pseudoephedrine prescription laws, that is a right given only to state legislators. But earlier this year, state legislators failed to take action on a bill that proposed a statewide pseudoephedrine prescription law: the bill arrived too late to make it by last session’s deadline. Supporters of a pseudoephedrine prescription law in Oklahoma don’t think that happened by mistake. They believe the bill’s failure to make it by the deadline was the result of pressure on state legislators by pharmaceutical industry lobbyists.
Whether or not Oklahoma is able to pass a statewide pseudoephedrine prescription law during their next session, remains to be seen. As in every state, there is disagreement on both sides of the pseudoephedrine prescription issue. State legislator, Representative Mike Ritze, believes that current restrictions – that include tracking systems and quantity restrictions – are effective strategies that will control the spread of meth labs in Oklahoma. Others, including law enforcement officers and those who sell pseudoephedrine, feel those strategies are inadequate. Okmulgee Police Chief, Joe Prentice, who supports a pseudoephedrine prescription law, won’t be arresting anyone for buying gelcap forms of pseudoephedrine – as long as they adhere to current law – however he has asked the city attorney for guidance about the ordinance passed in his city. Others, who are concerned about the city’s meth lab problem like pharmacy owner Chuck Walton, plan to keep doing exactly what they’ve been doing. Walton won’t be selling pseudoephedrine to anyone he doesn’t know.
Carter, Marla. “Some police chiefs, not pleased with AG’s opinion on meth law”. WKRJ 2 News. 01 Aug. 2011. Web. 01 Aug. 2011.