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Governor Haslam Announces Anti-Meth Proposal

Governor Haslam Announces Anti-Meth Proposal

CREATED Jan 16, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP/NewsChannel 5) - Governor Bill Haslam is proposing legislation that would require a prescription for more than a 20-day supply of cold medicines that are used to make methamphetamine.

The Republican governor said Thursday that the bill is meant to target the purchase of large amounts of medicines from a variety of stores, which is known as "smurfing."

The monthly amount of cold medicines like Sudafed that could be purchased without a prescription is the equivalent to the average total purchased by Tennesseans each year.

Haslam's office noted that 268 children were removed from their homes last year due to meth-related incidents and nearly 1,700 meth labs were seized.

The legislation is aimed at meeting law enforcement halfway when cracking down on meth makers.

"What we want to do is move from number one in the United States in manufacturing meth down the list somewhere. I don't mind being number one in football. I just don't want to be number one in making meth," said Terry Ashe with the Tennessee Sheriff's Association.

The governor's announcement comes following a Vanderbilt University poll released last month that found two in three Tennesseans favor requiring a doctor's prescription for drugs such as Sudafed that are used to make meth.

Pharmaceutical industry representatives dispute those poll results, and argue that public opinion is still firmly opposed to requiring prescriptions for cold medications.

(Copyright 2014 by The Associated Press/NewsChannel 5. All Rights Reserved.)