Limits backed on cold remedy

O'Malley supports anti-meth move

April 08, 2006|By JOHN FRITZE

Mayor Martin O'Malley will announce his support today for a law to limit the sales of cold medication used in methamphetamine production, his gubernatorial campaign said yesterday.

At a speech at the Western Maryland Democratic Summit in Allegany County today, O'Malley will unveil a seven-point plan to deal with the drug, which appears to be increasingly prevalent in the state.

"As too many rural, and increasingly suburban and urban, communities know, the production of methamphetamine is an emerging threat to our families and our state," O'Malley said in a statement.

The campaign's announcement comes after an article published in The Sun yesterday showed that state police discovered nine meth labs in 2005 - the most found by authorities in a single year.

Maryland's law is weaker than those in other states. Three young people were arrested in Anne Arundel County for purchasing more than 100 boxes of pseudoephedrine-based cold medication with the intent to resell it in Indiana - but prosecutors determined the three broke no state laws.

Campaign officials with Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., who is expected to seek re-election, and Montgomery County Executive Douglas M. Duncan, who is vying for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, could not be reached for comment.

In addition to backing a limit on the amount of sales, as other states have done, O'Malley will propose a system to encourage pharmacists to move certain cold medicines behind the counter and to allow police to analyze data that could identify spikes in sales.

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