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For Immediate Release: March 10, 2010

McDaniel's Meth Database Bill Passes

The Alabama Senate approved House Bill 528 yesterday which will create an electronic database to track sales of pseudoephedrine products.  The bill was sponsored by Representative Frank McDaniel, who passed the original law in 2005 to regulate the sales of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine and put the products behind the counter in pharmacies and other retail outlets. Those products are key ingredients used in making meth and the law made it much harder for meth cooks to obtain sufficient quantities, causing a marked decrease in the number of meth labs for a time.

Over the last year or so, however, law enforcement has noted that meth cooks have been going from store to store and from county to county to obtain larger quantities of the pseudoephedrine products. In follow up, Rep. McDaniel said he began looking for a way to impact the problem.  “I noticed in the National Conference of State Legislature’s summer schedule that a company was participating in the conference who was developing software to track the sales, so I went to check it out.”  McDaniel said he was interested to learn that the technology would be available by late fall and would be available at no cost to the state or to retailers. He contacted the company rep and set a schedule for a meeting to begin work on legislation.

“I appreciate Senator Barron for carrying the bill in the Senate,  Steve Marshall, our District Attorney in Marshall County, the Alabama District Attorney’s Association, the Alabama Pharmacy Association, the Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center (ACJIS), and everyone who came to the table to work out the details of this legislation,” McDaniel said. “This will give law enforcement a strong tool to more effectively fight these dangerous meth labs which are destroying families and causing numerous problems in our communities.”

Randy Hillsman with the District Attorney’s Association said he was grateful to Rep. McDaniel for his efforts. Speaking on behalf of DA’s across the state, “We will be there in the trenches with him as we continue to fight the meth problem with stronger laws and new technology,” he said.

Under the new law, retailers will enter the identifying information of each purchaser of over-the-counter, nonprescription sales of any ephedrine or pseudoephedrine products into an electronic database prior to the sale. The database then notifies the seller if the purchaser has exceeded the daily or monthly limit of the product. All law enforcement agencies would have access to the information in real-time, making it far more effective to gather the information and stop unlawful sales.

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