On July 19th Gov. Jennifer Granholm signed a law requiring customers to show photo identification before buying some cold and flu medicines. It is aimed at restricting pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, the key ingredient for making methamphetamine, or meth as it is more commonly known.
The legislation (House Bill 4322) was sponsored by Rep. Rick Jones, a Grand Ledge Republican and former Eaton County sheriff, and Sen. Patricia Birkholz, R-Saugatuck.
Beginning Dec. 15, anyone younger than 18 will be prohibited from buying products with pseudoephedrine or ephedrine as the sole active ingredient. Adult customers will be limited to two packages, or a maximum 48 tablets or capsules, in a single transaction.
Stores that do not keep the restricted drugs behind the counter or in a locked case will have to keep a log of every buyer’s name and date of birth. Medicines kept on regular store shelves will need to be equipped with an anti-theft device and be monitored by video.
The law will not apply to products intended for children under age 12, some liquid medicines if pseudoephedrine is not the only active ingredient and those products that have been prescribed.
The number of illegal meth labs has jumped significantly in recent years. The Michigan State Police reported that 18 meth labs were seized in 1999. This year, 120 labs have been identified and busted.
For more information about HB4322, including legislative analyses, consult the Michigan Legislature web site and type in 4322.
Source: Lansing State Journal, July 25, 2005, p. 1B.