I can't say we didn't try to tell them so. When I was a member of the News-Leader's Editorial Advisory Board this was my pet project, and more than one op-ed expressed disappointment and outrage at the way our legislators handled the meth crisis. Missouri's legislation to protect us from meth labs has backfired, and a new option has come up for college students or homeless looking to make a few quick bucks. Missouri has taken the top honors in meth incidents for seven years running, but instead of seeing the folly of tracking purchases, the state is preparing to pour even more money into efforts to track the purchase of cold tablets.ST. LOUIS – Electronic systems that track sales of the cold medicine used to make methamphetamine have failed to curb the drug trade and instead created a vast, highly lucrative market for profiteers to buy over-the-counter pills and sell them to meth producers at a huge markup.An Associated Press review of federal data shows that the lure of such easy money has drawn thousands of new people into the methamphetamine underworld over the last few years.
"One reason these numbers have gone up is because of law enforcement's ability to track and locate the people producing meth," said Keith Cain, sheriff in Daviess County, Ky. "If we pull the plug on electronic tracking, we lose the ability to see where these labs are at. I fear we would regress 10 years."
I respectfully disagree. The number of cases are on the rise, but they are in measure with the increase we see in meth use overall. Tracking purchases is wasting money building a database that should be illegal in the first place, and requiring a prescription for a legal substance puts an unfair burden on the uninsured and the poor. While I am all for supporting law enforcement and helping them protect the community, this goes too far. If by regressing ten years Cain means going back to the days when law enforcement used footwork and reasonable doubt before burdening its most vulnerable citizens, I'm all for it. If you want to win the war on drugs, you fight against the people manufacturing it, not creating a system that creates new friendships and networks for people who may have never gotten involved in the first place.