Signs depicting pictures of handcuffs, or the face of a forlorn child, may soon blanket pharmacy counters across Missouri, bearing messages such as, “Meth makes children orphans,” in an effort to deter people from buying cold medications for methamphetamine cooks, reports the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster stood alongside lobbyists from the pharmaceutical industry pledging support for a public awareness campaign aimed at stopping “smurfers.” That's the nickname for people who buy pseudoephedrine-based medications for others to make the illicit drug.
Koster said backers put aside political differences to ask pharmacies to display the signs. Koster supports prescription-only status for the decongestant, while industry lobbyists have fought that. Pseudoephedrine is meth's key ingredient. Two states, Oregon and Mississippi, have adopted prescription laws and seen large declines in meth lab busts. “To have a tent card or poster on display at a pharmacy counter to raise awareness on this issue is a positive, and there is no reason why I shouldn't support it,” Koster said. “I believe my position on this issue and this public awareness campaign run parallel.” St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson joined the group, and noted that helping make meth is “a serious offense that will land you in jail.”