The Manchester Enterprise: Community News

Meds-for-meth bill moves


In the face of a strong lobbying effort by makers of over-the-counter cold medicines, a state Senate committee narrowly approved a bill last Thursday (February 16) that would require a prescription for most products containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient used to make methamphetamine.

Senate Bill 50, approved 6-5 by the Judiciary Committee, is sponsored by Senate Majority Floor Leader Robert Stivers, R-Manchester,left, but he said he isn't sure of its chances in the full Senate, reports Jack Brammer of theLexington Herald-Leader. A similar bill got out of committee last year but never came to a vote on the Senate floor because it lacked the votes to pass. This year's bill would not apply to gelcaps, which are more difficult to use in meth making.

The Kentucky State Police recorded about 1,200 meth labs last year, and former meth addict Melanda Adams, from Clay County, told the committee she believed the bill would "cut the burgeoning number of dangerous home-made meth labs in the state." The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a non-profit that represents the over-the-counter medicine industry, argues that requiring a prescription would "create a hardship for legitimate consumers," reports Jessie Halladay of The Courier-Journal.

Only Oregon and Mississippi have passed such laws, so Kentucky has become a firewall for the drug makers' lobby, which has bought many radio commercials urging people to contact senators in opposition to the bill, contending it would "punish Kentucky families" and pushing an alternative measure that would bar people convicted of meth making from buying the medicines. Opponents of that bill say meth makers would continue to use surrogates to buy the medicines for them. Sen. Ray Jones, D-Pikeville, who voted for SB 50, called the radio ads "scare tactics."

As of Feb. 3, the group had spent more than $72,000 running ads on Louisville and Lexington radio stations owned by Clear Channel Communications Inc., the nation's largest radio operator, according to public-inspection files at those stations. In 2011, CHPA paid the Kentucky Association of Radio and Television more than $93,000 to run ads, according to public-inspection files from Cummulus Broadcasting, another major owner of stations in Kentucky.

The drug makers' ads have been running uncontested for two months, but this week a group headed by Knox and Laurel County's Commonwealth's Attorney Jackie Steele, Real Facts About Meth, offered a counter ad, describing the impact of meth on communities. The group does not appear to be well funded; its website solicits contributions.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:21

 

William Hugh Bishop dies

Clay County Republican Election Commissioner William Hugh Bishop died Monday.  Funeral arrangements were not available at press time.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 22 February 2012 13:20

 

Drugs claiming large numbers of county residents

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Over half of the Clay County coroner death cases in 2011 were drug or alcohol-related, County Coroner Danny Finley told the fiscal court last Thursday.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:31

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Amazing Race begins Sunday, Manchester duo to compete

Manchester’s television stars, Mark Jackson and William “Bopper” Minton, will make their national debut this Sunday when Amazing Race kicks off its 20th season on CBS at 8 p. m.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:29

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Schools might get out in early May

Clay County Schools could let out as early as May 10, if weather or illness does not take a hand.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 15 February 2012 13:28

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