ALBANY, N.Y.—The State Senate today passed legislation sponsored by Senator David J. Valesky (D-Oneida) to combat the growing methamphetamine production problem in New York State.
“The City of Oneida Police brought to my attention that meth producers were skirting the purchase limits in pharmacies and drugstores, and asked if there was a legislative solution,” Senator Valesky said. “This is intended to make it difficult for would-be producers to find the ingredients needed to make meth, and therefore decrease production of the drug itself."
Methamphetamine production has become a serious law enforcement and public health issue in New York State, especially in rural counties.
Recently, federal authorities worked with local and state law enforcement in Central New York to charge 16 people with illegally purchasing cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine. Investigators were able to track the purchases by combing through paper log books. Senator Valesky’s legislation would eliminate this time consuming process by preventing the purchases and identifying those attempting to purchase illegal amounts in real time.
Specifically, the legislation (S.6866) addresses illegal purchases of an ingredient used to make methamphetamine commonly found in over-the-counter medication—pseudoephedrine. While there is currently a limit on individual purchases, those purchases are tracked by each individual pharmacy in a paper log book, and not able to be tracked in real time, enabling would-be producers to purchase a legal limit at several different stores without being traced.
Senator Valesky’s legislation requires a retailer, before completing a sale, to electronically submit the required information to the National Precursor Log Exchange
(NPLEx) administered by the National Association of Drug Diversion Investigators, at no cost to the retailer. If a buyer is determined to violate the quantity limit, a stop sale alert will be generated, and the retailer should not complete the sale. Retailers that knowingly ignore the stop sale alert can be subject to a civil fine of between $250 and $100,000.
The legislation also requires buyers to show photo ID and sign a log book.