Pseudoephedrine is chemical compound that is commonly found in over the counter decongestants.  It is approved by the FDA for human consumption, and is regulated as an over the counter medication.  In addition to its medicinal properties, pseudoephedrine can be used to manufacture methamphetamines, which are illegal to use, posess, manufacture, and sell.

Does the Law Regulate Pseudoephedrine?

Until recently, pseudoephedrine was regulated by the FDA as an over the counter substance.  However, because of the growth of the methamphetimine use, and the common practice of using pseudoephedrine to manufacture methamphetimines, there has been a push to regulate pseudoephedrine more thoroughly.  

United States federal law now prohibits buying medication containing pseudoephedrine in quantities greater than 3 packages in any 24-hour period. Congress is considering classifying pseudoephedrine as a Schedule V drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

Several states have also recently enacted legislation regarding the sale of pseudoephedrine:

  • California – Makes possession of pseudoephedrine with the intent to manufacture methemphetamines illegal; limits amount that can legally be purchased;
  • Florida – Requires sellers of pseudoephedrine to keep product behind a counter; limits amount that can legally be purchased;
  • Georgia – Requires sellers of pseudoephedrine to keep product behind a counter; limits amount that can legally be purchased; requires that product be sold in blister packaging;
  • Illinois – Requires purchasers to show valid ID and sign log;
  • Michigan – Requires product to be kept behind counter or in locked case, requires purchasers to provide ID and sign log;
  • New Jersey – Limits amount that can legally be purchased;
  • Ohio – Restricts amount of pseudoephedrine that can legally be purchased; bans sale to minors;
  • Oklahoma – Classifies pseudoephedrine as a Schedule V drug under state law, requires purcahsers to present ID and sign log; limits amount which can legally be purchased;
  • Oregon – Classifies pseudoephedrine as a Schedule III drug under state law, makes posession of more than 300 tablets a crime;
  • Texas – Encourages voluntary action by retailers to reduce illegal sales, such as by limiting quanitity that can be purchased or taking measures to prevent theft of pseudoephedrine;
     
  • Oregon – Classifies pseudoephedrine as a Schedule III drug under state law, makes posession of more than 300 tablets a crime;
  • Texas – Encourages voluntary action by retailers to reduce illegal sales, such as by limiting quanitity that can be purchased or taking measures to prevent theft of pseudoephedrine;
  • Virginia – Requires product to be kept behind counter or in locked case, requires purchasers to provide ID and sign log; limits amount that can legally be purchased.

Do I Need A Lawyer?

If you have been charged with unlawful purchase or posession of pseudoephedrine, you should contact a criminal defense attorney.  An attorney can help you to understand the laws of your state and can explain any defenses that may be available to you.