Store clerks and pharmacists who sell pseudoephedrine to meth makers would face criminal penalties under legislation proposed at the statehouse. An electronic registry of such sales is about be launched to prevent people from going from store to store to exceed limits on pseudoephedrine purchases.
Representative Clel Baudler, a Republican from Greenfield, says his bill would make it a misdemeanor for those clerks who fail to check the registry. “We want to close that loophole so a clerk or a pharmacy will actually put in that registry and check it,” Baudler said. The act of pharmacy hopping is known as “smurfing.” Baudler is a former state trooper known for being tough on crime. He says limits on pseudoephedrine sales took a toll on meth labs.
“It shut down meth production by around 90%,” Baudler said. “They have got around that by smurfing and now, with the continued effort to stop sales, (the electronic registry) will help in shutting down the remaining labs.”
Baudler’s bill carries a misdemeanor penalty punishable with a $100 fine on first offense. The fine would increase to $500 on a third offense.