Editorial: Meth fight improved by House

Feb. 27, 2013 @ 04:29 PM

Earning our applause for a recent action are the members of the N.C. House of Representatives, including Henderson’s Rep. Nathan Baskerville.

Only one vote of 117 was against N.C. House Bill 29. The bill toughens the state’s fight against methamphetamine, making it illegal for anyone previously convicted of manufacturing or possessing meth from obtaining any product that contains pseudoephedrine — the primary ingredient.

We have an appreciation for the simplicity with which Guilford County Republican John Faircloth described what is happening too frequently.

“Go to the drugstore, stop in the aisle at the local Walmart, pick up a few things, step back to the back of the building and mix them in a bottle and either a bomb goes off or another group of people is using drugs,” Faircloth said.

Meth labs, those raided, have increased from 235 in 2010 to 344 in 2011 to 460 last year. It’s still February and we’re approaching 100 this year.

One of the things we like about the bill, and we are hopeful the Senate will agree when they take it up, is the increased prison sentences judges can impose for people convicted of making meth if a child, disabled person or elderly person lives in the house where the drug is being made. Judges should impose extra consequences.

Last year, the lives of 120 children were dramatically changed because of meth makers. That’s how many kids were removed from homes where it was being cooked. More than a dozen have already been removed this year.

Bear in mind, when that happens, almost always the children’s clothing, toys and any other belongings have to be destroyed due to the hazardous fumes. Consider the image of a child playing with toys and handling, even teething on, their other belongings and the picture becomes clear.

Drug addicts have shown they don’t care. We do, and we’re glad the House has stepped forward.

Having over-the-counter cold remedies logged in the National Precursor Log Exchange is a small inconvenience to us for the lives of innocent children, the disabled and the elderly. Our state may still be in the minority for utilizing the system nationally, but we hope others will see North Carolina stepping forward in the fight against meth and join us.