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Opposition Mounts on St. Charles Meth Measure

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Phil Walter/Getty Images

Phil Walter/Getty Images

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOX) - Opposition is growing, but it may be too late to prevent a meth measure from passing in St. Charles.

The St. Charles County Council will vote Monday on the plan, which would require a prescription to purchase products containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient for meth-making. Some say that the plan would burden legitimate buyers who are looking for cold relief.

“Now you’ll have to call your physician, you’ll have to make an appointment, you’ll take off work, there will be a co-pay involved, the [price of the] prescription for the medication will go up,” said Joy Krieger with the Allergy Foundation of America.

Though the plan would make it more difficult to purchase cold and allergy medication, St. Charles County Sheriff Tom Neer said the swelling meth problem must be contained.

“Our interest is public safety,” Neer said. “The opponents’ interest, for the most part, is revenue.”

Joe Overfelt, president of the Missouri Retailers Association, said law enforcement should focus on measures already in place, such as the electronic tracking system, rather than add new regulations.

“With [the electronic tracking system] you can find the people that are smurfing,” Overfelt said. “There’s a number of tools that law enforcement can use to go after the people that are breaking the law.”

Smurfing is the term for people used by meth-makers to purchase products with pseudoephedrine. Sheriff Neer says the electronic tracking system is not working as it should, because by the time the pieces come together and law enforcement knows who has purchased a significant quantity of pseudoephedrine, the ingredient has already been used, the meth already made, and even the drugs already out on the street.

Neer said that his department has taken down 96 meth labs already this year, as compared to the 90 raids that took place over the entire course of 2010. He says the real solution to the meth problem will be statewide legislation.

Copyright KMOX Radio.

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