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In a recent bit of news unlikely to be trumpeted by the state’s tourism office, Missouri earned the sad distinction of being home to the most meth labs of any state in the country in 2012. The statistics are compiled each year by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency which monitors the number of meth incidents that occur across the country. Sadly, this isn’t the first time Missouri has come in at number one.

The figures from 2012 reveal another big year for meth manufacturing in Missouri. The data shows that when broken down by county, Jefferson County, MO actually has the second greatest number of meth labs out of all the counties in the United States. Missouri as a whole was found to have 1,825 meth labs in 2012. That’s actually down from the record breaking 2,075 meth labs discovered in 2011, but hardly a sign of tremendous law enforcement success.

According to data on a county-by-county basis, Jefferson County came in second with 472 meth lab busts in 2012. Not far behind was St. Charles County, MO, which saw 311 meth incidents in 2012, enough to place fifth in the country. St. Francois, Jasper, Greene, Jackson, Franklin and St. Louis counties each had more than 100 incidents apiece. Though these numbers are enormous, Tulsa, Oklahoma was the clear leader, with a total of 979 separate meth incidents last year.

In Missouri it is illegal to possess, sell, make or attempt to make meth, though the law says that it is more serious to sell meth near a school or within a motel or vehicle. Chapter 195 of Missouri Revised Statutes deals with drug regulations and it says that possession of methamphetamine is classified as a Class C Felony, carrying up to 7 years in prison and fines reaching $5,000.

Beyond making and possessing actual methamphetamine, Missouri law also limits the amount of meth precursor chemicals (such as pseudoephedrine) a person is allowed to possess. Missouri law says that individuals are permitted to buy up to 9 grams of pseudoephedrine every 30 days. That equals roughly two 15-dose boxes of Claritin D. It is illegal in Missouri to possess any methamphetamine precursor substance with the intent to manufacture methamphetamine. Having only 24 grams of pseudoephedrine in your house can be enough to violate state law.

A Missouri methamphetamine possession charge has the potential to seriously damage your life. It doesn’t matter if this is your first time using the drug or if you have a history of problems, either way, you could face severe legal penalties. Our Firm has extensive experience handling methamphetamine cases in Missouri state courts and in the Federal District Court of Eastern District of Missouri.

If you’ve had a run in with the law and find yourself in need of a Missouri criminal defense lawyer capable of aggressively protecting your interests, contact our St. Louis criminal defense law firm today at (314) 863-0500.

Source: “Missouri Leads the Nation in Meth Labs (Again), Jefferson County Second Highest In Country,” by Jessica Lussenhop, published at RiverFrontTimes.com.

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