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Bill would limit how much pseudoephedrine can be bought

Updated: January 29, 2013 4:52PM



INDIANAPOLIS - Limits on how much ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, used in decongestants, can be purchased have been approved by the Senate Corrections and Criminal Law committee and will head to the Senate floor.

Senate Bill 496 will place an annual purchasing limit of 61.2 grams for one person in addition to the current daily limit of 3.6 grams and a monthly limit of 7.2 grams. It would also prevent anyone convicted of a meth-related crime from purchasing the decongestants without a prescription, and increase penalties for anyone purchasing or holding 10 grams who intends to give them to someone else to manufacture meth.

Retailers who want to sell the drugs will have to participate in a purchase tracking program, InFlux, which includes convenience stores and pharmacies.

Sen. Carlin Yoder, R-Middlebury, said the lower limit, compared to his earlier proposal of 72 grams in a year, would be suitable for most everyday customers. “A number of doctors felt that this would be plenty,” Yoder said.

The bill passed out of the committee unanimously, but did not include an amendment proposed by Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, that would charge any fire created by manufacturing meth as arson. The amendment was one that Yoder had supported.

“We want to protect our firefighters and these meth labs can cause fires that are extremely dangerous,” Yoder said. “It’s important to find a way to protect them, so we’ll look for somewhere else to place this.”

Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, who chairs the Corrections and Criminal Law committee, said he was in favor of adding more penalties for accidental fires caused by meth labs, but arson is an intentional act.

“That amendment would add an unintentional offense to arson,” Young said. “I think we need to find somewhere else to enforce this.”



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