This editorial will appear in Monday’s print edition.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Something you might do on vacation with the kids at a theme park.
But in drug enforcement circles, it’s bad news. Smurfing is what meth cooks do get the ingredients they need for their product. They go from store to store, buying as many boxes as they can of cold medication that contains ephedrine and other meth precursors.
Earlier legislation sponsored by state Rep. Tom Campbell, R-Roy, was instrumental in drastically reducing the number of meth labs in Washington because it put over-the-counter drugs used by cookers behind the counter and limited the amount of these drugs that could be purchased. Still, cookers can get what they need by smurfing because the law only requires that sellers keep a written log.
But more is needed; the paper log is cumbersome for retailers and pharmacists, and it doesn’t provide “real-time” alerts that someone is going around trying to buy excessive amounts of precursors. Read more »