Since July 1, pseudoephedrine has been available by prescription only, a law passed to decrease crystal meth manufacturing in Mississippi. Even though the new law has seemed to drastically cut the number of meth cases in Northeast Mississippi, concern is still high among law enforcement agents.
Meth arrests in Northeast Mississippi went from 33 cases in July to only 12 in September, according to Northeast Mississippi Narcotics Unit Commander Capt. Marvis Bostick.
However, because neighboring states Tennessee and Alabama have less restrictive meth laws than Mississippi now does, Bostick said he believes meth manufacturers have started crossing state lines to bring back the pseudoephedrine.
"Even though the new law has had a significant impact in the state on decreasing meth cases and will continue to do so, we still have concerns about those who may be going to our border states to get the pseudoephedrine and bringing it back here to cook meth," Bostick said. "That's why we are working to change some of our investigative techniques to catch these people."
Lee County Sheriff Jim Johnson shares Bostick's concern about meth-makers traveling to neighboring states, but said he is pleased with the results of the new law so far.
"We have had about a 75 percent decrease in meth labs since the legislature started passing laws restricting the purchase of pseudoephedrine in 2006," said Johnson. "This is the one ingredient that a person has to have to cook meth, so limiting the purchase of it has been the most effective way to combat the problem."
Bostick said his agency is working with officials in Alabama and Tennessee to catch people traveling to get pseudoephedrine.
"We hope to see the border states pass the same law that Mississippi did so we can assure that it's even harder for these meth cooks to get what they need to make the drugs," said Bostick. "Stopping meth really helps everyone in the community."
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-1583 or email@example.com.