FRANKLIN COUNTY, Mo. (KMOX) – Franklin County is one of the top meth-producing counties in the top meth-producing state in the nation, but that appears to be changing, according to the man who heads up the county’s task force.

“Missouri’s overall meth lab numbers are dropping,” said Franklin County Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner. “It looks like this year the state will drop out of that number one position which hasn’t happened in quite a while.”

Grellner, who is head of the Franklin County Task Force, said this year his team busted 60 meth labs, well below the 2012 total of 102.

Meth lab investigations statewide were concurrent with Franklin County. Officials found a 25-percent decrease in overall meth production from 2012.

Grellner expects Missouri to fall below Indiana and possibly even Tennessee next year.

The reason behind the reduction

Grellner’s believes it can be directly tied to the growing number of municipalities that have passed laws restricting the sale of medicines that contain pseudoephedrine, a main ingredient of meth. 70 communities across Missouri so far have adopted ordinances.

But the picture looks different in St. Louis city and county who have seen an increase in meth activity.

“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.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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