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Anti-Meth Bill Headed Towards Showdown

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Anti-Meth Bill Headed Towards Showdown

CREATED Apr 17, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Supporters and opponents of anti-meth legislation in the House and Senate are headed for a showdown.  

Wednesday, the House refused to go along with the Senate version of Gov. Bill Haslam's proposal to set tighter annual limits on the amount of cold and allergy medicines used to make meth that can be bought without a prescription.

The lower chamber voted 80-10 on Wednesday to reject the Senate version, meaning the legislation is likely headed for conference committee to work out their differences.

Anything could happen because there are strong opinions on all sides of the issue.  

"Yes, some of us take it a little personal that you just made a motion to concur, so I hope you all stand with the criminal justice committee and what this floor voted on," said Representative Bill Lamberth of Cottontown.

Others said the deal limits their freedom.

"I think the best thing we can do is let this deal die from a conference. I don't want a limitation of 28.8. I don't want a limitation of 14.4. I want freedom," said Representative Andy Holt of Dresden.

The Senate bill would limit the purchase to 40 twelve hour tablets per month, but purchases can have a three month supply before prescription is needed.

The House version would set an annual limit of 28.8 grams, or a five-month supply, without a prescription.

Each speaker will pick members to participate in a conference committee to work out a compromise. If an agreement is not reached then the meth bills will die.

According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, 1,685 meth labs were seized in Tennessee last year.

(The Associated Press Contributed To This Report.)