The state's two biggest newspapers are in agreement: pseudoephedrine should be available by prescription only in order to curb methamphetamine production. The Courier-Journal offered its opinion in an editorial today: "Meth remains a scourge in Kentucky. It is not going to go away soon and without strong action its deadly, family-shattering impact will not diminish."
The position represents an about-face for the paper in Louisville, where the editorial board previously felt "such a restriction would create unnecessary burdens and expenses for legitimate users of pseudoephedrine."
However, with the meth problem not going away — there were a record 1,080 labs discovered in 2010 — the newspaper has changed its position, though acknowledged prescription-only will create some problems of its own: "'Pill mills' will likely dispense pseudoephedrine, just as they now illegally and unethically flood the market with pain medication, and police will have to crack down on such sales."
In December, the Lexington Herald-Leader offered its position, backing a prescription-only pills bill by Rep. Linda Belcher, D-Shepherdsville. "Methamphetamine would be a scourge if it hurt only those who ingested it. But the harm is far more widespread than that," it reads. "Highly mobile and as compact as a large soft-drink bottle, the meth-making process creates a risk of toxic exposure, respiratory injury and fire to all who come close."
The Courier-Journal backs Senate Bill 50, sponsored by Sen. Tom Jensen, R-London, and Sen. Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, which is similar to Belcher's bill. It narrowly cleared the Senate Judiciary Committee last week, but opposition to it "has hardened" in the Senate, the editorial reads. (Read more)