TANEY COUNTY, Mo -- Missouri had close to 2,000 meth busts in 2010--second only to Tennessee. One community in the Ozarks is fighting back with another one on its heels.
As meth continues to rear its ugly head in Southwest Missouri some communities are starting to fight back. "These people are stepping up and trying to take care of it themselves in their own area," said Taney County Sheriff Jimmy Russell.
Hollister Aldermen are moving forward with an ordinance that would require a prescription for pseudoephedrine--the driving force behind methamphetamine.
"It's our responsibility to investigate any efforts we can make from the city at the alderman level to help in the drug problem we have," said Branson Alderman Mike Booth.
They aren't alone. The conversation recently landed in the Branson Alderman meeting
"If we can do a little on the war against drugs and meth in particular, I think it's something our city council should look at and something the city should investigate," Alderman Booth said.
According to the Taney County Sheriff meth cases have actually been down over the past couple of years, but this last year it's back up. Criminals and their methods are starting to evolve.
"The labs can be anywhere," said Sheriff Russell, "they can be so many different forms, so easily movable."
Since finding the labs can be so difficult the only way to gain any ground is to control the one thing the meth makers need the most.
"Ultimately being able to stop the meth labs is completely stopping the pseudoephedrine, "said Sheriff Russell, "that is the controlling factor in the whole thing."
"If we can provide one more tool to help them in their job, then I think we need to look at possibly doing that," Booth said.
Hollister should vote on the issue next week. There hasn't been a formal motion in Branson just yet. Leaders there are investigating the issue and will then make a decision on what they want to do.
Not everyone is in favor of these types of laws because of the added cost for people who do actually need the drug and use it correctly.