Oklahoma's anti-meth legislation has served as a model for many states considering a crackdown on their drug cooks. It limits purchase of cold medicine containing pseudoephedrine and requires buyers to show identification and sign for the pills, just like certain narcotics that are behind the counter.

It has been credited for reducing the number of illegal methamphetamine laboratories operating in rural and urban areas. Now, the federal legislation being considered could pre-empt the successful state laws, according to the Tulsa World's Washington Bureau.

U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, thinks the federal law should take a back seat to states like Oklahoma which have shown progress in the meth wars. He has raised objections to the proposed law and will work with the bill's authors to make certain the federal standard does not weaken the effort.

The bill's authors, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, and Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., think the pre-emption component is needed so that meth cooks don't simply move across the border to a state with a weaker law.

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, has suggested an approach that we think is workable. Put some kind of federal law in place but don't pre-empt the states like Oklahoma that have stepped forward and taken on the problem head-on.

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