Bill to strengthen anti-meth laws passes state Senate

A bill to further limit the purchase of ephedrine/pseudoephedrine passed the Indiana Senate Monday.

Senate Bill 496′s goal is to strengthen anti-methamphetamine laws across Indiana. Forty-four state senators voted in favor of the bill, while four voted against.

If signed into law, SB 496 would allow ephedrine and pseudoephedrine to be sold only at retailers participating in the National Precursors Log Exchange database. The database tracks the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, common ingredients in methamphetamine.

It would also prohibit anyone convicted of certain meth-related crimes from possessing the drugs without a prescription for seven years.

Many residents have expressed concern about another tier of the proposed law. SB 496 would limit how much ephedrine or pseudophedrine a person could buy without a prescription in any given year. That limit would be 61.2 grams per year. To put that in perspective, a typical nasal decongestant contains 120 mg of pseudoephedrine per tablet. The limit would equal about 500 tablets per year.

Anyone who buys more than 10 grams of certain methamphetamine ingredients, including ephedrine or pseudoephedrine, to give to someone else to make into meth would also face increased penalties.

State Senator Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, initiated the bill. It now moves to the Indiana House.