The Cold-Pill Crackdown

To fight the meth epidemic, states go after legal sniffle remedies at the corner drugstore

Every day, a stream of haggard customers would show up at Mark Dodson's drugstore in Altus, Okla. (pop. 23,000), just north of the Texas border. And every day Dodson would find dozens of empty cold-medicine boxes--the pills shoplifted--stuffed behind other products on the shelves or abandoned in grocery carts. Sometimes the 38-year-old pharmacist suspected that a buyer was using sniffle pills to manufacture methamphetamine, a dangerous drug, and he refused a sale. But usually, he says, "I had to give people the benefit of the doubt."

No longer. Oklahoma last April became the first state to classify such common cold remedies...

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