Methamphetamine is bad. Very bad. That pretty much goes without saying.

And pseudoephedrine is an ingredient in one way to make methamphetamine, which makes easy access to pseudoephedrine bad, too.

But pseudoephedrine used correctly can be an effective ingredient in cold and allergy medication that works best for some people.

The Oregon Legislature “fixed” the problem in 2005 by banning over-the-counter sales of products with pseudoephedrine. That and other changes helped cut down on use and production of methamphetamine.

Oregon’s law helped fix one problem. Getting people effective relief to cold and allergy symptoms is a problem, too. The right medication makes a big difference in whether people can get on with their day productively or might be better off in bed.

The Oregon law didn’t prevent people from getting legal access to medication with pseudoephedrine. It does mean it requires the additional expense and hassle of a doctor’s prescription.

Rep. Bill Post, R-Keizer, has tried multiple times to create more flexibility in Oregon’s law. He failed again, this year. It’s a shame.

Post’s House Bill 2303 would have put the drugs behind the counter and tracked their sale with the National Precursor Log Exchange. More than half the states in the country use it and it allows purchases of drugs with pseudoephedrine to be tracked and linked directly to an individual.

That solution raised alarm bells with privacy advocates, such as the American Civil Liberties Union. Oregon’s ACLU testified against the bill because law enforcement have access to that patient database without a warrant.

That basically killed that version of the bill. A legislative alternative was to use Oregon’s existing drug tracking system, called the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and put limits on the grams of the ingredient sold. Then that had problems, as reported by Salem’s Statesman Journal. Oregon’s system doesn’t allow tracking in real time and doesn’t allow any tracking of grams sold by individual. HB 2303 collapsed and is apparently dead for this session.

Post should not give up and should come back again next year with something that will pass.

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