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Over the past decade Missouri has passed stricter and stricter laws to try to curb the use and production of methamphetamine in the state. At issue is pseudoephedrine, a drug that is used to relieve cold and allergy symptoms. Pseudoephedrine is also a key ingredient in meth production.

Now the state is proposing yet another regulation. A new bill would lower the amount of pseudoephedrine-containing medicines a person can buy in a 30-day period from 9 grams to 7.5. Consumers would only be allowed to purchase 60 grams of such medication in a year.

The state already has a limit on what consumers can buy and tracks pseudoephedrine purchases using an up-to-the-minute database. Believe it or not, these restrictions are a more moderate approach than some would prefer. Some of the state's lawmakers have advocated for making pseudoephedrine only available with a prescription, which would limit law-abiding people's access to the drug and place more administrative burdens on health care providers.

Of course the state government has a valid interest in preventing methamphetamine production and limiting the proliferation of illegal drugs. But this legislation may be another step in drug policy that unfairly limits the right of civilians. People have a right to seek medical treatment and legal medication.

If you are facing criminal charges or accusations, strong representation is essential to make sure your rights are protected. Working with a criminal defense attorney can help you preserve those rights, such as the right to remain silent, the right to a fair and speedy trial and freedom from unlawful searches and seizures.

Source: The San Francisco Chronicle, "Mo. bill seeks lower limit for cold medicine," Chris Blank, Jan. 18, 2013

To learn more about criminal charges in Missouri, please visit our website.

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