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Editorial: Stopping meth

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Missouri has led the nation in the seizure of methamphetamine labs for 10 consecutive years -- a distinction the state would like to lose.

One step in an effort to crack down on the production of meth was taken by Cape Girardeau and Scott City recently as both city councils passed an ordinance to require a prescription for products containing pseudoephedrine -- a key ingredient in the manufacturing of the highly addictive drug.

Gov. Jay Nixon is urging the Missouri Legislature to pass legislation making Missouri the third state in the nation to require a doctor's prescription for pseudoephedrine-containing cold medications.

The debate over whether a prescription should be required for these types of purchases has been a contentious one. Proponents say measures like these will go a long way in curtailing the production of meth in Missouri. Opponents say the requirement will impose additional costs on legitimate users. They also argue that before moving forward with prescription-only laws, the state should give the recently implemented computerized tracking system -- designed to help block high-volume purchases of pseudoephedrine-containing products -- a chance to work.

The tracking system -- which is required to be implemented by pharmacies by the end of this month -- is said to be an effective tool for law enforcement. Several of Missouri's border states also use the same or a similar system.

While both sides present valid arguments, a key concern moving forward is the usefulness of the tracking system for prescription-requiring cities and the state, should pseudoephedrine-by-prescription legislation move forward. Currently, the system is not an available tool for law enforcement in cities that have a prescription ordinance due to HIPAA laws.

Should the legislature pass a law requiring a prescription for products containing pseudoephedrine, they should also allow law enforcement the option to use the tracking system.

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Doesn't the high level of seizures also reflect competent law enforcement? Tell us more about these seizures - are they repeat offenders? Are the laws against offenders appropriate? Requiring prescriptions for otherwise harmless and effective over the counter remedies for afflictions that appear rampant in our allergic environment seem bass ackwards. And what about the industries that produce these effective medicines - won't that cause them hardship and endanger jobs? Sounds like the governor and mayor are taking an easy way out with the usual unintended consequences.

-- Posted by blogbudsman on Thu, Dec 16, 2010, at 9:25 AM

why do you want to lose this distinction it means we have great law enforcement. would we rather sweep it under the rug

-- Posted by happypappies on Thu, Dec 16, 2010, at 1:11 PM

You mean to tell me, they passed those ridiculous ordinances and the law has yet to go into effect for the tracking system. How can we measure it's effectiveness when we don't have all the data? Give me a break.

Perhaps I misunderstood but now they would like to use the tracking system for prescription purchases. HELL NO, enough is enough. First, it was show my ID, limit my quantities, sign my name, track my purchases (STATEWIDE), blah, blah, blah. Now you say I need a script, fine, got it..now get off of me.

-- Posted by Turnip on Thu, Dec 16, 2010, at 3:51 PM

how selfish we can be try not to take the concern for this dangerous drug that is too easily made personally. did you ever live next to someone who cooked it. i had to move to be safe because 9 police communities in st louis co could not run this speeder down. do you have to move? i really think this is a major inconvenience over tracking and prescriptions WAKE UP

-- Posted by happypappies on Thu, Dec 16, 2010, at 6:13 PM

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