New meth legislation doing enough?

TULSA - State leaders are stepping up efforts to fight Oklahoma's meth epidemic with a new law, but some say it doesn't do nearly enough.

Cori Tierci is a self-described meth addict, who now sits in prison.

We caught up with her last fall behind bars at the Eddie Warrior Correctional Facility.

She says meth took control of her life and eventually ripped her family apart.

"There was times I locked myself in my bedroom so I could get high and they wouldn't see it," she said. "And my son would always ask me, 'Mom, are you going to the bedroom and locking yourself in there again?' He knew. They all knew."

While she is now coming to terms with the reality of prison, meth has become a major problem in Oklahoma.

Last year was a record year for meth lab busts, costing the state millions, and putting innocent lives in danger.

Tulsa County D.A. Tim Harris is passionate about the issue.

He led the charge to require a prescription to buy pseudoephedrine tablets.

"We are having such an epidemic that every DA in the state of Oklahoma joined together unanimously in recommending to the legislature that it needs to be controlled by prescription," Harris said.

Despite Harris' plea, the legislation didn't pass. He is not giving up.

"It's very difficult, Russ, to get the public to understand they are paying with their tax dollars for all the law enforcement to fight this, all the cleanup, and all the kids going into DHS custody. So we will keep fighting," Harris said.

Instead lawmakers passed a measure to limit the amount of pseudoephedrine people can buy and to increase tracking of sales.

Supporters call it one of the toughest anti-methamphetamine laws in the country, without penalizing everyone.
"And that is all we're trying to do here, is give them more information to enforce the law without hindering law abiding citizens who use Sudafed for legitimate purposes," said State Representative David Derby.

Under the law Oklahoman's are limited to 3.6 grams of the drug a day, 7.2 grams in a month and a yearly limit of 60 grams.

"We are optimistic about it making an impact with some of our lab, and we are real encouraged by the bill," said Darrel Weaver, director of the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.

He says his organization is excited to have a new tool in the war on meth, and believes joining the N-PLEX national tracking system will also make a difference.

"It's a national tracking system which will not only include Oklahoma purchases but also neighboring states, so we are real excited about that," Weaver said.

Some in law enforcement, like Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton, hope it will help but are taking a wait and see attitude.

"Certainly a step in the right direction and we may have shut that door partially, but I think we're still a long ways from closing that door completely," he said.

Back behind bars, Tierci knows what meth can do,  and where it can lead. She says any effort to stop meth can make a difference.

Had Tierci been able to stay away from the drug, she might still have her family.

"That's all I can do is pray about it. Then at night I'll sit there and look at my pictures of my kids, and I'll cry. And I can lay there and i can picture that i can actually get to touch them or hug them. Maybe one day, you know," Tierce said.

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