“With 326 meth labs found in Tulsa so far this year, the city has already set a record, police said Monday.
Tulsa County District Attorney Tim Harris told a legislative panel Monday that he expects the figure to rise to 450 or more by the end of the year.
In all of 2010, Tulsa police worked 323 meth labs, setting the previous record. In 2009, 315 labs were reported.
The legislative panel Harris addressed Monday is studying whether a prescription should be required for the pill form of pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in cold and allergy medicines and in the production of methamphetamine.
Darrell Weaver, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, said that last year the entire state had 818 meth labs, rising from 148 in 2007.
“The bottom line is we are seeing an escalation of meth labs,” Weaver said. Harris and Weaver urged lawmakers to require those seeking the medicine to obtain a prescription to make it more difficult for meth makers to obtain it.
“I can’t prosecute my way out of this hole,” Harris said. Before 1976, a prescription was required, and “it is time to put the genie back in the bottle,” he said.
Harris said dealing with meth labs is draining the resources of his office and those of law enforcement agencies.
He said it is driving up costs for health care, law enforcement, lab cleanup, property damage and incarceration.
He said manufacturers oppose requiring a prescription for the tablet form of the drug because it would cut into their profits.
The proposal would apply to 17 products — not liquid or gel forms, Weaver said.
Some 117 other products have the same effect without the potential for being used in the manufacturing of meth, Weaver said.
The flow of large amounts of methamphetamine into Tulsa won’t be affected by legislation that is being debated now in Oklahoma City, but the legislation would affect the growing problem meth labs present in the city, police said Monday.
More meth labs have been reported to the Tulsa Police Department already this year than in all of 2010, breaking the record set that year, police said Monday.”
I guess I’ve made my feelings clear on this but I still can’t fathom why prescription-only pseudoephedrine isn’t already a reality. No one is barred from pseudoephedrine fullstop and you can still get gel capsules over the counter.