OKLAHOMA CITY -- Several laws took effect in Oklahoma Monday that will help narcotics agents battle the escalating drug problem in the state.
House Bill 3380 created the first Meth Offender Registry. The law prohibited anyone with a methamphetamine conviction from buying or possessing pseudoephedrine tablets, the main ingredient for making meth. According to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, the registry is a database of meth offenders tied directly to the agency's Pseudoephedrine Tracking System.
"If someone on the Meth Registry attempts to purchase pseudoephedrine at a pharmacy, the computer system will block the sale," said OBN spokesperson Mark Woodward. "The system will alert OBN of the blocked sale which could initiate an investigation."
OBN said the law will help thwart meth cooks, while allowing law-abiding Oklahomans to purchase small amounts of pseudoephedrine at pharmacies without any problems.
Under House Bill 3241, Oklahoma became one of the first states to outlaw K2. It's also known as "Spice," which is sold in local stores and online as legal cannabis. K2 is a blend of herbs sprayed with three, synthetic compound chemicals which mimic the effects of smoking marijuana.
"Over the past 12 months, reports of K2 abuse by teenagers and soldiers in the military have continued to climb in Oklahoma," said OBN spokesman Mark Woodward. "Our new law doesn't ban the herbs, but rather it places the 3 synthetic chemicals applied to the herbs as Schedule I illegal substances in Oklahoma."
Smoking K2 can cause difficulty breathing, fever, dehydration and hallucinations. Oklahoma drug agents planned to make spot checks of stores throughout Oklahoma to make sure they are complying with the new law, which also prohibits the retail sale of certain types of glass pipes that are often used for smoking crack cocaine or methamphetamine.
The third law to take effect Monday was House Bill 2529, which will allow OBN to more quickly identify new drug trends in Oklahoma.