Anti-meth laws create new criminal class 

click to enlarge Pseudoephedrine-buying crooks use vans with GPS units that list pharmacy retailers. They spend the entire week going store to store and buy to the limit, then sell the drugs to methamphetamine makers. - AP FILE PHOTO
  • AP file photo
  • Pseudoephedrine-buying crooks use vans with GPS units that list pharmacy retailers. They spend the entire week going store to store and buy to the limit, then sell the drugs to methamphetamine makers.

WHAT: Electronic systems that track sales of cold medicine, which can be used to make methamphetamine drugs, have actually created a vast, highly lucrative market for profiteers to buy over-the-counter pills and sell them to meth producers at a huge markup.

HOW: Pseudoephedrine-buying crooks use vans with GPS units that list pharmacy retailers. They spend the entire week going store to store and buy to the limit. They can buy a box of cold pills for $7 to $8 and sell it for $40 or $50.

WHY: The meth epidemic made states set up electronic systems allowing pharmacies to check instantly whether a buyer already purchased the legal limit of pseudoephedrine. But since then, meth-related activity is on the rise nationally again, up 34 percent in 2009.

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Staff Report

Staff Report

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A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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