"You can not make methamphetamine without cold tablets."
Think about this simple, direct statement and you might find the answer to Missouri's meth disaster. Once again, the state leads the nation with 1774 meth lab busts last year, and for every one that's busted up, it's estimated that 25 more don't get caught.
So the numbers keep going up, but Sgt. Jason Grellner of the Missouri Narcotic Officers Association tells me the answer is right in front of us, but unfortunately it's INCONVENIENT. Grellner says making pseudoephedrine available by prescription only would choke meth labs off before they can get started.
"The minute you make it a prescription drug, you control the manufacturing of meth," says Grellner. "But I can't get the State Legislature here in Missouri to listen, and to understand that."
There is a lot of money at stake - money that Grellner can't match in terms of lobbying in Jefferson City. He says pharmaceutical companies make millions on over-the-counter pseudoephedrine sales, and they don't want that to dry up. Others argue that they simply can't live without sudafed to clear up those irritating cold symptoms. However, Grellner, who placed 15 kids in Child Services last month because of meth labs, says it's just to important to to let an inconvenience stand in the way of stopping the wrecking ball of methamphetamine.
"An inconvenience is having to call your doctor to ask for a box of Sudafed. A tragedy is when your neighbor's meth lab explodes and burns down your house and kills your kids. A tragedy is 886 kids growing up in a chemical waste dump. You've got to weigh an inconvenience versus a tragedy," says Gellner.
If you want to make a statement, call you Missouri legislator and voice your opinion.