Pubdate: Wed, 30 Mar 2005
Source: Nashville Business Journal (TN)
Address: 44 Fourth Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37219
Fax: 615-248-6246
Copyright: 2005 American City Business Journals Inc
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine)


Gov. Phil Bredesen today signed legislation that targets the manufacture 
and use of methamphetamine.

The Meth-Free Tennessee Act stiffens the penalties for making meth and 
requires pharmacies to move certain cold and sinus products, those 
containing psuedoephedrine, behind the counter. Retailers that don't have 
pharmacies must remove the products from their shelves and stop selling them.

Pseudoephedrine, a decongestant, is an ingredient used to make the illicit 
drug. Methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant, often called "speed' or 
"crystal." The drug can be taken orally, injected, snorted or smoked.

Most provisions of the law take effect immediately. Retailers selling the 
products containing psuedoephedrine have 24 hours to take them off their 
shelves. Pharmacies, however, will have 30 days to move the products behind 
the counter.

Cold and sinus medicines in liquid form or in liquid-filled capsules are 
exempt from the restrictions.

Other key provisions of the law:

* Medical professionals are required to notify law enforcement if they 
treat anyone with an injury that resulted from exposure to meth manufacturing.
* Creates the new offense of knowingly beginning a process intended to 
result in the manufacture of meth, even if none was actually created or was 
created for the individual's use. Sets the penalty as a Class B felony, 
which carries a possible penalty of eight-to-30 years in prison.
* Requires law enforcement agencies to provide information regarding 
property quarantined as a site where meth is made.
* Makes it a Class D felony to promote the manufacture of meth by selling, 
buying, delivering, possessing ingredients or equipment, or permitting the 
use of any property to make meth. A Class D felony carries a potential 
prison term of two-to-12 years.
* Creates a registry within the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation of people 
convicted or incarcerated for methamphetamine offenses. The registry will 
be open to the public.
* Makes it a Class A misdemeanor (up to one year in jail) to falsify 
results of a drug test.

The governor's proposed state budget includes nearly $7 million to fight 
meth, including $2.4 million to pay for the cost of increased incarceration 
for meth offenses, $1.7 to launch a drug court pilot project to test the 
effectiveness of treatment and light incarceration, $1.5 million for a 
statewide education and public awareness campaign, and $600,000 for 
meth-lab response training for law enforcement and other first responders.

Also announced today, the state is partnering with Partnership for a 
Drug-Free America to launch the statewide education campaign. The program 
will consist of advertising and public relations efforts aimed at parents 
and their children, featuring testimony from pediatricians.

The campaign is an expansion of a methamphetamine education program created 
Partnership in 2003 that was launched in two pilot markets, Phoenix and St. 
Louis. That campaign and the Tennessee campaign receive funding from a 
grant from the Consumer Healthcare Products Association.

CHPA is a trade association that represents U.S. manufacturers and 
distributors of over-the-counter medicine and nutritional supplements.  
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