McCaskill Blasts Talent's Meth Bill
A bill co-sponsored by Sen. Jim Talent puts more medicine that can be made into meth behind store counters, and more than $100 million on the counter for law enforcement and treatment of addicts.
Talent said the bill will provide "a single, national standard, getting pseudoephedrine behind the pharmacy counters, so the consumers can still get it but the meth cooks can't."
Missouri already restricts the sale of many medicines on the bill's list, but Talent said out-of-state purchases are a problem because "just a couple of weeks ago, [they] caught a couple of meth crooks who had driven to Indiana and bought hundreds of pills and were coming back to Franklin, Mo., to make it into methamphetamine."
One medicine that would go behind Missouri store counters is liquid gelcaps with pseudoephedrine, a newer source of meth.
"I know the Iowa Crime Lab has tested it to see if it could be done," explained Maj. Jim Keathley of the Missouri State Highway Patrol. "And they did make methamphetamine out of liquid gelcaps."
However, Talent's probable opponent in 2006, state Auditor Claire McCaskill, said most of Missouri's meth-related medicines are already off store aisles.
"The problem with this bill is that, really, in Missouri, it's just a photo-op," she said, "because we already had these provisions on the books."
And, McCaskill said, Talent is making an empty promise with an empty wallet.
"Sen. Talent has voted against resources for local law enforcement at the federal level," she added, "and this bill contains no money."
McCaskill said Talent voted against $1 billion in funding for local law enforcement and first responders in 2003.
Talent's plan calls for at least $110 million in funding over the next five years, and he said he would apply for federal grants to help get Missouri's share of that money.