New Effort to Fight Meth in Illinois
CAHOKIA, Il. (KMOX)-New posters are going up in Illinois pharmacies and drug stores, reminding customers that if they’re buying pills containing pseudoephedrine for meth makers, they are committing a crime.
The posters are part of a new two-part effort to curb meth use in Illinois announced by Attorney General Lisa Madigan in Cahokia Wednesday afternoon. Madigan says the public awareness campaign is a key part of the initiative, “We get the sense that there are a lot of folks who don’t realize that when they’re simply purchasing pills, and then re-selling them to a meth-maker that they’re actually engaged in a crime. Our hope is that some of these people who are young, might be a little skittish once they learn that and will stop doing this.”
Part two of the initiative involves passing a bill that would make permanent, the tracking and restriction of pseudoephedrine sales, which is set to expire in January. Madigan says if the legislature fails to pass the legislation, Illinois will become a pill shoppers paradise, ”If we lose that, we then have a situation where everybody from not just Illinois but all the surrounding states will be coming to Illinois purchase their pills, and we don’t want to see that happen. Tha’s a disaster.”
Madigan says that with some Missouri cities and counties making pseudoephedrine available only by prescription, many meth-makers are crossing the state line to make their purchases.
The bill’s Senate sponsor, Bill Haine, says he understands many law-abiding citizens don’t like the restrictions, but he says they are necessary, “We’re explaining to the citizens that we’re balancing the common good of society with their own need for this legitimate drug.”
The program restricts consumers from buying more than two packages of pseudoephedrine products at a time or products with more than 7,500 milligrams of pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period. Customers also must show photo identification and sign a purchasing log.
The system has blocked the sale of more than 70,000 boxes of pseudoephedrine-based cold medication statewide, including 1,361 boxes in St. Clair County.
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