Our sheriff recently wrote about meth use and the bill the Legislature is reviewing on requiring a prescription for over-the-counter drugs, like Sudafed.
This drug is one component used in making meth.
The illegal production and use of meth has devastated many Tennessee citizens. The estimated financial cost is in excess of $1 billion per year and national rankings place Tennessee at No. 2 for meth lab busts and meth problems.
Enabling law enforcement to reduce the number of meth labs should be a high priority for Tennessee citizens. However, enacting a policy to require a doctor’s prescription to purchase pseudoephedrine would force Tennessee senior citizens, who already spend a higher share of their retirement income on health care, to further increase these costs. The passage of this law would adversely affect all Tennessee citizens in an effort to get at the criminals who are using the drug illegally to produce meth when there are other approaches that are proving to be effective.
[The Tennessee] Legislature has already passed NPLEx, the system which provides local law enforcement officials with precise data on who is attempting to buy illegal amounts of pseudoephedrine and helps law enforcement find meth labs.
The “balanced approach” would be to focus on legislative solutions to identify and punish criminals (not law-abiding citizens), give NPLEx time to improve results and designate state funds for meth lab cleanup.
— Jane Petitt
(Editor’s Note: Jane Petitt is the volunteer lead for Opportunity/Events for AARP-Tennessee East Grand Division).