Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act (1996)

The Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act (MCA) of 1996 (Public Law 104-237) is one of many federal laws enacted in an attempt to limit the production and availability of methamphetamine in the United States. The law increased restrictions on cold medications used as precursors in the illicit manufacture of methamphetamine and increased penalties for persons directly and indirectly involved in methamphetamine production.

Cold and Sinus Medication Restrictions

Ephedrine, pseudoephedrine, and phenylpropanolamine are mild psychomotor stimulants found in a variety of cold and allergy medications. Up until the early 2000s, these substances were available over the counter (OTC) in grocery stores and pharmacies throughout the United States. Due to their structural similarities, these chemicals—particularly ephedrine and pseudoephedrine—are popular precursors used in the clandestine synthesis of methamphetamine.

The MCA’s restrictions on ...

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