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Oregon Lawmakers Approve Anti-Meth Bill

SALEM, Ore. -- The final piece of the puzzle for the Oregon Legislature's bi-partisan attack on the state's methamphetamine epidemic passed the Oregon senate Saturday and will soon be on its way to the state's governor.

House Bill 2485 includes restrictions on materials used to manufacture the drug as well as new provisions to protect the environment from the toxic waste created by meth labs. "This bill will reduce the number of home grown labs. We will attack the labs polluting our neighborhoods, endangering families and putting children at risk," stated Senator Jackie Winters (R-Salem) who has been battling the state's meth epidemic since 1999. "We can't afford to leave here without doing something that will give one neighborhood, one family, or one child reason to hope for a better tomorrow."

Oregon, like several other states, already restricts the sale of pseudoephedrine tablets to pharmacies and requires that the medications be kept behind the counter. Customers must also show identification when they purchase these OTC products.

House Bill 2485 will require a prescription for pseudoehpedrine products. Until the late 1970's, a prescription was required to purchase these drugs. Proponents say getting the ingredient out of the hands of those who manufacture meth is the only way to stop neighborhood labs, and that cold and allergy sufferers will still have more than 100 other treatments to turn to without needing a prescription.

"There are many recipes for meth but every one of them requires pseudoehpedrine," stated Senator Roger Beyer (R-Molalla) who helped author the bi-partisan package. "The only way we are going to stop these labs and protect children is to cut off access."

Passage in the state senate was the last major legislative hurdle and the bill will soon be on the desk of the governor, who has indicated he will sign it into law.

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