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Detective: Lax Laws Bringing Meth to St. Louis

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CBS St. Louis (con't)

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - From the rural areas to more urban settings; that’s where law enforcement officials say most of the methamphetamine labs across the St. Louis area are moving.

Not long ago, Jefferson, Franklin, and St. Charles Counties were the hotspots for meth labs in this area but St. Louis County and St. Louis City have experienced exponential increases lately.

Franklin County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner says that is because St. Louis and many communities in St. Louis County have not yet passed a law making the key ingredient in meth – pseudoephedrine – available by prescription only.

“You’re seeing numbers climb, especially in St. Louis County and St. Louis City, because people come into those areas to buy the pseudoephedrine to fire up the lab,” Grellner said, “and because these labs are so portable they end up manufacturing the methamphetamine right where they buy the pseudoephedrine.”

70 communities across Missouri have prescription pseudoephedrine laws and Grellner says meth production in all of those areas has dropped significantly.

“There’s only about five cities in St. Louis County that have enacted a prescription-only for pseudoephedrine law and they’re in the far west end of St. Louis County,” Grellner said. “Meanwhile, the rest of St. Louis County continues to sell pseudoephedrine, as does all of St. Louis City.”

According to Grellner, the states of Oregon, Mississippi, Kentucky and Arkansas have seen a 68 to 96 percent drop in meth production when they enacted a prescription-only ordinance for pseudoephedrine.

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