When you talk to Bonner Bennett and ask him why he is behind a possible new law to crack down on methamphetamine labs in Lubbock he will tell you someone has to do it. "I'm just tired of the end results for a lot of young people."
Bonner is referring to a recent murder conviction of Robert Hudson. Hudson confessed to being high on meth when he shot his girlfriend in the face. Narcotics officers say on average they bust two meth labs a week. That adds up to almost 80 each year.
Meth, also referred to as crack or crystal meth, is a dangerous and very addictive drug. It's made with materials that can be found at most stores. "If you cut off the main ingredients that they have then you cut down the amount of meth available," Bonner said.
Bonner says the ingredient is as simple as cold medicine, an over-the-counter medicine containing Pseudoephedrine. Bonner says 50% of the time, drug users steal the cold medicine. So he wants a law to put that medicine behind the counter. "Oklahoma is taking a proactive approach. They passed a state law and it's been active for more than a year and they have cut their labs by 50%," said Bonner.
Pharmacies like Walgreens have taken cold medicine off the shelves and sell it behind the counter. Even lithium batteries, another material used, is under lock and key. Bonner says this is ideal for the entire city state lawmakers will consider legislation next year that would require pharmacies to sell cold medicine behind the counter.
DPS Narcotics Services feel a local ordinance, in the meantime, is an outstanding idea. The Health Board will draft an ordinance and present it to the city council at the end of the year.