Neither the Bush administration nor congressional proposals go as far as Oregon in fighting the meth epidemic.
Oregon's anti-methamphetamine legislation has drawn national attention for a single provision: It has the first-in-the-nation requirement for people to obtain prescriptions for medications containing pseudoephedrine.
The prescription requirement is not yet in effect. The legislation gives the Board of Pharmacy until July 1 to implement it. Advocates say the requirement will do little to curb drugs supplied by Mexican cartels, but they say it would reduce the social and environmental problems caused by the homegrown labs that account for up to one-third of the supply.
Pending federal legislation proposes to pre-empt states by requiring only that such medications be kept behind the counter, as is the case now in Oregon and about two dozen states.
But the Oregon Senate Judiciary Committee removed that pre-emption, a move that would allow states such as Oregon to pass stricter laws. The Senate has not acted on the bills.
While I agree that there is a problem, I do not agree that the method that Oregon is taking is a solution. As prohibition has proven in the past, just by outlawing it to the general public only creates more organized crime.