CHARLESTON, W.Va. — He admits it’s only half a loaf of bread, but House Speaker Tim Miley (D-Harrison, 48) said the new House version of the bill addressing pseudoephedrine — a key ingredient in meth — does make some changes designed to reduce meth making in the Mountain State.

“I’ve learned, long ago when I entered political office, that half a loaf is, oftentimes, better than no loaf.  You rarely get the entire loaf that you want, so half a loaf is half a loaf or three-quarters a loaf, better than nothing,” said Miley on Wednesday’s MetroNews “Talkline.”

In this case, the half a loaf members of the House Judiciary Committee removed from SB 6 on Tuesday night is the requirement for prescriptions for medications containing pseudoephedrine.  The original bill allowed for tamper-resistant products to be available without prescriptions.

With the new version of the bill, only people convicted of drug crimes would be required to get those prescriptions for the medications containing pseudoephedrine.  For everyone else, there will be new limits on medication purchases.  Instead of the current 48 grams, purchases will be limited to 24 grams each year.

House Health Committee Chairman Don Perdue (D-Wayne, 19), a long-time supporter of the bill requiring prescriptions for everyone, said he’s disappointed.  He said those in the pharmaceutical industry, who opposed the prescription requirement, clearly won.

“They were able to get a message out that we could not rebut and, if legislators accept the fact that someone can do that, let me tell you something, it will happen again,” he said.

Perdue continued, “I was not surprised by the industry’s posture and the amount of money they spent to create a really negative scenario, but I was surprised by the depth and length that they applied that kind of media presence.”  He promised to continue to pursue the legislation.

A survey, commissioned by the West Virginia Intervention on Meth Labs Committee and released on Wednesday, showed overwhelming support for the stronger legislation when those questioned were told of its success in Oregon.

More than 53 percent of those questioned said they supported the prescription requirement in the poll from PMI, Inc. which involved 901 frequent West Virginia voters.

The reworked meth bill heads to the House floor with just a few days left in the 2014 Regular Legislative Session.

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  • Ronald Gillen

    It is my understanding that there is a limit on how much psudoephedrine may be purchased by one individual per month as well as per year. The monthly or 30 day limit is now 3.6 grams and the yearly limit is now 24 grams. 12 times 3.6 is 43.2 grams. The law states the 30 day limit is a "rolling" 30 days and not an actual month ... that being said, 12 times 30 is 360 with 5 days left unaccounted. As one can see, the stated monthly limit is not actually applicable over the course of a year. As well, 2.4 grams is only a 10 day supply. In that 2.4 grams times 10 is 24 grams, the legal limit a person may purchase in an entire year would cover only 100 days, leaving 260 days unaccounted for. It is true that a person would not likely need psudoephedrine 365 days a year. The federal law states that a person may purchase 3.6 grams in one day and that law for West Virginia has not changed so that a person may buy an entire monthly limit in West Virginia in one day. Federal law as well states that 9 grams per 30 days may be purchased by an individual. Not in West Virginia however, may a person buy more than 3.6 grams per 30 days. In order to get 3.6 grams however, a person must buy at least 30 pills and the largest count per box is 20 pills which is a 10 day supply. Meaning the next purchase must be in 10 days and can only be for ten pills or 1.2 grams since the 20 count purchase was 2.4 grams. West Virginia has limited its people in the name of law enforcement before the law is broken and in the name of protecting the people from their own decisions... Law enforcement is not to prevent law breakers but are to prosecute those who violate the law. Buying a legal product since the mid to late 70's and for a specific legal purpose should not get me put on the suspect list for two years and why should it? But it does. And would you too if you ever buy a product with psudoephedrine in it. An important item as well is the fact that the average person has no idea what the legal limit is or when or if what is going on with it ... do you? It is called proactive law enforcement and it takes your liberties away in the name of: We know better than you and you don't need the liberty of honesty because someone misused it and you might... probably are too. Is that what you are saying? That's what I hear ... Government telling the people what, when and where they can be trusted. Does that sound right to you???

  • WhgFeeling

    Overwhelming support? 53% is not overwhelming.

    I am not with any pharma company and have absolutely no affiliation with such but I believe it is a big victory.

  • Aaron

    For what it's worth, I've done some research, which I detailed in a comment that is under moderation. I linked one bust in Mississippi of $250K of "ice"

  • Aaron

    "The fact OR reported 11 in 2012 and MS 5 and 8 respectively"

    Those same numbers report WV at 59 but the WV State Police reported 532. The WVSP dispute the DEA numbers.

  • Aaron

    After our conversation a few weeks back, I looked deeper into the discrepancies of seizure reports and this is what I've found.

    In the last week, I've talked to 3 reporters, the West Virginia state police, a spokesman for the Mississippi State police, the Missouri state police, a representative for those in MIssouri who support the prescription requirement and an individual with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. I've tried the El Paso Intelligence Center and the DEAm, neither of which have responded to my inquiries.

    What I've found is there is no uniform reporting. The guy in Missouri likened it to a telemarketer calling every Tom, Dick and Harry in the country and writing down what they said.

    Regarding Mississippi, while the spokesman wouldn't give me a definitive number on Meth lab bust, they did dispute the EPIC numbers. She also cited numerous bust including the one below that demonstrate Meth is still a serious problem in Mississippi. When I ask if the prescription requirement was working, she said the data was "inclusive."

    I think there is more hope in tamper proof products like Tarex which do much the same thing that Oxycontin producers did in 2010 in that they change the composition of the drug so that if extraction is attempted, it "gums" the produce up, making it less viable for illicit use.

    Take it for what it's worth, it doesn't matter to me but that is the information I've come across.

  • The bookman

    The number $250 million is credible. It's not statistical, and not without baggage. I would give the same weight to Barbour's comments. They may be accurate, but naive I am not. He is a paid lobbyist, and an exceptional politician.

    My question to the gentleman was to elicit his view of the study, if he disputed the number, and if there was a comfort level with any number regarding personal and public cost. It isn't reasonable to reject a statement on its face simply because the messenger may be of questionable character or motive. Investigators frequently have to accept information from individuals whose trustworthiness is questionable. You have to accept the information for what it is, and weight it accordingly. I felt from his comment he rejected even considering the study based on the funding source. As I recall he never replied.

    And as for the number 8. I don't believe that there have only been 8 seizures in MS in 2013. No conspiracy. Just don't think that is THE number. Way too low given the comments from law enforcement in some regions of the state that Meth is still a problem. Do they consider a 20 oz bottle in a backpack a lab? Who knows? Sometimes yes, sometimes no.

    As always, good debate with you, and I can't wait for an up or down on this to get this behind us for a while. In fact, I look forward to some national stories as I am getting my fill of state politics this session. GooooEeeers, Beat OU!

  • Jason412

    Yes. Are you suggesting Mississippi and Oregon are engaged in some kind of conspiracy to push their legislation on the nation one state at a time? The fact OR reported 11 in 2012 and MS 5 and 8 respectively, when both had numbers in the several hundreds previously. What do you think? The police stopped looking for labs in both states simultaneously? Both states are juking the stats hard enough to drop them by the hundreds, without anyone noticing? All this despite the DEA having to be involved in the clean up in every lab in every state? Where are the citizens when these hundreds of labs get busted in their neighborhoods then covered up?

    I'm not sure what you're getting at. Maybe if it was a single stare reporting such low numbers I could see the connection you're trying to make.

    In regards to the former Governor it's worth noting his opinion on WV didn't come unsolicited, it was requested. That doesn't mean he didn't have an agenda, but can you tell me what group is funding the anti-PSE campaign? Last time I turned on the radio all I heard was "Stop Meth not meds" commercials and from my reading the one statement all politicians say after their van's failing in the Legislature is they didn't have the money to reach out to the public in a CHPA fashion.

    As far as the study you did reply to someone with something like "what do you dispute in the study" then throw the 250 million around once or twice, I took that as you believing it to be credible, my mistake if I misunderstood.

  • The bookman

    I didn't take the report by the WestLiberty professor as the gospel. What I took from the report was the description of the possible economic costs of enacting a law with very little substantiated success. I would never, nor did I, quote the numbers as concrete, as it really was just one study. But I do believe there is a cost to the citizen and the state, and I do believe it to be in the millions of $$$$$$.

    But make no mistake that Haley Barbour isn't looking out for WV. He is a paid lobbyist delivering a message that someone purchased, as well as building credibility for a law he helped enact. As to the truthfulness of his statement, he may be correct. But let me ask you. Do you really believe that Mississippi only had 8 labs seized in 2013? Do you find that number reliable knowing what you know through your diligent research on this topic? Really?

  • Jason412

    Haha I'd have to say I would of been very shocked if you didn't pull the credibility card. But I'll remind you it wasn't a week ago you took the CHPA funded economics report as fact, and who has more or lose in this then the CHPA.

    I'll point out he founded BGR in 91 and his accomplishments starting in 93 as the Chairman of the Republican National Committee read as pretty impressive.

    Also,. the Mississippi Bereau of Narcotics had reported 8 labs in 2013, the link to that is one of my posts on the other articles, so it's not like it was only EPIC reporting a 98% decrease.

    I'll take it as fact, at least the part on labs as I haven't read far into the health costs, you take it for what you will.

  • The bookman

    Haley Barbour's current affiliation. I don't discount his statement, but I also have learned to consider the source whenever lobbyists are involved.

  • Jason412

    "According to my Bureau of Narcotics, no state has the resources to monitor a tracking system, and no 'e-tracking' system has reduced methamphetamine lab activity in the long-term," Barbour said in his letter. "Mississippi was no exception."

    It's a shame this letter was to little to late. Although I've been saying these same things for a while, it would of been nice to have this information from such a credible source available to the public while the CHPA was telling them what they should think.

  • Jason412

    CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The former Republican governor of Mississippi, Haley Barbour, is urging members of West Virginia's House of Delegates to pass legislation designed to reduce methamphetamine labs by requiring a doctor's prescription for cold medications that can be turned into illegal meth.

    Mississippi's Legislature passed a similar law in 2010, prompting a 98 percent decline in meth labs and saving "countless lives," Barbour said in a letter to West Virginia lawmakers last Friday.

    "This bi-partisan bill may be the most significant drug enforcement legislation in the history of Mississippi," Barbour wrote.

    Barbour said the prescription requirement for cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, a key-meth making ingredient, didn't spark complaints from Mississippi residents or jeopardize the re-election of Mississippi legislators who voted for the bill.

    The law also did not drive up health-care costs as lobbyists opposing the legislation had warned, Barbour said

  • Jason412

    That should be "vary" not "very", mind must be slipping.

    While I'm correcting that, I'd like to add, that survey means absolutely nothing to me. The only part of that sentence I quoted that I was interested in was the part about Oregon. As I said, I'm interested in it because I would like to know if there is data out there that I just haven't seen.

    Like I said, what stands out to me far more than EPIC statistics or whatever else, is that the Mississippi Governor took the time to lobby in support of the ban here. That reads to me as a clear sign that it had some very positive impacts. Does that mean there's public data available to prove it? No. A lack of public data doesn't make it a falsehood, though.

  • The bookman

    The impetus to provide compelling reasons to change the current system is on your side of the argument, not mine. Your side did not meet the standard, and I for one will be satisfied if the proposal fails completely.

  • Jason412

    If the numbers very so drastically from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, why were they always so similar until 2012?

    What changed?

    But no, no smoking gun as I know when I've been defeated and the CHPA spent more money on this campaign then I'll probably see in my life time so I've stopped reading about it besides here on metronews.

    I knew when they were blowing up my house phone with those robo-calls it was a losing battle, that's exactly what happened in KY.

  • Jason412

    "So that proves when the electorate is fed information that leads them to conclude the Rx requirement would be successful, they would support the legislation. Makes sense. "

    And it's clearly been proven today that if the electorate is fed misleading information that leads them to conclude a prescription-only law would be one of the biggest inconvenience American's have ever experienced and that PSE has no correlation to meth, they would not support the legislation.

  • The bookman

    That's just not true Jason. The Epic #'s are cited with a caveat on their site that various jurisdictions report the seizure numbers, and that the criteria is not standard. I would also add that I would bet the house that they aren't standard from year to year in each reporting jurisdiction as the criteria could change within the jurisdiction. Either way, the survey means nothing in that it is based on an unproven relationship. Unless you have the smoking gun in your back pocket that you have yet to present?

  • The bookman

    Thanks for the update. But I think his point was accurate also. In the end I don't think it will matter, and I hope this version fails as well!

  • Jason412

    You misunderstand why I said it was interesting. I was saying it was interesting because I would like to know what data they used. I assume your statement is based on the lab seizure numbers being unreliable, who said that's the information they used?

    I'd also add, despite the numbers not being greatly reliable, the way they collected the information for EPIC was consistent for all those years. What was reported as a lab seizure in 2002 would of been reported as a lab seizure in 2010, 2012, and all the years between.

    So what changed in Mississippi between 2011 and 2012 that led from them always having lab numbers in the hundreds, even the year after the ban was passed, to dropping to 5 in 2012?

    I would also add, the Mississippi Governor citing that it had a great impact on his state, do you think he's basing that off the same information we can find in 30 seconds on Google? If it hasn't been successful, why is he lobbying for a state on the other side of the country to pass similar legislation?

  • Aaron


    You were correct on the other thread.

    "The original bill allowed for tamper-resistant products to be available without prescriptions.

  • Uncle Unctuous

    $o true.

  • Uncle Unctuous

    You won't have to get a prescription. That portion of the bill was removed, meaning it will not be a provision of the law, if enacted.

    This way, if Kentucky's experience is any guide, there will be no significant decrease in meth related crimes, and the children, spouses, families, neighbors, landlords and other community members who are unwittingly but directly affected by meth makers and users will continue to be victimized so that you don't have to get a prescription every once in a while. Clearly, the greater societal good has been served.

    Caution: Comment may contain sarcasm, soy, and/or peanuts.

  • The bookman

    "A survey, commissioned by the West Virginia Intervention on Meth Labs Committee and released on Wednesday, showed overwhelming support for the stronger legislation when those questioned were told of its success in Oregon."

    So that proves when the electorate is fed information that leads them to conclude the Rx requirement would be successful, they would support the legislation. Makes sense. It is a shame the data does not conclude success, and the survey really does not measure the will of the people, as the data does not stand even a rudimentary standard of reliance.

  • Jason412

    "A survey, commissioned by the West Virginia Intervention on Meth Labs Committee and released on Wednesday, showed overwhelming support for the stronger legislation when those questioned were told of its success in Oregon."

    Very interesting statement.

    Of course the CHPA convinced a lot of voters with, among other things, their blitz of misleading robo-calls and commercials. Some of the finest propaganda I've ever witnessed.

  • John

    Why should I have to get a prescription when I've never broken a law in my life. This is just another example of law abiding citizens paying for the crimes of a few.

  • North Central

    The legislature failed the people of West Virginia by allowing this bill to be so diluted. It is very disappointing.


    This is a joke. I cannot believe that this group of jokers can yet again spend this much time on a do nothing bill. Shame on all of us for letting this happen.

  • curious

    It's not about the size of the loaf, but the amount of bread that went into it.