Missouri’s new law limiting access to some of the main ingredients for making methamphetaime appears to be having an immediate impact. Missouri still leads the nation in the number of meth labs taken down by law enforcement officers, but in the last six months of 2005 after a new law became effective, the numbers of meth labs raided dropped significantly. The State Highway Patrol’s Lieutenant Tim Hull says state and local law agencies busted 2,212 meth labs last year – down by more than 560 from 2004 – with most of the reduction coming in the last half of the year. The new law requires anyone purchasing any over-the-counter cold medications with ephedrine or pseudoephedrine in them to show identification to the person selling the items and to sign for the purchase. The pills are kept behind the counter and there are limits on the number of packages that can be sold. Jefferson County remains the most popular county in Missouri for making meth. The Highway Patrol says 256 labs were busted there in 2005. Another 103 were raided in St. Louis County, which is next to Jefferson County.
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