Baking soda: the latest target in the war on drugs - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Baking soda: the latest target in the war on drugs

Baking soda: the latest target in the war on drugs
By: Holly Brantley

In the latest move to fight the war on drugs, A Missouri lawmaker wants to put of all things -  baking soda - behind the counter. You've probably already heard of similar laws to fight meth, this proposal is modeled after those.

Right now a state  law requires cold medicines with pseudoephedrine be placed behind the pharmacy counter. Pseudoephedrine is the key ingredient in meth amphetamines. To buy pseudoephedrine, you have to be 18 years old, show a photo id, and sign a log book. Now lawmakers want to put the same kind of restrictions on sodium bicarbonate, or baking soda.

Baking Soda is a staple in every home, we use it for recipes, cleaning, odors...but some people use it to make crack cocaine. So, lawmakers say putting it behind the counter would call attention to the drug problem.

Many in the Heartland were shocked to hear about the latest anti-drug proposal. "I would think baking soda is an item you're just used to picking up," said Greg Colwick of Sikeston. "It's convenient to do."

Too convenient says Democratic Rep. Talibdin El-Amin. He's modeled his proposal after those similar to cold medicines with ingredients used to make meth. "That's maybe going overboard," said Colwick.

Local pharmacists agree. they say restrictions on cold medicines have been a headache for them, saying it takes away from other aspects of the job. Shoppers feel it might be just another bright idea. "I guess I never thought of it in that way," said Beth Langston of Gordonville. "I just always use it for baking."

Others feel it could be a positive more. "As long as they have to ask for it like they do pseudoephedrine," said Renee Mitchell of Morley. "If they have to ask for it to get it that would be okay."

Some point out the pharmacy might actually be an appropriate place for baking soda. "Actually it serves a lot of medicinal purposes," said Mitchell.

Drug agents say cocaine is second only to meth in rural areas. The measure was filed in March, but hasn't received a hearing.

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