MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Alabama Governor Robert Bentley recently signed a bill into law that was created to restrict where and to whom cold and allergy medicine containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine can be sold.
Bentley signed the bill into law April 24, and parts of it have already gone into effect. The other part will not take effect until later in 2012.
Lawmakers said the bill was created to cull meth production and use.
Republican Rep. Blaine Galliher sponsored the bill, HB 363. He said Alabamians will only be able to purchase medicine with ephedrine and pseudoephedrine at pharmacies, and they must buy them from behind the pharmacy counter.
Galliher said there will be very little else to affect the average consumer.
"It balances the ability for the consumer to buy a product that they need; and yet, it gives law enforcement a better tool chest to be able to do their job," said Galliher.
The law also:
- Defines meth "paraphernalia" for law enforcement.
- Lowers the amount customers can buy in a 30-day period from 9 grams to 7.5 grams .
- Tightens up identification requirements. Pharmacies will now only accept four forms of ID: a passport, state issued ID, driver's license and a military ID.
Another part of the bill, which will go into effect in August, will establish a drug offender tracking system which will catalog, "all criminal convictions in this state and other states of persons with certain felony and misdemeanor convictions related to methamphetamine."
Mobile County Sheriff's Office Spokesperson Lori Myles said the law won't make a huge difference in Mobile County. Myles said Mississippi's prescription laws should be a good example for Mobile.
"Their manufacturing numbers have dropped, and the reason being is it's associated with pseudoephedrine becoming a prescription drug. That's really the only way that it's going to prevent this much meth being manufactured," said Myles.
The Mobile County Sheriff's Office said its hope next year is that Alabama will require a prescription for medicine containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine.
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