CARSON CITY — A bill intended to make it harder to buy ingredients to make crystal meth won’t advance in the Legislature.
Senate Bill 203, by Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, would have made some cold medicines used to make crystal meth sold by prescription only. It was opposed by drug companies and retailers.
Leslie said she pulled the bill because it lacked the votes to pass the Senate.
She blamed drug company and retail lobbying in opposition to the bill, which she said threatened to cut into the money legal drug makers earn from sales to crystal meth producers.
“They have thrown up a lot of diversionary tactics to protect their black market sales,” Leslie said.
The bill would have required customers to have a prescription to buy cold medicines containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine. Medicines with those ingredients are already sold only in limited quantities, and buyers must sign a registry.
Leslie said the prescription requirements would reduce “smurfing,” the practice of buying the maximum amount at different pharmacies under assumed names.
Bryan Wachter, a lobbyist for the Retail Association of Nevada, said only 2 percent of the products in question end up in the black market. Most “are going to law abiding citizens who we think shouldn’t be presumed guilty when they have allergies or a cold.”
Wachter said the bill would have increased the cost of the medication from $12 over the counter to about $110.