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Mo. meth labs rising again; lawmakers propose new crackdown

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Meth lab busts are rising again in Missouri, causing lawmakers to look for new ways to discourage the illegal drug.

The number of methamphetamine busts declined after a 2005 Missouri law limited access to the drug's main ingredient -- cold medicines that contain pseudoephedrine.

But the Missouri State Highway Patrol says meth lab incidents started to go up again during the last half of 2007. The patrol says meth cooks are going from pharmacy to pharmacy, buying the maximum amount of pseudoephedrine at each place.

Legislation by Republican Sen. Norma Champion, of Springfield, would require pharmacies to keep an electronic log of people who buy pseudoephedrine. Current law requires only a paper record. The hope is that electronic records could track drugmakers more quickly.

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