JOPLIN, Mo. — It’s usually a point of pride when your home state is ranked number one in the country at something. Not so much when it comes to the manufacturing of illegal drugs. But that reputation is changing, and for the better.
For a full decade, the state of Missouri lead the country in the reporting of meth manufacturing. Over the last few years there’s been a dramatic decrease in the number of reported meth lab seizures in the state of Missouri, in fact, several other states are much higher on the list than we are.
Why the big turnaround? SGT. John Lueckenhoff, of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, says legislative efforts to limit the sale of pseudoephedrine and other items are paying off.
“The fact that we now have laws on the books that if you have certain precursors certain other ingredients all collected together, because those ingredients wouldn’t be used uh together for anything other than the production of Methamphetamine and so those those laws are really starting to show positive effects now,” says SGT. John Luekenhoff of the Missouri State Highway Patrol
He says drug interdiction efforts by the highway patrol that target specific drug corridors are also making a difference.
“One of those officers this week may stop a vehicle that has 300 pounds of processed marijuana coming out of Colorado and next week they may stop a vehicle that you know has kilos of cocaine coming out of California, so they’re just out working specifically looking for those drugs traveling across our state,” says SGT. John Luekenhoff of the Missouri Highway Patrol.
But there are other factors at work as well, according to Captain Trevor Duncan of the Joplin Police Department.
“It’s coming from Mexico and being imported into the area so it’s really gone from a battle against people in the area producing in the residences and garages and things like that to more of locating it in traffic stops coming into the area,” says the CPT. Trevor Duncan of the Joplin Police Department.
While Missouri is still the highest meth producing state in the Four State area, there are now seven other states ahead of Missouri in the meth producing category, lead by Indiana.