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      Authorities examine loss of funding for war on meth

      The Missouri Sheriff's Methamphetamine Relief Team, or MO-Smart, puts meth specialists on 17 Missouri drug task forces and 10 additional sheriff's offices. This year, the U.S. Government spent $1.5 million in the Show-Me State in the war on methamphetamine.But recently, the government announced that money was on the chopping block, as it generally was funded by earmarks at the federal level.It's basically been funded by earmarks at the federal level since 2001, Public Safety Budget Director Tom Orf said. And now that money is going away.For decades, Missouri had lead the nation in the number of meth labs seized. That changed this year, when Tennessee took over the top spot. But crime fighters take little consolation in that. They see an increase in the number of meth labs in Missouri, despite a program that tracks and limits the sale of Pseudoephedrine, the base ingredient in meth.That is fully implemented, and meth labs continue to rise, Missouri Highway Patrol Drug and Crime Control Captain Kyle Marquart said.By an estimated six percent, Marquart and others want to take the next step " making pseudoephedrine prescription only. They don't want to rely on voluntary prescription only programs like the one at WalMart stores in Arkansas.There are some retail outlets that are stepping up, Marquart said. They see the problem and they see the solution to the problem.