WV Crackdown on Meth Ingredients

By: Josh Knight Email
By: Josh Knight Email

Police in parts of West Virginia are cracking down on people buying illegal amounts of over-the-counter drugs that can be used to make methamphetamine.

In Moorefield, police have already arrested two people and are expecting to arrest more in the near future.

Medicines, such as Sudafed, and others containing pseudoephedrine, ephedrine or phenylpropanolamine, can be used to make meth in small, mobile labs and large operations.

As part of the federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005, different state laws prohibit buying excessive amounts of these drugs.

In West Virginia, it is illegal to purchase more than three packages of a medicine in which pseudoephedrine, ephedrine, or phenylpropanolamine is the single active ingredient or more than nine grams of pseudoephedrine in any form within a 30-day period.

Virginia law states that sales must be limited to no more than 3.6 grams total of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine daily per individual customer. This is the equivalent to 146 30 mg tablets or anything beyond three packages of 30 mg tablets.

By law, pharmacies keep logs of how much and by whom these drugs are being purchased.

However, the information is not often compiled into one central location, which can make it tough to track criminals purchasing at multiple stores.

Moorefield police say they are taking a proactive approach and compiling the data themselves.

Chief Steve Reckart of the Moorefield Police Department says he knows this won't fix everything, but it will act as a deterrent.

By compiling these logs, police can also find people in the same household who are all buying the drug at rates under the illegal amount.

Reckart adds that the West Virginia State Police are expected to make arrests as well.

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