To The Editor: The freedoms that our Constitution afford us are what make this country great. But we don't have the freedom to cook meth and burn down the apartment building we live in or poison the house we rent. We don't have the right to put our children and neighbors at risk because of our addiction.We know that cooking meth poses an extreme danger to the health and safety of our citizens, and we know that the only way to stop meth labs is to eliminate the one required ingredient, pseudoephedrine. We must recognize that pseudoephedrine is an effective drug for the treatment of cold symptoms, and should not be removed from the market.
The process is more than dangerous to the cooker, it is explosive, and creates poisonous byproducts that remain long after the cooker is gone.
In Jefferson County, our EMS personnel have responded to many, many fires caused by methcookers. This places them in extreme danger as they fight the fire, and risk the explosions and the exposure to the contaminants.
Many folks have lost their homes because their neighbor was a methcooker and moving a family into a residence where meth was cooked could be catastrophic.
The answer to the addiction is unsolved, but the answer to the meth-lab is addressable. By requiring a prescription, only sick people get access to the drug. In Oregon, the only state to pass the necessary legislation, the results have been dramatic.
So why hasn't Missouri passed this? Minority Whip State Rep. Jeff Roorda has sponsored the legislation, and every Jefferson County legislator has supported it, but they are in the minority, and the majority took it out of the last crime bill.
As elected officials, it is our sworn duty to protect the public health. As regional leaders, it is our duty to lead. The city of Washington, in Franklin County, has demonstrated its willingness to lead.
The ordinance they passed makes pseudoephedrine a prescription-only medication. It puts one piece of the regional armor in place in the battle against meth. It is now up to the rest of the region to follow that lead and pass similar ordinances that will form a united front against meth labs.
Together we can make a difference. I ask that every city and every county in the St. Louis region stand with Washington and stop meth now.