The Times West Virginian

West Virginia

February 19, 2014

Senate: Pseudoephedrine products prescription-only

Measure passes 25-9, mostly along party lines

CHARLESTON — The West Virginia Senate passed legislation Tuesday that would make pseudoephedrine products prescription-only. The measure passed 25-9, mostly along party lines.

The common ingredient in many cold- and sinus-relief medications is also a critical component of methamphetamine, which are “cooked” in labs or in a “shake and bake” method in 2-liter soda bottles. Drug arrests for meth have increased in the last few years, from 229 in 2011 to 533 last year. Meth arrests have occurred in 45 of the state’s 55 counties.  

“Meth has become a scourge in our society,” said chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee Corey Palumbo, D-Kanawha. “This is the action we need to take to eradicate these labs.

“It’s imperative we pass a bill like this,” he said.  

Palumbo acknowledged that the law will not mean a meth-free state.

Sen. Clark Barnes, R-Randolph, said he opposed the bill because it turned over control to the medical community.

“The No. 1 problem with drugs in West Virginia is prescription pain medication,” Barnes said. “It certainly doesn’t take a great deal of thought to realize the No. 1 problem is already in the hands of the medical community, we may not be solving the meth problem by turning it over to the medical community.”

The bill now carries an amendment that allows one possession offense of fewer than 3.6 grams to be expunged from a criminal record, as long as the drug is being used for its intended purpose.

Sen. Evan Jenkins, R-Cabell, who offered a similar amendment Monday, said he “appreciated the effort,” but was puzzled why this amendment is more acceptable than his.

“Why couldn’t we allow people to get out of it without having to be charged in the first place?” Jenkins asked.

Palumbo said Jenkins‘ amendment would allow multiple possessions.

“This allows one shot. Beyond that, you’re on notice,” Palumbo said.

“Clearly, we raised an issue yesterday that caused concern,” Jenkins said.

Jenkins voted in favor of the bill as amended, while Democrat Truman Chafin, D-Mingo, voted nay.

The bill now will move to the House of Delegates.

1
Text Only
West Virginia
  • Some state Democrats flip to GOP

    As Republicans rally for more control in West Virginia’s long-time Democratic Legislature, a few Democrats have jumped ship to the GOP and are challenging former colleagues in midterm races.
    Republicans face their biggest election opportunity in decades in the House of Delegates, where a four-seat swing would put them in power for the first time in 85 years.

    April 20, 2014

  • Gee’s move could save Ohio State millions

    Ohio State University expects to save millions of dollars because former president Gordon Gee is giving up part of his retirement package as he becomes president of West Virginia University for the second time.

    April 19, 2014

  • W.Va. AG court filings: Dismiss gun law question

    The attorney general says a court challenge should be dismissed over whether West Virginians can bring guns to city recreational facilities that hold school events.
    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s filings Thursday argue the city of Charleston shouldn’t receive court guidance on how to implement a state gun law.

    April 18, 2014

  • Energy-state Dems split from Obama

    Scrapping to keep a West Virginia Senate seat Democratic in a state that’s sprinted to the right, Natalie Tennant is counting on her allegiance to the coal industry to separate herself from an unpopular President Barack Obama.
    Her approach reflects common Democratic strategy and tactics this midterm election year in energy-producing states that lean Republican: Sen. Mary Landrieu is vying for a fourth term representing Louisiana; Alaska Sen. Mark Begich is running for re-election for the first time; and Kentucky Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes wants to replace Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

    April 17, 2014

  • Official: $2M in chemical spill costs reimbursable

    Public agencies and nonprofits that helped after a Jan. 9 chemical leak into the water supply could receive $2 million in reimbursements for their emergency work, a West Virginia homeland security official said.
    Federal and state emergency officials briefed fire departments, paramedics and other government groups Wednesday on how to recoup costs.

    April 17, 2014

  • Manchin urges mines to speak out for coal

    The Democratic senator leading the battle against the White House’s strategy to fight climate change urged the mining industry on Tuesday to speak out about coal’s role in providing affordable, reliable electricity to the country to help combat strict new emissions rules for coal-fired power plants.

    April 16, 2014

  • Many schools already meet new mandate for breakfast

    Many West Virginia public schools have changed the way they serve breakfast to students ahead of a requirement that goes into effect in September.

    April 14, 2014

  • W.Va. grower promotes unmodified feed corn

    Lyle Tabb is hoping that his non-genetically modified corn will take off with farmers who can charge top dollar for “all natural” eggs.
    Genetically modified or GMO corn has greatly simplified the process of getting rid of weeds, but has also substantially increased the amount of a chemical call glyphosate.

    April 13, 2014

  • Geologists link small quakes to fracking

    Geologists in Ohio have for the first time linked earthquakes in a geologic formation deep under the Appalachians to hydraulic fracturing, leading the state to issue new permit conditions Friday in certain areas that are among the nation’s strictest.
    A state investigation of five small tremors last month in the Youngstown area, in the Appalachian foothills, found the injection of sand and water that accompanies hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the Utica shale may have increased pressure on a small, unknown fault, said State Oil & Gas Chief Rick Simmers. He called the link “probable.”

    April 12, 2014

  • Phares looks forward to retirement

    James Phares looked forward to the challenge and opportunity to help make a difference in a state education system under fire when he was hired in late 2012 as West Virginia’s schools superintendent.
    After 18 months, Phares will be stepping down on June 30 — which he said was set long ago as the day at age 61 that he’d walk with his wife into retirement.

    April 11, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads