Over the Counter Regulations

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The war on drugs just got a litter tougher for people that want to make the drug known as crystal-meth, or methamphetamine.

A new state law that went in effect Friday will require pharmacies and retail stores to take some cold remedies off of store shelves and put them behind the counter. Law enforcement is applauding the new law.

As of July 1 you won't find Sudafed sitting out on store shelves. Local drugstores will be required to have any product with the active ingredient off of the shelf and behind the counter.

Florida joins a growing number of states that have passed legislation limiting the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine. It's a key ingredient in making illegal methamphetamine.

Under new regulations, you can only buy three packages, or nine base grams, at a time.

Tresha Bailey, a Wal-Mart pharmacist, says, "If someone wants to purchase a product pseudoephedrine, they have to come over to the shelf and get one of these cards. Before today you could just come to the shelf and purchase a product."

Wal-Mart pharmacist Tresha Bailey says their corporate office came up with the purchase cards because pseudoephedrine products are popular with shoplifters.

"We see them frequent, about every other day. They would come in to purchase or there would be theft of the product. Then they would go purchase the other products that are used to make crystal-methamphetamine."

Last year, the Holmes County Sheriff's Office busted 23 meth labs. They say it's good to know they're not alone in this fight.

Sgt. Chris Wells says, "We're glad to see that the stores are going to help us out and the Legislature is going to make sure of that. They seen the need for some change and they're making the change for us."

The new law also provides minimum mandatory sentencing for exposing children to the dangers of a meth lab and new penalties for injuring law enforcement officers that respond to meth labs.

Last year the Drug Enforcement Administration recorded over 15,000 meth lab and meth lab material seizures nationwide. Florida accounted for 277 of them.