Some Missouri drug investigators hope a petition drive will convince state legislators that consumers will accept tougher controls on over-the-counter cold pills that are used to make methamphetamine, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. At issue is pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in many of the nation’s most successful over-the-counter remedies and a key ingredient in meth. Cpl. Jason Grellner, head of the drug unit of the Franklin County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department, says it’s time to shut down the so-called “cold pills connection.” He and other drug investigators want legislators to follow the lead of Oklahoma. In April, that state decided that most pseudoephedrine remedies can be sold only at pharmacies and only if customers agree to have purchases and identities recorded in a statewide database that police can access. Last week, Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski ordered that state’s pharmacy regulators to implement similar rules.
Current restrictions in Missouri simply inconveniences meth cooks by forcing them to buy pills from dozens of shops, Grellner says. Police have collected about 2,000 petition signatures since they kicked off their campaign earlier this month and that they hope to have more than 100,000 signatures by the end of the year. Missouri leads the nation in raids on meth labs and meth-related dump sites.