Privacy concerns prompt meth ordinance revision

By Marlena Hartz: CNJ staff writer

A task force comprised of city officials and commissioners has revised some provisions of the 9th Judicial District Attorney’s new methamphetamine ordinance.

A majority of Clovis’ city commissioners voted July 7 to introduce the ordinance that would require pseudeophedrine-based drugs be kept behind the counter at local stores and pharmacies, with the aim of reducing meth-lab production in the area through restriction of meth’s key ingredient.

“The changes (in the ordinance) were made in response to issues brought up and we responded to those concerns,” said Commissioner Fred Van Soelen, a member of the task force and the district attorney’s office.

The ordinance states that anyone wishing to purchase a pseudophedrine product must write their name and address on a log. In response to privacy concerns, the ordinance now states that retailers must conceal the log in a folder or in some other manner to prevent observation by other customers. The purchaser still must present photo identification.

Another added provision dictates the log must be picked up from retailers by law enforcement on “about a weekly basis,” according to Van Soelen. The logs must be destroyed by law enforcement after 3 to 6 months, Van Soelen said.

The task force will meet at 10 a.m. today in the city hall to further discuss the ordinance.

Fellow task force member and Commissioner Robert Sandoval, who voted against the ordinance when it was first introduced on July 7, said discussions involving the ordinance have been “very productive.”

“I look forward to having an informative discussion (today). I still have questions that I feel need to be answered and I think there is still room for improvement on the ordinance. I invite anyone who wants to go to join the discussion. The more input we can get from the our citizens, the easier it makes our job,” Sandoval said.

The ordinance has also been presented to Curry and Roosevelt County commissions.

It will face final Clovis City Commission review in August.

Meth use is also being fought on the state level. Tom Udall, D-N.M, said in a press release that he voted for the addition of two amendments to the Foreign Relations Act, with the intent of cracking down on meth smuggling by super labs which produce the drug in mass quantities.