Senator Tom Harkin says negotiations continue on federal legislation which would establish nationwide rules for the sale of cold and allergy medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, which is used to make the illegal drug meth. Iowa’s legislators passed a tough new state law that took effect in May. It placed most cold medicines behind the counter, and forces those who want to buy products with pseudoephedrine to show an I-D and sign a log book. Harkin says he doesn’t want a federal law that would weaken Iowa’s new rules, which helped reduce the number of meth lab busts in the state by 75 percent in the first month the law was in effect. But Harkin says there should be some nationwide standard.”Because since Illinois (law) is different than Iowa, people will just go right across the line and buy their pseudoephedrine,” Harkin says. “So we need something that covers the entire nation but it should, at a minimum, as strong as Iowa and not pre-empt Iowa law.”Harkin says if states want to be more restrictive than federal law, they should be allowed to do so.
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