posted by Josh Goodman
Here at Governing, we always take pleasure in pointing out when federal legislation mirrors laws already on the books in the states. Well, the congressional copycats are at it again with national restrictions on over-the-counter drugs that can be used to produce meth.
The new laws were a little-noted consequence of the Patriot Act compromise that President Bush struck with key senators a couple of weeks ago. Next month, Congress is almost certain to renew the Patriot Act, with the meth legislation attached. Here's how the Associated Press summarized the deal: "Stores would be required to keep medicines like Sudafed and Nyquil behind the counter, and consumers would be limited to 3.6 grams, or about 120 pills, per day, and 9 grams, or about 300 pills, per month. Purchasers would need to show a photo ID and sign a logbook."
The measure will also appropriate $100 million to train state and local law enforcement officials to catch meth offenders and, unlike some earlier versions, will not preempt tougher state laws.