Meth bill will be close in the House, says Shipley

Legislation to curb meth production by limiting how much pseudoephedrine allergy sufferers can buy without a prescription is in danger like “a child playing on an interstate,” says Rep. Tony Shipley.

Not only will the scheduled vote on the House floor Wednesday be close, said the Criminal Justice Committee Chairman, but if there is any attempt to stray from a committee’s preferred purchasing limits, the bill will come to a swift demise, he said.

“If there’s any deviation from the perception of a gentlemen’s agreement on the volume, I suspect that it will start losing votes in the House and they run the risk of the entire bill. My recommendation is leave the bill alone as amended and the bill will pass without too much trouble,” he said, adding the margins will still be close on the bill as is. 

The House version limits buyers to about five months worth of the drug in 2.88g boxes each year. The Senate version caps consumers off at six 2.4g boxes per year, about two and a half months worth.

Senate members tend to prefer the lower monthly and yearly limits suggested by the governor’s office. To win support to advance the bill out of key House committees, the administration agreed to the higher limits. Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, who is carrying the bill for the governor, has said the Senate wants more buying restrictions than the House wants, although Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey suggested his chamber may have to compromise to get some restrictions passed.