Speak Out!

April 09, 2006

LAST WEEK'S ISSUE: -- Police recently announced that three young adults from Indiana drove to Maryland for a pseudoephedrine shopping spree. The three purchased 103 boxes of cold and allergy pills, and told police that they intended to resell the medications at a profit to dealers in their home state who cook methamphetamine.

Pseudoephedrine is an ingredient needed to create meth, a highly addictive drug. Police released the three after consulting with the state's attorney's office and learning that no laws had been broken.

A new federal law preventing bulk purchases of cold medications goes into effect this week -- too late to charge the three suspects. Local police and prosecutors said they want a state law so cases like this could be pursued without involving federal agents.

Do you think the state needs its own law limiting the amount of cold and allergy medications that can be bought?

Reducing demand for meth is a more-effective strategy

I do not think that Maryland needs its own law limiting the amount of cold and allergy medications that can be bought because such laws have been proven unsuccessful at reducing methamphetamine use and availability.

In states where precursor laws such as the new federal law have been passed, there has been a decrease in small "bath tub" methamphetamine labs, but no change in the use and demand for the drug. Large producers have simply resorted to bulk Internet sources, and purer methamphetamine from Mexico has filled the gap.

Why waste local money and law enforcement time duplicating a federal law that is ineffective at reducing methamphetamine use? Local law enforcement should focus resources on the demand side. Reduce the number of users by educating adults and teens before they try methamphetamine and become addicted.

Amber Davis Reno, Nev.

We want your opinions

ISSUE:

The state is threatening to evict several nonprofits, including a regional food bank, drug treatment center and nursing home, in a dispute with Anne Arundel County over the disposition of the shuttered Crownsville state psychiatric hospital site.

Van T. Mitchell, deputy secretary for the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, told Anne Arundel County Executive Janet S. Owens in a letter that the impasse over which party will pay an estimated $25 million for environmental cleanup may force the state to kick out the community organizations next year.

The county says it cannot afford to take over the 600-plus acre campus and that the cleanup is the state's responsibility.

YOUR VIEW:

Should the state kick out the nonprofits from the Crownsville hospital site? And whose responsibility is the environmental cleanup?

Tell us what you think at arundel.speakout@baltsun.com by Thursday. Please keep your responses short, and include your name, address and phone number. A selection will be published next Sunday.

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