Mo. AG announces anti-smurfing campaign

By Bryan Cohen | Mar 14, 2013

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster joined with retailers and pharmacists Wednesday to announce the launch of a statewide campaign to restrict part of the methamphetamine production process.

Koster is collaborating with representatives from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association, the Missouri Retailers Association and the Missouri Pharmacy Association to launch a voluntary educational campaign against "smurfing." Smurfing is the criminal enterprise of purchasing cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine to sell to methamphetamine cooks.

The Anti-Smurfing Campaign informs consumers using signage at the point of sale that smurfing is a major criminal offense and an integral part of the production process for methamphetamine. As a result, buying particular cold or allergy medicine products for a stranger could contribute to the state's methamphetamine problem.

"Missouri law enforcement officials will tell you that smurfing is one of the biggest challenges they face in the battle against methamphetamine production and abuse," Koster said. "With the Anti-Smurfing Campaign, Missouri leaders are coming together with the manufacturers of over-the-counter cold and allergy medicines to send an unmistakable message: if you're a buying this product for a meth cook, you are committing a serious criminal offense and could end up behind bars."

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, a national association representing the makers of over-the-counter medicines, developed the public-private partnership. Missouri retailers will carry out the campaign on a voluntary basis.

"Public education is critical to make real progress against meth cooks and dealers," Koster said. "The Anti-Smurfing Campaign is not a silver bullet, but I am confident it will make those who consider buying products to help a meth cook think twice before making an unlawful purchase."

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