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Panel OKs bill to address meth by tracking cold meds

PIERRE (AP) — South Dakota law enforcement might soon have a new tool to fight the production of methamphetamine.

Faced with a growing problem as producers learn easier ways to make the illegal stimulant, the state’s attorney general wants South Dakota to keep electronic records of the buyers of certain cold medicines that contain a key ingredient in meth.

“We’re doing well in the war on drugs with the exception of methamphetamine, which is why I’m sitting before you today,” Attorney General Marty Jackley said Tuesday.

The House Health and Human Services Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to support the measure.

South Dakota law currently limits the sale of products that contain pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, which can be used to make meth. The bill introduced by Jackley would add products with phenylpropanolamine to the restricted list.

There already is a limit to the amount of cold medicine a person can buy in the state. The electronic database would alert vendors when to stop a sale because the customer already reached the monthly quota.