Capitol Hill Conversation: The Governor’s New Fight Against Meth

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Governor Bill Haslam started 2014 not by talking about the budget, or education, but pseudoephedrine. That’s the key ingredient in many cold medicines and it’s a necessary ingredient in meth. Meth labs still flourish in rural areas, and the drug has spread into cities like Nashville and Memphis. Governor Haslam is trying to make it even harder to buy large amounts of pseudoephedrine. WPLN’s Bradley George talks through the Governor’s proposals with Andrea Zelinski. She writes about state government for the Nashville Post and Nashville Scene.

WHAT’S THE CURRENT LAW ON BUYING PSEUDOEPHEDRINE IN TENNESSEE?

You must show your ID at the pharmacy counter. The cashier will then check your name against a national database and you must sign your name to an electronic registry. Federal law limits purchasers to nine grams of pseudoephedrine per month. That’s approximately the amount found in nine boxes of cold medicine.

WHAT DOES THE GOVERNOR’S PROPOSAL DO?

  • Individuals can buy a 10 day supply of medicines containing psuedoephedrine as they do now-asking at the pharmacy counter, showing their ID, and singing an electronic registry.
  • In the same 30 day period, a pharmacist can write a prescription on the spot for additional medication.
  • Any further purchase (more than 4.8 grams of psuedoephedrine in a 30 day period) requires a doctor’s signature.

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