Beshear may need to support meds-for-meth bill for it to pass, Conway says

Passage of a “meds-for-meth” bill next year could depend on how a re-elected Gov. Steve Beshear feels about the issue, on which he has not taken a position, Attorney General Jack Conway told Ryan Alessi on CN|2‘s “Pure Politics.”

Conway is a supporter of such a bill, which would make pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in the manufacture of methamphetamine, available only by prescription. Alessi noted that the Democratic governor has remained ambivalent about the issue and asked the Democratic attorney general, “Does the governor need to come out in order to get something like that passed?”
“This is an issue … that just grabbed me, right here.”

Conway replied, “He may need to. He may need to, and I know he’s studying the issue.” Bringing his hand to his chest, Conway continued, “This is an issue, Ryan, that just grabbed me, right here,” adding that he had been wrongly blamed during his U.S. Senate race last year for an increase in meth labs during his term.”We have seen an explosion of meth labs in this state for two reasons,” he said. “One, it’s still very easy to get your hands on pseudoephedrine, and . . . you now can do it in a mobile fashion … called a shake-and-bake lab.” He said U.S. Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Somerset, begged him to support the bill partly because investigators for the UNITE anti-drug program Rogers started are having to shift from prescription drugs to meth.

Conway said he would be open to changing his position if drug companies and other opponents of the bill can come up with a way to control “smurfing,” the use of surrogates to circumvent the electronic system that tracks pseudoephedrine purchases but is not even used by most pharmacies.

His Republican opponent, Hopkins County Attorney Todd P’Pool, opposes the bill and says meth manufacture should be controlled by tightening “the law to bar convicted drug dealers from being able to buy cold medicine with pseudoephedrine and cracking down on the amount someone can buy per month,” Alessi reports. (Read more, view interview with Conway)

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