FDLE database tracks meth-ingredient purchases

Today, Historic City News learned that Governor Charlie Crist signed legislation that makes it more difficult for individuals to buy over-the-counter medicines used to make methamphetamine.

Crist ceremonially signed the legislation while addressing the Florida Sheriffs Association members in Fort Lauderdale.

The law establishes a database that enables the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to monitor the sale of the medicines and block purchases that exceed the maximum legal amount. Currently, there is no effective and efficient way to track the sale of the products, enabling individuals to exceed the legal limits by buying the maximum amount at multiple pharmacies.

“Meth destroys lives, families and communities, and we must aggressively fight this dangerous drug,” said Governor Crist. “It not only endangers those who use it, but also innocent children and law enforcement officers who come in contact with the labs where it is made. This law will hinder those who seek to make this devastating drug, and therefore, make Florida safer for all.”

Methamphetamine is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant often created in dangerous home laboratories using chemicals such as ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, which are found in over-the-counter cold remedies. Since 2005, state law has required these products to be kept behind store counters, and limited sales to nine grams or three packages. In 2006, the federal Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act was implemented and became the dominant standard in Florida.

The law became effective July 1, 2010. It requires the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to have a database in operation by January 1, 2011. At that time, each pharmacy will be required to use a real-time electronic logbook that will include the buyer’s identification and information about the ephedrine or related compounds purchased.

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