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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Police Powers Versus Health and Safety Ordinances in Franklin County Missouri


New Federal Cold Medication Law (above)
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County Commission Says Pseudoephedrine Restriction Stands Up for Cops, Kids

August 18, 2011
By Evin Fritschle, Missourian Staff Writer
www.emissourian.com  
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A Villa Ridge man continued his open challenge of the county’s recently enacted ordinance restricting pseudoephedrine purchases without a prescription this week, and commissioners continued to defend their decision.
Art LeBeau said commission Order 11-216, which went into effect Aug. 13, cited statutes that only empowered counties to make laws regarding possession and manufacture of pseudoephedrine, but not the sale of it.
“No where in the order is it stated where, how or what statute to promulgate said order is cited or any other statutory authority,” LeBeau said. “Thus the germane question is by what authority is Order 11-216 based upon. Obviously there is none.”
He said the other portions of the order are superfluous because the order itself is not lawful.
Presiding Commissioner John Griesheimer said the county was not doing anything new with its restrictions, citing Ripley County’s similar ordinance earlier this year and the numerous cities in the county that have similar provisions.
“One man, even though he is the attorney general, made an opinion going beyond simply that the drugs have to be displayed behind the county. The thing is questionable, but no one has challenged it,” Griesheimer said of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster’s opinion.
Koster issued an opinion saying such ordinances are legal.
“There is an ambiguity in the law,” Griesheimer said. “I understand where you’re coming from, and I would never go out on a limb and do something like this on an every day issue.”
He and the other commissioners, Ann Schroeder and Terry Wilson, all vocally expressed their support for the ordinance, even if it does some day put the county in a legal bind.
“There is a lot at stake in our communities,” Schroeder said.
Wilson said the commission is aware of the risks of a legal challenge.

Detective Sgt. Jason Grellner, head of the county’s narcotics task force said,  “What it all means is that under police powers, we can’t issue citations, but as a matter of public health risk and health concern, both for the victims in the labs as well as those who may live nearby, move into a home which previously had a lab not properly mitigated and even the motoring public, we can restrict it,” he said.

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