Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

Assembly bill creates electronic database for pharmacists selling drug used in methamphetamine manufacturingSubmitted: 06/22/2017
Lane Kimble
Lane Kimble
News Director
lkimble@wjfw.com

Assembly bill creates electronic database for pharmacists selling drug used in methamphetamine manufacturing
RHINELANDER - After nearly 40 years as a pharmacist, Tom Welke has been robbed, threatened at gunpoint, and had his pharmacy burgled.

"It just kind of goes along with the job, in a way," Welke said in Rhinelander's Apothecary Pharmacy on Thursday afternoon.

One of the main reasons lately for those crimes tends to be people trying to get their hands illegally on pseudoephedrine pills, which they can use to make meth.


"Most everyone that comes to purchase it here has a legitimate reason for purchasing it," Welke said.

Even so, in order to buy the decongestant pills pharmacists must record the buyer's name, address, and identification in a paper log book. Police can come look at the book, but it requires them to take the time to come by.

"The log system does not work that accurately for that," Welke said.

Enter the Wisconsin Assembly to try and fix the issue. Wednesday, lawmakers voted 96 to 1 to pass Assembly Bill 306.  Lake Geneva Republican Tyler August was the one dissenting vote.  

The bill would require pharmacists to enter that information into the National Precursor Log Exchange, an electronic database which instantly throws up a red flag if someone shouldn't or can't buy the drug.  The system would have an override function a pharmacist can use in emergencies.  The system would not apply to people buying the drug with a valid prescription.

"No different than a credit card machine that's real-time money," Welke said.  "You know, it's not going to let it go through if there's nothing home."

Wisconsin law limits the amount of pseudoephedrine a person can buy to 7.5 grams in a 30-day period. Federal law further limits the total to just 3.5 grams per day.

"A database that would give us instant access would be awesome," Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins said.

Elvins knows how big of a problem pseduo's byproduct -- methamphetamine -- can be. Elvins says meth and marijuana are the two most common drug arrests in his city. The TPD collects thousands of used needles every year, many from meth addicts.

"When meth came, it made crack-cocaine look like candy," Elvins said.

Elvins thinks the electronic database is a good step in the right direction, but not perfect. He still worries about straw purchases, where criminals send others to buy pseudoephedrine for them.

"They'd send their 18-year-old kid in to buy 10 boxes, they'd send their wife in, their mom in, their neighbor, their neighbor's neighbor's friend," Elvins said. "The criminals are one step ahead. We still have to use due process. We still have to go under the guidelines of the constitution to catch these people. We'll do it. We'll do several hours of investigation, days, weeks, months, whatever it takes to ensure we are, in effect, doing the right thing."

Welke agrees with Elvin's concerns. The pharmacist thinks the database would take a while to build up a list of all the potential illegal buyers. But it's time and energy Welke sees as well-spent.

"Our main objective is to protect people's health. No matter what," Welke said.

Assembly Bill 306 still needs approval from the Senate and Governor Walker.


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 02/22/2018

- Tonight on Newswatch 12:

People hoping to keep a violent child sex offender from moving into their Forest County community needed to go to Shawano County to make their case today. Newswatch 12's Dakota Sherek is there and will bring you updates on what happens at the hearing and the judge's ruling which we expect tonight.

We talk to two local resource officers about how their jobs have changed over the years. Some of that change has happened because of school violence across the country and right here in the Northwoods.

And we talk to the executive director of the Birkebeiner race in Hayward about the enthusiasm people in the area have with the big event coming up this weekend.

We'll bring you the details on these stories and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - You don't need to wait for the grass to turn green for golfing.

Minocqua's Ice Golf is an end of season charity tournament coming up on March 3rd.

The tournament raised more than $18,000  last year for charities including the food pantry and Dr. Kate Hospice.

It has become a Northwoods tradition for some people.

"First year we had it, we had only like 35 golfers, now last year we had over 300 golfers," says Albee's owner Randy Albrecht.

If you don't have a group, they'll put into one.

After everyone is done putting, there will be dinner and a raffle.

For tickets and info call: Albee's Yacht Club at 715-356-1366 OR The Thirsty Whale at 715-356-7108.


+ Read More

MADISON - An effort to clean up voting records caused problems for some voters during Tuesday's spring primary.

Some voters' information was removed, even though it was current.

+ Read More

ELKHART, IN - Shelters are open to assist people forced from their homes by flooding as rivers swollen by heavy rain and melting snow rise in Indiana, Michigan and other parts of the Midwest.

Flood warnings are in effect for parts of several states Thursday, from Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio to Texas and Louisiana.

+ Read More

PARK FALLS - People in Price County should keep an eye out for fake $20 bills.

The Park Falls Police Department is looking into several cases of a customer using the counterfeit money at various businesses.  The bills all have the same serial number and stand out when you use a detection marker on them.

Police Chief Scott Straetz says the bills look very similar to the real thing, but you can tell the difference if you hold them.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Wausau Police call the death of a 77-year-old man "suspicious," which is why it's treating the death of Lyle Leith as a homicide. 

Tuesday morning, police responded to a home on the 1000 block of Kickbusch Street. They found Leith dead, and called the circumstances suspicious. We learned Leith's name late Wednesday afternoon.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Anger over last Wednesday's Florida school shooting could force Congress to find some agreement on gun control. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisconsin) thinks it's about time.

The debate on gun rights and public safety has been a big focus since 17 people died at Stoneman Douglas High School.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here