NORMAN — Oklahoma was one of the leaders in limiting sales of over-the-counter medicine containing pseudoephedrine. Meth cooks learned long ago that they could manufacture methamphetamine with cold pills and a few other ingredients.
Now, the pills are behind the pharmacy counter and anyone wanting to purchase must show identification and sign a register. Amounts are regulated, too. It’s done to keep certain people from purchasing the drugs and to alert authorities if someone buys pseudoephedrine products at several locations.
A court challenge to the law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. A defendant who first pleaded guilty to five felony counts of unlawfully purchasing pseudoephedrine and was sent to prison later changed her plea, claiming she didn’t know about the law.
Only people who were convicted of drug crimes after the law took effect were notified. Beginning in November, all persons convicted of meth-related drug offenses will be formally notified that they can’t buy pseudoephedrine.
The law has worked well, despite the inconvenience to lawful purchasers and the added requirement for pharmacies. The number of meth lab busts are far fewer these days.