A new law restricting the sale of cold medications containing a key ingredient in meth has led to a big decline in meth labs found in the state. So, state officials are now turning their attention to shutting off the flow of meth from outside the borders.
Republican state representative Clel Baudler of Greenfield says the state has done as much as it can with fines and penalties, and needs to modify its approach. He says it’s time to “think outside the box” and come up with a plan that will hopefully be as effective as what they’ve done to cut down on the meth labs in the state.
Baudler says increasing the penalties for meth use any more is not the answer, as there’s no guarantee the strongest penalties are always handed down. He says unless they tell the judges they “shall issue the fines” and “shall issue the jail time” then increased penalties won’t help. He says he doesn’t think the legislature wants to go with those mandatory sentences. He says he really believes there has to be a solution out there to convince people not to use illegal drugs.
Baudler, a former state trooper, says he’s not sure yet what that solution is. Baudler is the chair of the House Public Safety Committee, and his comments came after hearing testimony from Ken Carter, the director of the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement.
Carter says the number of meth labs in Iowa has dropped 80-percent since the new meth law went into force. He says this has freed up a major amount of manpower to work on major drug trafficking organizations. Carter says the Illinois Attorney General has been so impressed with Iowa’s law, and that she wants to copy it.
He says that’ll also impact Iowa. He says she is making a strong attempt to get a pseudoephedrine law passed that almost mirrors Iowa. He says that would send the meth lab count way down for the counties that border Illinois. Carter says meth has nearly dried up in Iowa and is being replaced by “ICE”, which is meth in a crystallized form.