Green Country Man's Crusade To Stop Meth Production

Story Comments Share

Updated: 5/16/2011 11:04 pm Published: 5/16/2011 3:18 pm

A Claremore man is doing what he can stop meth makers in Oklahoma.

David Starkey is on a crusade to make it tougher for meth makers to their hands on the drug’s ingredient found in cold medicine.  

"You don't see a person step up and take the challenge take the responsibility,” says Broken Arrow Family Drug Pharmacist Todd Pendergraft.

Starkey recently convinced Holdenville, in Southeast Oklahoma, to require a prescription for certain types of pseudoephedrine.

It’s an update to a story FOX23 News first reports in April. 

FOX23’s Abbie Alford reports on his mission.

Starkey says he got fed up when state legislatures killed proposal requiring a prescription for dry tablet pseudoephedrine.

He’s succeeded in Holdenville, now he plans to go in front of the Broken Arrow City Council to encourage the city to make it tougher for meth makers to make their dangerous and destructive drug.

Loaded with documents and DVD’s, Starkey’s first stop in Broken Arrow is the Apothecary Shoppe.

"Here is the ordinance in fact, this is Broken Arrow's,” says  Starkey.

With 18 reported meth labs reported in Broken Arrow this year, police say they’re on track to surpass the number of labs compared to last year.

"It will cut out the smurfing,” says Starkey.

Part of the problem, so-called ‘smurfs’ are recruited by meth cooks to buy cold medicine for them. Police say some smurfs are paid $50 to $100 a box to buy pseudoephedrine in dry tablet at pharmacies.

Oklahoma was the first state to put pseudoephedrine behind the counter, federal law then followed.

Even with a state meth registry that bans felons convicted of meth crimes from purchasing pseudopehedrine, makers seem to always find a way to get their hands on the tablet form which is the easiest way to make meth.

"If you take a liquid gel instead of a tablet it would solve the meth problem in Oklahoma,” says Starkey.

Oregon has a similar law and in its first year officials say meth labs decreased by 96%.

Starkey says he doesn’t want to be misunderstood, he doesn’t want all pseudoephedrine to be a prescription, his proposal would exclude gel caps and liquids.

"Mr. Starkey isn't trying to eliminate pseudoephedrine sales he's trying to make it harder for the bad guys to get a hold of it. It's not going to hurt you or me, the gel caps will still be available,” says Panter.

The Apothecary, a compounding shop, already requires a prescription for any medicine.

"To be honest with you the liquid gels work faster. There are some people who swear that the tablets work but psychosomatic,” says The Apothecary Pharmacist Kyle Panter.

The next stop is at the Broken Arrow Family Drug.

"It's not just the meth user that it causes problems with. It causes problems with families, neighbors and community,” says Pendergraft.

State drug agents report Broken Arrow is one of the top 17 cities in Oklahoma with the highest pseudoephedrine sales at pharmacies and that’s making it easier to make meth with the convenient one-pot meth method.

"I am in a race against time because it surprises me that it doesn't explode every time,” says Starkey.

Still Pendergraft fears those with a real cold or allergies will suffer.

"There is a cost factor there is a convenience factor as well for pseudoephedrine,” says Pendergraft.

However, he says the costs outweigh the damage meth can do to innocent families.

"I am proud of you take a stand and do something like this and take the initiative,” says Pendergraft. “Anything we can do to box them in a little bit further and prevent the problems."

The Broken Arrow Police Department tells FOX23 News is supports the proposal to make pseudoephedrine in tablet a prescription.

Starkey plans to address the Broken Arrow City Council Tuesday night at 6 p.m.


Story Comments Share

16 Comment(s)
Comments: Show | Hide

Here are the most recent story comments.View All

The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of KOKI FOX23 - Tulsa

The Blue Rose - 5/20/2011 6:31 PM
0 Votes
Personally, the "war on drugs" is a waste to me. People have been using substances to alter their consciousness since the Neolithic age. You are not going to stop it and control is a pipe dream. Maybe if it weren't so illicit people wouldn't have to go to dangerous measures to create it. It shouldn't matter what you choose to put into your body. It is your choice and as long as you don't kill anyone or mame or break laws, it should be your personal business.

TurfTamer - 5/20/2011 10:13 AM
0 Votes
My point here is simple, people are going to use drugs no matter what happens. If there is no Meth it will be something else. Drugs are evil and there will always be innocent people caught up in the effects. This law would probably put a big hurt on Meth labs, that is true, but it will also cost the majority not only money (going to the dr) but aggravation and inconvenience. Meanwhile the small percentage of people the law is designed to effect will simply find another way to get high and continue down the road of drug use. So in the end there will be no change to the people the law is intended to stop. Taking on this crusade is noble, but if this kind of effort were put into things that may make a difference like drug prevention, education, rehabilitation, etc. The time and money would be better spent. This law would defiantly help TPD save some money... until the next epidemic arrives. See the big picture don't be blinded by the small scene. BTW i saw the article on huffing, that can be your next crusade... banning gold paint, that will stop them.

VoteNoMeth - 5/19/2011 4:38 PM
0 Votes
I did answer your question and I said I am out to shut down the shake and bake meth labs. I cannot control what people take and there will always be stupid people taking drugs. This ordinance will crush the shake and bake labs that are burning these kids up. That is my goal and it will happen.

TurfTamer - 5/19/2011 2:44 PM
0 Votes Again, you didn't answer the question. You are not out to ONLY stop shake and bake meth labs. You are out to stop the effects of meth. Your website as well as your examples (like the one you just gave) in the forum are about the effects of meth. If you do stop shake and bake meth labs, will that stop the evil effects of drugs on society? Will people just stop using drugs? The answer to the question is obvious, that is why you avoid it.

VoteNoMeth - 5/19/2011 1:48 AM
0 Votes
Oklahoma House of Representatives Media Division May 16, 2011 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Contact: State Rep. Doug Cox Capitol: (405) 557-7415 Cox Praises Holdenville Action Against Meth OKLAHOMA CITY – State Rep. Doug Cox, one of only two doctors serving in the Oklahoma Legislature, today praised the city of Holdenville for passing an ordinance banning the sale of medicine with pseudoephedrine that is used to make methamphetamine. “In my work as an emergency room physician, every shift I see something related to methamphetamine, whether it is a person who is addicted, a person who is injured by an explosion from making it, or foster kids who have been removed from the home due to parents’ methamphetamine use,” said Cox, R-Grove. House Bill 1235, by state Rep. Ben Sherrer (D-Chouteau), would have instituted a similar policy in state law. The bill passed out of the House Public Safety Committee this year, but did not receive a vote on the House floor. “Holdenville realizes that their actions will not affect sufferers from the common cold and allergies, that there are plenty of other forms of pseudoephedrine as well as other medications that will continue to be accessible for those uses,” Cox said. “I hope Holdenville’s actions will inspire state leaders to take similar action soon.”

VoteNoMeth - 5/18/2011 2:33 PM
0 Votes
I am only out to stop the shake and bake meth labs. There were 818 labs found in Oklahoma last year and thousands more that were not found. If they cannot get the dry tablet form of pseudoephedrine it stops the shake and bake labs and that is my goal.

TurfTamer - 5/18/2011 10:14 AM
0 Votes
@votenomethcom You still didn't answer the question. Do you believe people in Oregon, etc have stopped getting high? The point here is they will simply find another way (maybe more toxic) to get high. Are we going to ban bleach next? What if they figure out how to use soap to get high? What if they use Gasoline? Propane? Where does it end? No one disputes that METH LABS are down in those states... but has that stopped the problem? that is the question. Have people just quit doing drugs?

VoteNoMeth - 5/17/2011 12:31 PM
0 Votes The facts on the Oregon meth labs being down 96%, Minnesota down 75% and Mississippi down 65% in 6 months can be found on this web site and others. Meth labs dropped to almost nothing because they cannot get the dry tablet pseudoephedrine. I want to run them all out of our state. They will go where they can get the ( PSE ). Right now Arkansas has there law ready for the Governor to sign and Missouri is making another run at the state level. Now since we boarder those two states where do you think the meth cooks will come if they can't get ( PSE ) in those two states. All I am doing is getting people to use the same ( PSE ) in a gel cap instead of a tablet and that will shut down the meth labs. If you think gel caps can be used to make meth then you need to contact the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and ask them if they have ever seen gel caps converted to meth. They will tell you no. I am out to stop the next meth fire from killing more children like in Del City Oklahoma and Georgia. Go to the video section on my web site and watch what happens in the real world of meth.

TurfTamer - 5/17/2011 10:45 AM
0 Votes
Meth is bad, we all know that. We always hear about Oregon killing meth. Does anyone really believe people in Oregon just stopped getting high? "Well I guess if I can't make meth I will just go ahead and be a productive member of society." Is this reality? If a junkie can't find meth they will just move on to something else. Funny how the stat never includes the 96% jump in the usage of some other drug.

VoteNoMeth - 5/16/2011 11:36 PM
0 Votes
This is why I got involved with this and gel caps would have stopped this.
FOX23 Weather Center
Feels Like: 61°
High: 78° | Low: 48°
Top Stories
Inergize Digital This site is hosted and managed by Inergize Digital.
Mobile advertising for this site is available on Local Ad Buy.