Anti-meth legislation

Monday, January 31, 2005

The Hannibal Courier-Post

As this year's legislative session gets under way, one topic that has received much attention is how to combat Missouri's meth problem.

... we agree with Gov. Matt Blunt's statement: "We've got to take drastic action." Last week the governor outlined a plan to step up the battle in the meth fight. Modeled after a new law in Oklahoma, Blunt presented a plan requiring medicines containing pseudoephedrine, an ingredient used to make meth, to be sold only by a pharmacist or pharmaceutical technician. According to an Associated Press story, that would mean convenience and grocery stores without pharmacies could no longer sell these items. The plan would also require buyers to present identification and sign a log that will be checked by police.

A piece of legislation introduced by Rep. Wes Shoemyer takes aim at another component in meth production: Anhydrous ammonia.

Shoemyer's legislation would ensure Glo Tell is included in every ton of anhydrous ammonia used in Missouri. Glo Tell ionizes with anhydrous ammonia, turning it pink, which in turn tints meth produced with the additive. The result is that anyone who uses meth that has been treated with Glo Tell will turn pink for about three days at the point on their body where they take the drug.

Shoemyer's legislation goes one step further, creating the Anhydrous Ammonia Additive Fund, which could accept state, federal and other funds to help pay for the additive, reducing the burden to legitimate users, primarily farmers.

The downside to these proposals is that law-abiding citizens will be impacted. We may not be able to buy some medicines as easily as we do today, and anhydrous ammonia users face another requirement. These inconveniences, however, are aimed at ridding our state of the many problems attributed to meth production and use.

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