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City may require prescription for pseudoephedrine

(via Flickr/ellie)
Police believe area methamphetamine makers are simply going elsewhere to dodge some local Missouri laws requiring a prescription for cold medication containing pseudoephedrine, the key ingredient in meth.

A south St. Louis alderwoman says she wants her legislation that would require a prescription for the common decongestant pseudoephedrine to start a conversation about combating the methamphetamine problem in Missouri.

"It's not the be-all, end-all, I'm not saying that," Jennifer Florida, whose 15th Ward sites just south of Tower Grove Park, said. "I'm saying that we as a community need to at least study the evidence, look at the issue, and what more we can do to work with law enforcement to make sure that we're not known as the meth lab of the Midwest." 

Florida will officially introduce the measure on Friday, when the Board of Aldermen returns from its summer break.

Pseudoephedrine is a necessary precursor for meth, and Florida says the fact that police this year have dismantled two meth labs in her ward shows that current restrictions aren't working.

"Let's at least talk about what else we can do to end this problem of meth," Florida said. "That's my whole goal, is to just start this conversation, and to get the information out there, and to raise awareness and move us toward some real solutions."

Florida was a co-sponsor of a practically identical bill in 2010 that never got a hearing. If the law is finally approved, St. Louis would become one of about 70 Missouri communities that requires a prescription for pseudoephedrine. Efforts to pass a statewide law  have failed for the last five years.

Follow Rachel Lippmann on Twitter: @rlippmann

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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