Riverside County Meth Ordinance Would Not Require Logs of Cold Medicine Purchasers
Copies of a Riverside County ordinance provided to the media and the public mistakenly contained a provision that is not included in the version of the ordinance that was approved by the county Board of Supervisors, the Los Angeles Times reports.
The Times last week reported that supervisors on Tuesday had approved an ordinance that would have required consumers who buy cold medications with pseudoephedrine or related compounds used in the production of methamphetamine to provide their names, addresses, telephone numbers and drivers' license numbers.
County lawyers had removed that provision from the ordinance before supervisors voted on it because the county lacks legal authority to enforce such a requirement. Only the state can regulate drug sales, the lawyers said.
Copies of the ordinance that were provided to the public and the media before Tuesday's meeting contained the provision. In addition, the unrevised version of the ordinance remained posted on the county's Web site through Wednesday morning, the Times reports.
Adding to the confusion, Supervisor Jeff Stone, the ordinance's author, said after Tuesday's vote that under the approved measure customer information "would have to be kept by the establishment" in order for police to track customers who were buying large amounts of pseudoephedrine-containing medications. Stone said at the time, "It will allow us to track down those who are obviously buying for reasons other than illness."
On Wednesday, Stone said his Tuesday comments were "theoretical." Stone said he had been aware of the revisions to the ordinance when he voted on it. The other supervisors also said they knew of the revisions before voting.
As approved by the supervisors, the ordinance "would have no effect on shoppers or stores," the Times reports.
Under the ordinance, convicted meth producers would be required to pay for the cleanup of their meth labs. The ordinance also would establish a county reward fund for residents who provide information leading to the successful prosecution of meth producers (Rosenblatt/Ramos, Los Angles Times, 6/30).