St. Charles County calls for tighter restrictions on cold meds in neighboring communities

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on September 20, 2012 at 6:08 PM

Updated Friday, Sep 21 at 8:16 AM

ST. CHARLES COUNTY, Mo (KMOV.com) – St. Charles County is pleading with St. Louis city and St. Louis County to tighten access to cold medicines with pseudoephedrine.

Police say drug users in St. Charles and surrounding counties are going into St. Louis to get the essential ingredient for their meth labs.

Some officials are calling the St. Louis County and St. Louis City “bad neighbors” and blaming them for the ongoing increase in meth labs.

Officials say it’s just too easy for meth users to cross over into the city, buy the cold medicine and go back to make their meth.

Missouri Narcotics Association President Jason Grellner says it’s time for St. Louis City and the county to step up.

“St. Louis County has failed to act and has failed to respond to requests to act,” he said.

Thursday morning he updated dozens of law enforcement and elected officials from Lincoln to Jefferson Counties, and St. Charles.

Many are frustrated that St. Louis City and St. Louis County have failed to pass a law requiring a prescription for medicines with pseudoephedrine—the key ingredient for meth labs.

“95% of pseudoephedrine firing up meth labs in those counties comes directly from St. Louis County and St. Louis City. “

But not everyone is clamoring for law makers to tighten restrictions. The pharmaceutical industry has argued in the past that tighter restrictions are an unfair nuisance for law abiding citizens, and cite other ways to deter meth makers.

“The last time, the pharmaceutical industry did an effective job of lobbying,” said St. Louis City Alderman Jennifer Florida.

“First you have to get them to agree we have a problem. Then you have to put that responsibility on them, if you don’t think this is a good solution then you need to come up with a solution,” she said.

Florida introduced an ordinance to require a prescription for customers seeking medicine with pseudoephedrine, and she’s hoping this will be the year the City of St. Louis joins the surrounding counties.

Grellner says meth labs across Missouri would drop by at least 50% if St. Louis County and St. Louis City pass the ordinance.

 

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