Pubdate: Mon, 30 Aug 2004
Source: Tullahoma News (TN)
Copyright: The Tullahoma News 2004
Author: Wayne Thomas
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


This time of the year a lot of people are experiencing a lot of
problems with their allergies. If Governor Phil Bredesen's Meth Task
Force has their way buying those over the counter allergy medications
could be harder to do in the future.

The Task Force, which Russ Spray the administrator of Southern
Tennessee Medical Center is a member of, wants those medications kept
behind the pharmacy counter. Also when purchases of the medications
are made, the person making the purchase would be required to show
identification and have their name placed in a registry that would
alert law enforcement officials to possible patterns of misuse.

Because of widespread use of ingredients in a number of over the
counter medications, pseudoephedrine or ephedrine [necessary
ingredient in making methamphetamines] the task force is recommending
stricter controls be placed on the common decongestant.

That law would be patterned after a similar law in Oklahoma that was
passed earlier this year. More than ten states have placed
restrictions on sales of decongestants.

Winchester Police Chief Dennis Young stated that he was "pleased that
the task force has recommended the controls over the sell of
pseudoephedrine." He added that the plan is similar to one the city of
Winchester proposed earlier. He added that he felt stiffer penalties
need to be mandated by law. "If you do not have pseudoephedrine you
can not make methamphetamines," Franklin County Sheriff's Investigator
Mike Bell stated. Other proposals recommended by the task force
include keeping a registry of homes and apartments where people made
methamphetamines so that the owners or renters would know that there
might be a possible environmental risks of living there, especially
for children.

Young stated that state law has already been changed where adults can
be charged with aggravated child abuse when a child is found in a
dwelling where a meth lab is operating.

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation is developing
standards for the cleanup and safe habitations of places once used as
a meth labs. "They are going to set up good lines and create a list of
certified technicians to be called in to perform the cleanup," Young
stated. He added that property can be quarantined until the cleanup of
the property takes place. Franklin County Sheriff's Drug Investigator
George Dyer had concerns about the possibility of some corporation
getting to clean up the sites. "That just means that the companies are
getting rich doing this at the taxpayer's expense," Dyer stated. "I
think the people making the methamphetamines should be required to pay
the companies to clean up the mess they create."

Dyer stated that he felt that if one of the three main ingredients of
methamphetamines is banned or stronger controls placed on them there
would be a reduction in the production of the illegal drug. He noted
that the three main ingredients are pseudoephedrine, iodine and red
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