This week, Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam approved and signed the I Hate Meth Act. The bill focuses on reducing meth-related crimes in the state and creating harsher penalties for those who manufacture methamphetamine in the presence of a child.
Effective July 1, pharmacies will use a new program to log all purchases of pseudoephedrine. Pharmacies will then be required to send the data to the Tennessee Meth Informational System database at least every 24 hours. Although pseudoephedrine is commonly found in cold, sinus and allergy pills, it is also a main ingredient used to manufacture meth.
Tennessee residents already can only purchase a limited amount of pseudoephedrine from pharmacies, but the new database system will allow pharmacies to keep better track of an individual's purchases. Consumers will not be able to buy more than 3.6 gram of pseudoephedrine per day or more than 9 grams per month.
An individual may be allowed to exceed their limits only if they have a valid prescription. If a pharmacist believes that the purchase of pseudoephedrine is not for a legitimate reason, the pharmacist can choose not to sell the product to an individual.
With the significant increase in meth-related crimes in the state, Tennessee law enforcement and lawmakers believe that the bill will make it more difficult for meth manufactures to purchase and obtain pseudoephedrine. Just last year, the state shut down more than 2,000 meth labs.
Manufacturing meth is an extremely dangerous process. Although the number of meth lab busts is concerning for officials, officials are also worried about children who are exposed to meth. Meth-related incidents caused over 480 children to be removed from their Tennessee homes last year. In an effort to better protect children, an individual caught cooking meth in front of a child will face aggravated child endangerment charges amongst other drug charges.
Effective January, pharmacies and law enforcement will work even more closely with each other under the new bill to reduce the number of illegal purchases of pseudoephedrine. Pharmacies will be required to have better procedures in place in order to stop someone from exceeding their purchase limit and to be able to identify those who are on the meth offender registry.
The Daily News Journal: "Haslam signs tougher meth law," Chris Echegaray, 6 June 2011