The bill being drafted at Blunt’s request will help hinder meth cookers’ access to ingredients used to make the deadly drug by:
- Making products containing pseudoephederine and combination products containing ephedrine schedule V controlled substances.
- Requiring those drugs to be kept behind a pharmacy counter and sold only by pharmacists or pharmaceutical technicians.
- Requiring individuals wishing to purchase those products to show a photo identification card and to sign a written log.
- Limiting the quantity of pseudoephederine and combination ephedrine/pseudoephederine products individuals can buy per month to 9 grams (3 normal sized boxes of cold tablets).
- Requiring pharmacies to maintain purchase logs and make them available for inspection to law enforcement officers.
Blunt’s proposal is modeled after a law that took effect in Oklahoma last April.
Since the inception of that law, meth incidents in the state have declined by 80 percent. For the last several years, Missouri has been one of the top meth producing states in the nation.
In 2003, Missouri had 2,860 meth incidents, 1,600 more than California, the second highest state that year, accounting for nearly 20 percent of the meth incidents in the country. Last year, the Missouri Highway Patrol conducted more than 19,000 meth investigations.
The following statistics reflect the activities of the 9 agents assigned to the Jasper County Drug Task Force for the first nine months of 2004, according to a release by Archie Dunn, Jasper County sheriff received late last year. The righthand figure represents totals for the same time period in 2003.
- Arrests: 402 vs. 244
- Buys: 101 vs. 63
- Search warrants: 142 vs. 61
- Knock & talks: 100 vs. 35
- Trash pulls: 49 vs. 19
- Meth labs: 138 vs. 77
- Marijuana plants: 0 vs. 116
- Marijuana: 5428g vs. 595,057.6g
- Meth: 138 vs. 77
- Cocaine: 37.75g vs. 34.75g
- Ephedrine pills: 853 vs. 4836
- Prescription drugs: 266 vs. 267
- Weapons: 65 vs. 55
- Cash: $140,530.00 vs. $37,197.00
Search Warrants were served in the following towns: Alba, Carthage, Joplin, Purcell, and Webb City.