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Punish meth makers, not law-abiding consumers

Staff Report • Mar 8, 2013 at 9:04 AM

Cold and allergy sufferers in Tennessee would be asked to suffer even more under a proposal requiring state residents to obtain a prescription for any over-the-counter medicine containing pseudoephedrine. Proponents of the legislation say it is aimed at curbing the scourge of methamphetamine, but we fear all the measure will do is to further inconvenience law-abiding Tennesseans.

The bill (HB368) is sponsored by state Rep. David Hawk, R-Greeneville, and would apply to Advil Cold, Sudafed and other products containing pseudoephedrine, which is a key ingredient in making meth. The legislation stalled last week in a House subcommittee after opponents rightfully argued the bill would place an unnecessary burden on people who use products containing pseudoephedrine responsibly.

State law already requires pharmacies to place cold and sinus tablets that contain pseudoephedrine behind the counter.

We know meth continues to be a problem in our state. Often called the “poor man’s cocaine,” methamphetamine is an addictive stimulant that has become a serious problem nationwide. While Tennessee has made some progress in battling methamphetamine, daily meth arrests in the region prove the war on this drug is far from over.

State lawmakers are doing the right thing by addressing this issue, but it doesn’t seem fair to inconvenience consumers in the process. It’s the meth manufacturers who should be punished, not cold and allergy sufferers.

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