Rep. Smaltz: House advances legislation to crack down on meth cooks

Posted by: Zach Weismiller  | Wednesday, February 3, 2016

INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 3, 2016) — Members of the House of Representatives voted today in support of State Rep. Ben Smaltz’s (R-Auburn) bill to combat the growing number of meth labs in Indiana.

Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient used in the production of meth and often found in a small number of cold, flu and allergy medications. If enacted, House Bill 1390 would allow Hoosiers, who have a relationship on record with a pharmacy, to continue to obtain pseudoephedrine of their choosing without a prescription. If a purchaser does not have a relationship on record, the bill would give pharmacists the option to sell them tamper-resistant products or a small package of 24-count 30mg regular pseudoephedrine. If the purchaser still refuses and demands regular pseudoephedrine, the bill would require them to obtain a prescription.

“My proposal is designed to protect law-abiding Hoosiers. It would not enact a full prescription requirement on pseudoephedrine in Indiana or add pseudoephedrine to the list of controlled substances,” Smaltz said. “The common consumer who needs to purchase pseudoephedrine in order to fight their symptoms will still be able to. This bill would work to curb meth production by restricting access to pseudoephedrine for meth cooks, and hindering the practice of smurfing which is when individuals purchase large quantities of these products for illegal purposes.”

Smaltz said tamper-resistant pseudoephedrine works the exact same as regular pseudoephedrine. Most importantly, he said these products negatively impact the production of meth by limiting the extraction of pseudoephedrine, and are widely available to Hoosiers at a similar price.

Smaltz’s bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration.

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State Rep. Ben Smaltz (R-Auburn) serves as the Chairman of the Commerce, Small Business and Economic Development Committee. He also serves on the Public Policy Committee, Roads and Transportation Committee and the Committee on Joint Rules.  Rep. Smaltz represents all of DeKalb County and portions of Steuben and Allen counties.

NOTE TO THE EDITOR: Click here to download a high-definition, on camera interview with Rep. Smaltz regarding HB 1390.