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ACLU Takes Position Against Anti-Meth Ordinance

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News and Features - Washington, Missouri Government
Saturday, 11 July 2009

As quick as it was introduced, the ordinance passed by the Washington, Missouri City Council could be repealed or face being challenged in court. 

In a July 9, 2009 letter sent to the City of Washington, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) cited concerns and legal issues it saw with the ordinance, and requested its repeal at Washington's City Council meeting on July 20.

The ACLU's concerns included an increase in cost that consumers would encounter obtaining medications covered by the ordinance and the precedent set by a municipality regulating OTC (over-the-counter) medications.

The organization noted several potential legal issues it saw with the ordinance:

  • can a city regulate medications which are classified as OTC
  • do the penalties provisions of the ordinance exceed those allowed by state and federal law
  • does the city have the authority to create the ordinance under state law

When the Washington City Council passed the ordinance, some Council members and supporters expressed hope that other municipalities would follow suit.  That plan may just be working -- according to a July 11, 2009 St. Louis Post Dispatch article, Jefferson County County Executive Chuck Banks plans to propose a similar ordinance at next week's county committee meeting.

The Washington City Council must now either choose to repeal or let stand the ordinance it passed on Monday just two weeks after approving it by a 6-2 vote.  That choice will take place at the next City Council meeting on July 20, 2009 at 7:30pm in the Washington, Missouri Council Chambers.

To read an earlier article, see: Washington, MO Council Passes Anti-Meth Law [VIDEO]

Recent Guy Midkiff blog posts on the topic include:




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