Georgia House backs bill targeting meth production

The Georgia House backed an effort Tuesday to help enforce limits on the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine, a common ingredient in some allergy and cold medications that is also used to make methamphetamine.

House Bill 588 would provide supermarket and independent pharmacies with an electronic system to track purchases of products containing pseudoephedrine. State Rep. Valerie Clark, R-Lawrenceville, the bill's sponsor, has said 32 states already use similar systems, including all those surrounding Georgia.

The system would record a buyer’s information and enforce the purchasing limit of the substance, which in Georgia is currently 9 grams a month. The system would generate an alert if a purchase exceeds a buyer’s legal limit.

Under the bill, manufacturers of medications containing pseudoephedrine would pay for the system and offer its use free of charge to the state, pharmacies and law enforcement agencies.

HB 588 passed on a 151-19 vote and now goes to the state Senate for consideration.