Governor unveils plan to reduce TN's meth problem - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Governor unveils plan to reduce TN's meth problem

Gov. Bill Haslam unveils his plan to reduce meth labs in Tennessee. Gov. Bill Haslam unveils his plan to reduce meth labs in Tennessee.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced on Thursday a plan aimed at ridding Tennessee of its massive meth problem.

However, that plan could mean major restrictions at the pharmacy for people who aren't breaking the law.

In a Thursday press conference, Haslam announced his plan of attack called the Tennessee Anti-Meth Production Act.

"We're proposing a bill to limit the access to pseudoephedrine to those who are using it illegally while, and this is important, not punishing the 97 percent of Tennesseans that are buying it and using it on a temporary basis to treat cold and sinus symptoms," said Haslam.

In 2013, Tennessee authorities seized about 1,700 meth labs. The Department of Children Services took nearly 300 children into custody because of meth.

The governor's plan would allow people with a photo ID to purchase 2.4 grams of pseudoephedrine every 30 days.

If the person needed more, it would be up to the pharmacist's discretion. Anything over 4.8 grams for a 30-day period would require a doctor's prescription.

"We're going to get behind this," said TBI director Mark Gwyn. "Let's give it a try and see what happens."

While the TBI backs Haslam's plan, the governor already faces some opposition.

The Consumer Healthcare Products Association released a statement today:

"For too many Tennessee families, the proposal is tantamount to a prescription mandate and imposes unnecessary burdens on law-abiding citizens' time and pocketbooks."

"I don't think it's a good idea," said Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet. "You're putting the burden on the consumer instead of the criminal.

"We think our way makes the most sense or we wouldn't have proposed it. We think the main thing is that we do need to take an additional step because what we're doing is not working."

Tennessee pharmacies already have a system in place to keep track of how much pseudoephedrine everyone is buying.

The governor said implementing his plan will not cost the state anything.

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