To The Editor:
People were understandably perturbed when CNN Money recently reported that Tulsa had more meth labs than any part of the country. It’s important to remind folks that Oklahoma just recently launched a brand new electronic tracking system that will significantly enhance law enforcement’s ability to track and stop meth crime.
The system, known as the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), will enable police officers and retailers to track pseudoephedrine (PSE) purchases on an electronic database that works instantly and across state lines. Oklahoma has tracked PSE sales electronically for some time, but until NPLEx was adopted, the state was vulnerable to a loophole that allowed meth offenders from neighboring states to evade PSE purchasing limits by coming into our state to buy cold and allergy medicines (the same was true for Oklahoma offenders in other states).
Thanks to NPLEx, this process, which officials call “border shopping,” will no longer be possible. According to Mark Woodward of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, Oklahoma’s old PSE tracking system blocked an average of 80,000 boxes of PSE every year, keeping potentially 80,000 batches of meth off the street. Under Oklahoma’s new NPLEx system, that number is expected to rise considerably.
We all know that we have a long way to go to defeat the scourge of meth facing our state. I’m confident however, that NPLEx provides our police officerswith a significant tool to curtail and diminish the manufacturing and dealing of meth in the state of Oklahoma.
Eric Clayton, Tulsa, OK
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