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RALEIGH, NC (AP) — Additional penalties for people who make methamphetamine in North Carolina or possess a key ingredient in making it have been approved by a House committee.

A House judiciary panel voted Wednesday in support of the measure recommended by a study group that looked at how to prevent the spread of the highly addictive drug, produced with volatile chemicals that can lead to explosions.

The measure would make it a felony for someone to possess a product with pseudoephedrine – often cold medicines – if the person has been convicted previously of making meth. These cold medicines remain behind drug store counters and its sales are monitored.

People who make meth where a child or disabled or elder adult live also could see their sentences increased by up to four years.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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