another feel good law that won't do anything other then waste our time and money.
Police agencies acknowledge they lack the resources to sift through thousands of pages of logbook entries each month. Criminology experts say these efforts will do little the problem.
Feb 12, 12:09 PM EST
Scottsdale establishes rules to confront meth production
MESA, Ariz. (AP) -- Scottsdale is joining other cities in eastern metropolitan Phoenix in establishing rules aimed at reducing methamphetamine production.
Beginning Monday, Scottsdale will begin requiring people buying over-the-counter products with pseudoephedrine - the ingredient used to cook meth in makeshift labs - to provide photo identification and enter their names, birth dates and addresses into logbooks that will be accessible to police.
Stores also will record the amount of the drug sold, which cannot exceed 9 grams per customer.
Similar ordinances will soon take effect in Chandler and Apache Junction. Phoenix launched its program Dec. 6, and Mesa and Tempe have studied the issue.
Police agencies in eastern metro Phoenix support the ordinances, but acknowledge they lack the resources to sift through thousands of pages of logbook entries each month.
They said no agency will have the ability to track pharmacy purchases from one jurisdiction to another. In some cases, police won't even be able to track purchases from one store to the next within the same city.
Criminology experts say these efforts will do little to stop a larger problem in Arizona: High demand for meth fed by massive imports from Mexico.
Drug companies point out that cities are targeting the sale of liquid medicines that are rarely used to make meth. Consumers with no inkling of how to brew the street drug raise concerns about being treated with suspicion when they buy an over-the-counter medicine for a cold or allergy.
"It is a far worse experience than getting any prescription medicine," said Mike Miller of east Phoenix. "You feel like you are some sort of criminal getting ready to cook up some meth."
But others support the approach in trying to fight meth. "As a law-abiding citizen, I just grin and bear it and make jokes with the clerk," said Amy Paterson of Mesa. "Kind of like being searched at the airport: I'm not doing anything wrong, but I understand the need."
Phoenix police said they are investigating three possible meth cooks after sifting through about 2,000 logbooks over the course of two months.
No arrests have been made yet, but Phoenix officials said the ordinance is proving successful.
"There is a really big deterrent effect, so that alone is a benefit," said Phoenix deputy city prosecutor Paul Badalucco.
Phoenix has assigned four detectives to spend a portion of their time collecting logbooks from retailers monthly and sifting through them daily to identify suspicious purchase patterns. But in Scottsdale and cities in eastern metro Phoenix, police plan to conduct only spot checks of the logbooks.
Scottsdale Lt. Steve Gesell said police don't have enough personnel to go through every handwritten entry.
Information from: East Valley Tribune/Scottsdale Tribune, http://www.aztrib.com