The Ballwin Board of Aldermen discussed whether they should outlaw over-the-counter sales of pseudoephedrine, a nasal decongestant used in the production of methamphetamine.
This week's discussion came within a month of Wildwood's decision to require prescriptions for pseudoephedrine purchases, and just weeks after the Ellisville City Council began . The City of Eureka also banned over-the-counter ppseudoephedrine sales earlier this year.
Alderman Mark Harder, whose board meeting this week was his first since the April 5 election, said the state has already taken some preventative measures against meth production. That includes a tracking system instituted in September that requires buyers to show their IDs at checkout and caps the number of boxes one person can buy within a month.
“I’m against this getting in the hands of the wrong people, but there are some safeguards already out there," Harder said.
Alderman Richard Boerner said that even if both Ballwin and Ellisville banned over-the-counter pseudoephedrine sales, residents of both towns intending to make crystal meth still could purchase the drug.
“I would just go somewhere else to buy it outside the City of Ballwin or outside the City of Ellisville,” Boerner said.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that methamphetamine use increases the release and blocks the reuptake of the brain's "pleasure" chemical dopamine, which deals with messages to the brain regarding reward, motivation and motor function. Symptoms of methamphetamine use include aggression, anxiety, depression, addiction, psychotic behavior and brain damage, as reported by the U.S. Justice Department.
Missouri ranks first in the nation since 2001 in the overall number of meth lab incidents reported to law enforcement, according to the Missouri Narcotics Officers Association.
Ballwin Police Chief Steven Schicker said, however, that most law enforcement groups aren't maintaining an official stance on pseudoephedrine bans.
“Law enforcement is taking a back seat on making a recommendation because they’re waiting for the state legislation to make their own statutes covering this,” Schicker said.
The council agreed to review more details of a possible ban at its next meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, May 9 at the .