Pulaski became the latest Tennessee town to pass a law Tuesday requiring a prescription to buy pseudoephedrine. The cold medicine is a key ingredient for drug dealers making methamphetamine. In recent months roughly a dozen cities have passed laws to make it harder to get.
The head of the state’s meth task force says busts are down slightly since summer, and gives some credit to local governments clamping down on Sudafed sales.
The prescription-only requirement is touted by Oregon and Mississippi for cratering (PDF) the number of meth labs in those states, but it’s not popular with everyone. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association, which lobbies for over-the-counter medicines, held a press conference Tuesday in a pharmacy in well-to-do Green Hills, alongside Republican lawmakers, including Mt. Juliet’s Mae Beavers.
“I’m not for making it a prescription, because we are not able to control the prescription drugs that we have now that are being sold on the streets,” Beavers said, pointing to Tennessee’s problem controlling prescription painkillers.
Beavers also cast doubt on the legitimacy of local prescription requirements, suggesting such rules should be up to state lawmakers. Tennessee’s attorney general is expected to weigh in.