Indianapolis News and Headlines


House committee analyzes bills to fight meth

Posted at 11:42 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-25 23:43:00-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indiana's war on meth has moved from the streets to the Statehouse. 

Indiana leads the nation in meth discoveries and busts. 

Monday, police and prosecutors told lawmakers that they want sweeping reforms to those who can access one of meth's main ingredients, but not everyone is on board. 

"We need legislative help, it's the only thing that's going to work," Jeffrey Arnold said. 

Arnold has been on the front lines of the fight against meth in Delaware County. Last year alone, they had 234 of the roughly 1,500 meth busts statewide. 

"We don't have much more than other counties, we're just busting more," Arnold said. 

Arnold and others in the law enforcement community testified in front of the House Public Health Committee Monday, throwing their support behind several measures that seek more limits on access to pseudoephedrine, it is found in decongestants like Sudafed or Contac, it's also used to make meth. 

"If you go into a pharmacy and they don't know you, you've been offered the tamper resistant products or the 30 gram tablets and you don't want it, you want the single entity pseudophedrine and the big pills, you're probably a meth cook and that is when you would need a prescription. That's a complete fallback, that's the backstop and right now we don't have a backstop," Rep. Ben Smaltz said. 

While it sounds like a compromise is possible, or that one of these bills will move forward this week, those opposed to sweeping restrictions want to make sure it's the right one. 

"I understand the passion and position of law enforcement, but this is a law enforcement issue, let's not turn this into a healthcare issue or healthcare access issue," Tony Gillespie said. 

Gillespie and the Indiana Minority Health Coalition argue that law abiding citizens should not have their access to cold medicine limited, but does sound open to compromise. 

"We will support a measure that strengthens law enforcement because this is a law enforcement issue, but also maintains access for Hoosiers," he said. 

A lobbyist for several pharmaceutical companies, who is fearful of lost sales, has run radio ads in Indiana against restrictions, claiming they could push Medicare costs higher. 

The debate is scheduled to pick up again on Wednesday. 


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