Georgia lawmakers consider barring minors from buying some cough medicines

A bill that would require customers to prove they are at least 18 before purchasing some over-the-counter cough suppressants - like Vick’s or NyQuil - passed a Senate Committee on Wednesday. 

Senate Bill 272, proposed by Sen. Randy Robertson, R - Cataula, specifically targets the active ingredient dextromethorphan, more commonly known as DM.

Many stores already require customers to show identification proving that they are an adult before purchasing cough medicine containing DM. 

While DM is considered safe for adults in small quantities, Robertson said minors sometimes use larger amounts of it to get intoxicated. 

“We’ve had some concerns about this for quite a while,” said Robertson, a former sheriff’s deputy.  “In 2008, a study showed one in 10 American teenagers abused DM to get high, making It more popular than cocaine and Ecstasy.”

The bill offers relatively little in the way of penalties.

The bill would make it illegal for minors to buy any product containing dextromethorphan. Minors would be warned for a first offense, and fined a maximum of $150 for any subsequent violations. 

It would also be illegal to sell any medicine containing the drug to a minor knowingly, and the punishment would carry a warning for the first offense, and a maximum fine of $100 for subsequent offenses. 

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