JOPLIN, MO.--- Methamphetamine lab numbers are dropping in the wake of a Joplin crack down on a meth precursor drug. Since 2010, totals are down by nearly a third in Jasper County, based on federal statistics. At the same time, Missouri state totals have increased, including a jump of nearly 50% in the Saint Louis area.
The Joplin City Council approved an ordinance two years ago requiring a prescription for meth precursor drug pseudo- ephedrine. While Joplin Police Chief Lane Roberts acknowledges the prescription-only requirement won't eliminate meth use, he says it does help safeguard innocent bystanders put at risk by meth labs. "People who choose to engage in the use of meth make a choice to compromise their own safety. But labs compromise the safety of people who've never made that choice."
Missouri topped the list of meth producing states last year and is second only to Indiana so far in 2013.