Supporters and opponents of legislation meant to curb meth production in Kentucky rallied in Frankfort Thursday. The issue of how to fight meth has divided lawmakers, pharmaceutical manufacturers and law enforcement officials.
There are similar bills in the House and Senate. They would make cold medicines that contain the meth ingredient and decongestant pseudoephedrine, or PSE, available by prescription only.
Many law enforcement officers support the legislation, since it would make meth harder to manufacture. But Major Tony King with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department says prescription drugs are abused, too.
“Illicit drugs aside, prescription drugs are really one of our major headaches right now, if not the major one. We can’t control our prescription drugs we have under schedule now and we’re wanting to add another one to that list,” he says.
King is at odds with members of the Louisville Metro Police Department on the issue.
“I have a deep respect for those on the other side of the argument,” he says. “We’re all trying to accomplish this same purpose. We just have different beliefs on how we’re going to accomplish that.”
King says he would support making PSE prescription-only if the method of tracking prescription drugs in Kentucky were improved. Over the counter PSE purchases are currently tracked in the commonwealth, but the new legislation would end that practice.