INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 9 2015) -- Indiana prosecutors are calling for tougher drug laws to try and cut down on drug dealing in the state.
The prosecutors want more limits on the distribution of some cold medicine and tougher punishments for the state’s worst drug dealers.
They argue the changes are needed because drug abuse is driving a lot of violent crime in the state.
“I mean there’s no question drug dealing is associated with most of the violence,” said Dearborn-Ohio county prosecutor Aaron Negangard.
First, prosecutors want state lawmakers to pass a new law making aggravated drug dealing a crime.
That crime would include dealing over 10 grams of drugs, dealing to children, dealing drugs that results in a death and eliminating the possibility of a suspended sentence for those criminals.
“If we take that person out of the system, you’re going to see violent crime drop,” said Negangard.
“What we’re saying is that the legislature needs to say individuals in this level of drug dealing need to go to jail,” said Marion county prosecutor Terry Curry.
The second idea is meant to make it harder to manufacture meth by requiring a doctor’s prescription to obtain the critical ingredient pseudoephedrine, which is also used in many cold medicines.
“We are the meth capital of the country and we think this legislation will cut down on number of meth labs in our communities,” said Washington county prosecutor Dustin Houchin.
Starting in 2005, Indiana required customers to show a photo ID to get pseudoephedrine from the behind the counter, but prosecutors say that actually made the problem worse by getting more people involved in the drug trade.
“Where before you might have one person go in and pull five boxes off the shelf and one person would cook that up, now I need five people to get that same amount,” said Houchin.
“The ripple effect of big time drug dealing is virtually endless, so we’re asking for additional tools to deal with sophisticated drug dealing operations,” said Curry.
The next legislative session kicks off in January.
The prosecutors know there will be some opposition to their ideas, but they say the changes will make the state a safer place to live.