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New Front For Death Penalty Debate: Pharmacy Rules

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — In a new tactic, death penalty opponents are lobbying state health regulators to prohibit pharmacists from mixing drugs for lethal injection.

They’re starting in Minnesota, where capital punishment doesn’t exist and where there isn’t evidence pharmacists are supplying the drugs. The debate began Wednesday in Minnesota’s Board of Pharmacy. It will resume in September.

Minnesota’s regulators are weighing whether and how to write restrictions that would bar production of execution drugs.

Indiana-based activist Kelsey Kauffman sees opportunity in Minnesota because it lacks the death penalty. She and allies also plan to approach licensing boards in Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Death penalty states have been scrambling to find new sources of drugs after several drugmakers stopped selling them for lethal injections. Several states have turned to compounding pharmacies.

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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