NC House panel oks more meth penalties

POSTED: 6:49 PM Feb 08 2013
New Bern -

Additional penalties for people who make methamphetamine in North Carolina or possess a key ingredient in making it have been approved by a House committee.
 
A House judiciary panel voted Wednesday in support of the measure recommended by a study group that looked at how to prevent the spread of the highly addictive drug, produced with volatile chemicals that can lead to explosions.
 
The measure would make it a felony for someone to possess a product with pseudoephedrine - often cold medicines - if the person has been convicted previously of making meth. These cold medicines remain behind drug store counters and its sales are monitored.
 
People who make meth where a child or disabled or elder adult live also could see their sentences increased by up to four years.

Dennis Bridgers, owner and pharmacist at Bynum Drug Store in New Bern says he already has to deal with tough background checks before selling any products with pseudoephedrine. He says he has no sympathy for anyone who puts others in harm’s way.

 “I think stiffer penalties especially where children or handicapped people reside I think they definitely deserve sitffer penalties,” said Bridgers.

  If approved, the bill becomes effective December 1st and would apply to offenses committed on or after that date.