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Branson ordinance aims to push out meth makers

August 15, 2012|by Emily Wood, KY3 News | ewood@ky3.com

BRANSON, Mo. -- City leaders are working to push methamphetamine production outside their city limits.  An ordinance requiring prescriptions for products containing pseudoephedrine, a key ingredient in meth, went into effect in May.  Branson Police believe the ordinance is working.

"We take it quite seriously," said Assistant Police Chief Stan Dobbins.

Police say pharmacies in Branson have seen sales of pseudoephedrine products drastically decline since the ordinance went into effect. 

"No longer are you able to walk in, show your license, and pick up pseudoephedrine products.  It now requires a prescription, which comes from a physician," said pharmacist Dan Priest of Lakeland Pharmacy.

Priest said the new city ordinance that requires prescriptions for those medications has made things simpler for his pharmacy in some ways, but he said it is also an inconvenience for some customers.

"Probably the average was around $3 to $5.  Now you've got to add the cost of a doctor's office visit," Priest said.

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Branson police say, so far for 2012, they have not come across any meth labs, but another test will be how many arrests they make for possession of meth, and those numbers are yet to be determined.

"We don't need it in our community.  We don't need it in our county," said Dobbins.

Dobbins said historically the meth problem has also led to an increase in other crimes. 

"They (meth makers and users) like to prey on the individuals that come to our community, our guests, and impact them by stealing property to obtain money for their products," Dobbins said.

Dobbins believes the Branson ordinance is driving meth makers outside the area to buy the ingredients they need to make meth.  His goal is to see the drug pushed farther away and eventually be eradicated.

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