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Iowa has become the latest state (following Kentucky, among others) to track pseudoephedrine (PSE) purchases. PSE can be used to make meth, and tracking systems are often proposed as the less onerous alternative to making PSE prescription-only.

But in Iowa, the ACLU is questioning how private the records will be.

Kevin Winker, assistant director of the Iowa Division of Narcotics Enforcement, told Lews his officers don’t need subpoenas to search the system but are required to complete special training to use it. Randall Wilson, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, called for a court order to authorize such searches so citizens won’t have “law officers root(ing) through their medical affairs without a specific reason to suspect them of wrongdoing.”

Law enforcement officers are likely to say the court orders will slow them down when they need to find meth cooks. However, if a court order is not required, then it seems that, in Iowa at least, you must give up a certain right to privacy to purchase a certain type of cold medicine.

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