Saturday, March 11, 2006

Patriot Act Rider - Severely Restrict Sales of Ephedrine HCl

A little known about rider was attached to the recent signing of the Patriot Act renewal called the The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005. This new bill severly restricts the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine hcl. Since the herbal version of ephedra has been banned, many bodybuilders have turned to pure ephedrine hcl as their alternative of choice for thermogenics. This new law will make it even harder for individuals to purchase this compound and limit the amounts that can be purchased at a time, as well as requiring ID to buy it. This new legislation is intended to stop the creation of methamphetamine (crank, speed, ice, etc) which can be easily made out of cold medicine and other chemicals. However, because many state laws have already cracked down on the sale of these drugs, putting them behind the counter and limiting the sales of them, a federal law for this is hardly necessary.

The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005

This legislation [Note: opens as a PDF file. Adobe Acrobat required] is part of a bill to amend the PATRIOT Act. As of February 2006, it is pending a vote in the Senate where the anti-terror bill had undergone a highly contested debate over its renewal. Backed by the bipartisan Congressional Meth Caucus, the Combat Meth Act would:

  • Nationalize restrictions on retail sales by requiring ephedrine and pseudoephedrine products to be kept behind the counter or in a locked case; require purchasers to buy no more than 3.6 grams a day and 9 grams a month, show I.D. and sign a sales log, and require employees handling the products to be properly trained
  • Toughen penalties against meth kingpins and smugglers and also meth cooks who endanger children or use federal property
  • Step up the government's authority to monitor the flow of precursor chemicals from foreign manufacturers, including withholding aid to countries who are not fully cooperating with U.S. law enforcement
  • Hold precursor chemical importers and exporters accountable if their product is diverted for illicit use
  • Increase funding for assistance programs such as drug courts and those helping mothers or drug-endangered children
  • Impose on manufacturers quotas for production and import of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine
  • Pledge support to Mexico in its efforts to curb methamphetamine production

Although many people use ephedrine as a workout aid, many more use it to relieve sinuses and allergy symptoms - making it even more difficult to get the treatment their require, especially if they are lacking in health insurance, which many Americans are.

Ephedrine, which has been replaced more and more by pseudoephedrine in over the counter cold remedies, is now being being practically removed completely. Consumers are now forced to purchase medicine that contains the understudied ingredient phenylephrine, which works as a non stimulant decongestant.

Ephedrine can still be purchased in the form of VasoPro, combined with guaifenesin or in pure form from D&E (drivers license required). After the legislation takes effect, ephedrine will probably start showing up on the underground at much higher cost.

FRONTLINE: the meth epidemic: the u.s. national strategy | PBS


robinthomson said...

Thank you for posting this news here about ephedrine.

Robin Thomson said...

Thanks for this important post. You have posted a very helpful information about the pure ephedrine

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