Yesterday he Consumer Healthcare Products Association (CHPA) made public the results of a consumer survey conducted here in Michigan. The results are very interesting. They reveal that a majority of registered Michigan voters are opposed to legislation which would make over-the-counter cold medication containing pseudoephedrine available by prescription only. Pseudoephedrine is an important ingredient used in the criminal manufacture of Meth.
The research was conducted by Basswood Research via telephone, over the course of three days in mid-November. Carlos Gutiérrez, vice president for state and local government affairs at CHPA made a statement in which he called the possible legislation a “costly and overreaching approach.” He also went on to point out that Michigan already has a number of laws in place which are aimed at combating the state’s meth problem.
This is indeed true. Methamphetamines, or “meth” is widely recognized as highly addictive and very dangerous, is completely illegal in Michigan. Use, Possession, Sale and Manufacture of meth in Michigan are all crimes, with use being the least serious and manufacture being the most serious. Criminal punishment, however, is not the only thing that Michigan authorities have put in place to combat drug abuse.
According to Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA), one of the methods by which law enforcement can track potential prescription drug abusers is through MAPS. Michigan Automated Prescription System is the prescription monitoring program which helps to identify and prevent drug diversion at multiple levels.
Schedule 2 through 5 controlled substances prescriptions that are dispensed by pharmacies and practitioners are collected and logged in MAPS. From there, physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, veterinarians and other medical professionals are able to search for patient-specific reports and information. This data can be reviewed, allowing the practitioner to determine if patients are receiving controlled substances from other providers.
Meth can be “cooked,” usually in small quantities, using an array of ingredients available from the average grocery store or gas station in combination with cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine. For this reason, law enforcement and legislators were both highly in favor of any method that allowed restricted dispersal of pseudoephedrine.
However, while meth production is a rising problem here in Michigan, it appears that the majority of the meth sold and used here in Michigan is actually imported. “According to a recent report from U.S. Customs and Border Patrol, 99.8% of the meth in the United States comes from Mexico.” Gutiérrez revealed in his statement. If that is indeed the case, then restricting people’s access to needed over the counter meds will not solve the problem.
According to the survey, almost two thirds of Michiganders use medication to treat colds and allergies, with four out of every five using non-prescription medication. Of the people polled, almost 70% of them were opposed to the idea of having to get a prescription in order to treat a cold or allergies with medication containing PSE.
Drug crimes are complex, and here in Michigan the laws that determine sentences are different for different drugs, based on a wide array of factors. If you or a loved one have been accused of any crime related to the use, sale, manufacture or trafficking of drugs you are going to need a highly skilled and experienced defense attorney. Call The Kronzek Firm today at 866 766 5245. Someone is available 24/7 to discuss your case with you and provide valuable legal advice.