By mid-summer, many popular over the counter medicines will be pulled from the shelves and sold only from behind the counter. Georgia lawmakers want to make it more difficult to get the key ingredients for producing the deadly methamphetamine drug.
Georgia lawmakers want to slow the explosive growth of meth production, and that' why they've approved a bill to make it tougher to buy the drug pseudoepherine, found in many over the counter cold and allergy drugs.
Local pharmacists say they agree with the new restrictions, which will move the drugs behind the pharmacist's counter.
Michael Hicks, a pharmacist, says, "By restricting the sale of pseudoepherine products to back behind the counter, it allows us to have a little more control over the quantities that are purchased."
Under the new law, customers will only be allowed to purchase three boxes of the pseudoepherine medicine. Police say it's enough for a cold, but not enough for large scale meth production.
Local pharmacists say they're not the only ones glad to see the pseudoepherine removed from the front shelves and placed behind the counter. Officials with the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office say they are very glad to see the change, even if it only means a small reduction in the overall meth production here in south Georgia.
Hicks adds, "I think it’s a good first step to try and get some control . Of course, the police agencies will be able to get the best idea on whether this program has been effective."
If the program is successful, it could force meth producers to other, less restrictive states. Unless vetoed by Gov. Sonnny Perdue, Georgia's new drug restrictions will go into effect on July 1.