Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Greg Stumbo Defends Constitutionality of Kentucky’s Meth Law

Press Release Date:  Thursday, September 28, 2006  
Contact Information:  Vicki Glass, 502-696-5643 Office  

Attorney General Greg Stumbo today intervened to defend against a constitutional attack on Kentucky’s methamphetamine law. The challenge, filed in Daviess Circuit Court on August 30, 2006 by Sheena Ann Speed, contests the law’s requirement that a pharmacy log showing drug purchases be subject to “…random and warrantless inspection by city, county or state law enforcement officers.”

In Commonwealth of Kentucky v. Sheena Ann Speed (Daviess Circuit Court, Division II, No. 06-CR-00408), the plaintiff argues that KRS 218A.1446(3)(b) violates Kentucky’s broadly defined right of privacy. By law (KRS 418.075), the Attorney General is empowered to defend the constitutionality of laws of the Commonwealth when challenged in court.

The challenged statute permits inspection of pharmacy logs containing the names, dates of birth and addresses of persons who purchase or receive any nonprescription medication containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine or phenylpropanolamine.  These are primary ingredients in making methamphetamine. Meth is highly addictive and when produced creates the potential for explosions. Too often, children are put at risk by clandestine labs in homes and vehicles.

“I will vigorously defend this statute,” said Attorney General Stumbo. “It was enacted as part of Senate Bill 63 and passed unanimously by the 2005 Kentucky General Assembly.  It was designed to combat the epidemic of methamphetamine use and manufacturing in Kentucky. Law enforcement needs access to the pharmacy logs to identify people who purchase large quantities of meth ingredients, putting the public at risk.”

More than 40 states, beginning with Oklahoma, have now passed laws that impede the sale of over the counter drugs containing pseudoephedrine.  Recognizing the need for Kentucky to have tighter restrictions on the sale of methamphetamine ingredients, Attorney General Stumbo traveled to Oklahoma and met with Attorney General Drew Edmondson, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and the DEA in early 2004 to learn about new approaches to curbing Oklahoma’s meth problem. Soon after, Stumbo helped draft Kentucky’s meth legislation, Senate Bill 63.

The Attorney General’s motion to intervene will be argued Friday, October 6, 2006 in Daviess Circuit Court.