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April 2006
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New Meth Law at Work

So now that purchases of medicines containing pseudoephedrine have to be purchased in the pharmacy, and forms have to be filled out and signed, how will that change enforcement?
Well, in Phoenix, the law’s been in effect since December, and those purchase log sheets got sent to the police, who dutifully read them to see if anyone was using the system to buy lots of pseudoephedrine, a little at a time. Sure enough, one name and address kept coming up. So the police went out to nab their meth lab.

Instead, they found a big family that had been racked by the flu.
The members of this family weren’t stocking up on pseudoephedrine. They were buying cold medicine.
“The way the log reads, the amount purchased can be deceiving,” Sherrard says. “All we see is that the mother’s name appeared four or five times — what it doesn’t tell you is that she’s buying Children’s Tylenol.”
(And if mom had wanted to make meth, five boxes of Children’s Tylenol was hardly going to do the trick.)
Needless to say, Sherrard says dryly, “we closed that case.”

Maybe next time, the police should bring some chicken soup with them.

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