Despite a new Missouri law aimed at making it nearly impossible to buy the hundreds of cold pills needed to make methamphetamine, investigators in St. Louis’ suburban Jefferson County drug investigators didn’t see any meaningful drop in the number of meth-related raids and seizures this year, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. Sgt. Gary Higginbotham, commander of the county’s drug task force, said by year’s end the unit will have uncovered about 250 suspected meth labs, ingredient stockpiles, or dumpsites. That’s slightly fewer than last year’s 259.
When the law went into effect, police and politicians promised that methamphetamine labs quickly would dry up across Missouri, and that the so-called cooks who make the powerful narcotic would either import meth from elsewhere or move their operations to other states. That isn’t happening in Jefferson County, the state’s perennial leader in the number of meth labs raided by police. “After the law went into effect, the (meth) cooks were confused for a few weeks,” said Higginbotham. “After that it was back to the same-old, same-old.” Meth cooks are avoiding the new restrictions by shopping for pseudoephedrine in Illinois, the only state bordering Missouri that hasn’t enacted a similar law.