Meth Mess

Oklahoma City, OK – Police, drug lobby clash over Oklahoma meth bill

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) Oklahoma authorities have been at the forefront of the nation's battle against methamphetamine, but they will soon have a tough new opponent: a politically connected, well-heeled pharmaceutical industry.

At issue is a proposal to require a prescription for certain cold and allergy tablets containing pseudoephedrine. Police and prosecutors say the measure is essential for curbing an out-of-control meth trade. Drug companies and their lobbyists are eager to keep pills such as Claritin-D and Advil Cold and Sinus on store shelves.

The brewing legislative fight poses some tricky politics for lawmakers in this conservative state, squeezing them between big business' opposition to increased regulation and law enforcement's urgent pleas to curb the meth trade.

Similar bills are under consideration in California, Alabama and Maine.