National Precursor Log ExchangePublished 6:31pm Thursday, February 9, 2012
Laws limiting the amount of pseudoephedrine products an individual could purchase were initially successful in lowering or stopping meth labs. But last year, in spite of these tougher laws and efforts of law enforcement, meth labs across the state reached record numbers. In North Carolina alone there were 344 meth lab busts and Polk county authorities discovered six lab sites in the last six months. Prior to that Polk County hadn’t had a meth lab bust in over four years.
The change began when meth cooks started using multiple people to make purchases and crossing county and state lines to avoid detection. They also started making smaller batches of meth at a time in what is know as “shake-and-bake” or the one pot-method.
The one-pot method, such as was discovered in Polk County last month, is cooked in a 2-liter bottle, and requires just a couple of grams of pseudoephedrine. It’s fast, easy to set up and doesn’t leave a lot of evidence. It can even be made in vehicles and moved from place to place, further making it difficult to locate. What will they think of next?
But beware criminals there is a new law, which will enable the tracking of purchases of products containing pseudoephedrine across county and multiple state lines. Pharmacies are required to use an electronic tracking system to log all purchases. The new computerized system, the National Precursor Log Exchange, makes it harder for meth cooks to shop at multiple stores and cross county and state lines. The system links with 18 states across the country, including South Carolina and Tennessee and is designed to notify the pharmacy and stop the sale before it happens.
Drugs and meth have had a terrible impact on our communities. The new law will require more time for both the customer and the pharmacy employee who must check your ID and enter your information into the system.
A little patience on our part is a small price to pay to help law enforcement stop this terrible scourge.