do a FOIA request to get names and DOB's of people who buy cold medicine in scottsdale - just to piss them off
Scottsdale's anti-meth rules explained at forums Ordinance takes effect Feb. 13 at city businesses
Elias C. Arnold The Arizona Republic Jan. 18, 2006 12:00 AM
SCOTTSDALE - Scottsdale is working to make sure local businesses and members of the public are aware of the new anti-methamphetamine measure that takes effect in February.
The city will host a forum at 9 a.m. Jan. 26 at the Mustang Library to answer retailer questions about new restrictions that require putting certain cold medications behind the counter.
Businesses will learn the reasons behind the changes and what could happen if they refuse to comply.
More than 240 businesses, ranging from large retailers like Target and Wal-Mart to makeup stores and resorts, will have to comply with the new rules starting Feb. 13.
The businesses are licensed by Arizona to sell products such as Sudafed and Claritin-D, which contain ephedrine and pseudoephedrine, key ingredients in methamphetamine.
"We really think a lot of the compliance is in place, and we're simply going to be educating those that aren't aware of it or aren't sure," said Lt. Stephen Gesell, special investigations section commander with Scottsdale Police.
Police plan to distribute information packets to retailers who do not attend the forums.
To educate the public, the city is considering distributing posters with information about the restrictions for affected businesses to display.
Steve Sprow, a pharmacy district manager for Wal-Mart, said a forum held Tuesday at the Civic Center Library helped clarify how the law applies to individual businesses. Sprow said he is considering logging information about people who purchase restricted medications, as required by the ordinance, via computer.
Sprow said it is tough to say what kind of an impact the ordinance could have on his day-to-day operations, but he expects it to be minimal.
Medication that falls under the ordinance has been behind the counter for several months, so the real difference will be keeping track of who purchases it, he said.
Scottsdale joined other Valley cities in the fight against methamphetamine production in November when the City Council voted unanimously to move certain cold medications behind the counter and have customers identify themselves when purchasing them.
The restrictions are a recognition by the city that methamphetamine is a significant problem in Arizona, said Melissa Lempke, a Scottsdale spokeswoman.
Arizona is first among the states in meth use by 12- to-18-years-olds according to the U.S. Surgeon General, and an estimated 65 percent of child-abandonment cases in Arizona involve the drug, Lempke said.
Reach the reporter at (602) 444-2219.