Sets controls on over-the-counter sales in fight against methamphetamines

The Ohio House of Representatives today passed legislation that allows for the tracking and regulation of over-the-counter sales of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, which are used in the manufacturing of dangerous methamphetamines.

Sponsored by State Representatives Terry Johnson (R-McDermott) and Danny Bubp (R-Lake Waynoka), House Bill 334 would require retailers and distributors of the drugs to participate in an electronic tracking system of the products through the National Precursor Log Exchange. It also allows the state’s attorney general to enter into an agreement with National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, which administers the exchange, so that the information can be used by state and local law enforcement to identify and address drug-seeking behaviors.

“The National Precursor Log Exchange is the next step in fighting against illegal drug activity in Ohio,” Representative Johnson said. “It will not only strengthen law enforcement, but also alert the retailer if a person would be going over the maximum daily or monthly purchase limit on the stimulants, in which case the sale would not go forward.”

The United States Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 requires that retail sales of pseudoephedrine and ephedrine be regulated, including setting limits on the purchase in a single transaction of the drugs to no more than 3.6 grams per day. HB 334 applies the same limit to state law and also regulates the sale of ephedrine in the same manner already set for pseudoephedrine in state law.

“If we are going put a stop to the persistent problem of illegal drug use in Ohio, including the misuse of drugs that are intended for good, it’s extremely important that we have strong oversight of what is being distributed,” Representative Bubp said. “This bill does precisely that.”

The unanimous passage of HB 334 marks a continuation of efforts to halt the illegal misuse of drugs in Ohio. Last year, House Bill 93—also sponsored by Representative Johnson—was passed and signed into law to eliminate prescription drug abuse, shut down pill mills and enhance the Ohio Automated Rx Review System. HB 334 builds off of those efforts and will now move to the Ohio Senate for further consideration.


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