(AP) Sales of over-the-counter cold remedies used to make methamphetamine would be restricted under a measure approved by the Senate on Friday.
The bill would require stores to sell Sudafed, Nyquil and other medicines only from behind the pharmacy counter.
Those medicines contain the ingredient pseudoephedrine, which can be extracted to manufacture the highly addictive drug that has wreaked havoc in communities across the country.
"It will very substantially reduce the number of local labs that are out there because it throttles the ability of the cooks to get the pseudoephedrine that they need to make the methamphetamine," said Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., who co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
Consumers would have to show a photo ID, sign a log, and be limited to 7.5 grams, or about 250 30-milligram pills, in a 30-day period. Computer tracking would prevent customers from exceeding the limit at other stores, according to the bipartisan bill.
The Senate voted by unanimous consent to add the anti-meth measure to the massive Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill, which is expected to pass the Senate next week.
The same appropriations bill has already passed the House but without the anti-meth measure attached. Talent said he is hopeful the anti-meth measure will be included in the final version of the legislation that emerges from a conference committee.
The White House has not taken a public position on the Senate bill, a sore point with some lawmakers who have criticized Bush administration statements that marijuana still poses a larger drug problem.