Meth Busts Less Frequent in Southeast Missouri

The meth-law debate continues to boil.

In Southeast Missouri, long known as a hotbed of meth labs, crimes related to the illicit stimulant have dropped since many cities began requiring a prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine, a primary ingredient in meth, the Southeast Missourian reports today.

The report is based on data from the Missouri Highway Patrol. The author cites Franklin County narcotics investigator Jason Grellner, who has made a name for himself by barnstorming Missouri on a quest to lobby legislators into enacting new prescription drug laws that would require prescriptions to purchase pseudoephedrine-based ingredients like Sudafed and Claritin D at local pharmacies.

According to Grellner, whose philosophy has sparked controversy, 85 to 90 percent of pseudoephedrine purchased in Missouri is used to produce meth.

In Southeast Missouri, it seems, his method is having something of an effect. Cape Girardeau County, for example, saw meth-related incidents drop from 66 in 2010 to 39 through the first eleven months of 2011, according to the Missourian report. That county's prescription law went into effect in October 2010.

"We're seeing a lot less scary people," a pharmacy owner told the paper.