A new Mississippi law has added ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, ingredients used to make methamphetamine, to the state’s list of Schedule III controlled substances. Many common decongestants and cold medicines, including Sudafed and Contac Cold, contain pseudoephedrine. As of July 1, 2010, these medicines will no longer be available over the counter and patients will need a doctor’s prescription to buy them.
Mississippi law enforcement agencies had been pushing for medicine containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine to be monitored in an effort to reduce the production of crystal meth. Oregon, the only other state that has passed a similar law, has reportedly seen a significant reduction in meth production in that state. I recently met with a potential client who was a former meth addict. He was well aware of the new drug law and indicated that present meth users believed the law would severely affect the production of meth in Mississippi.
So what will happen if you violate this new law? Possession of products containing over 24 grams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine carries an assumption that the medicine is not for your own personal use but for the creation of meth. A conviction for possession is a felony with a fine of up to $5,000 and prison sentence of up to 5 years. The production of substances containing any amount of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine is a felony and can result in a prison sentence of up to 30 years and a fine of at least $5,000.