Recent editorials from Tennessee newspapers:
Johnson City (Tenn.) Press on pseudoephedrine:
Law enforcement officials in the region say legislation proposed by Gov. Bill Haslam to limit the amount of pseudoephedrine Tennesseans can buy without a prescription is a good step in battling methamphetamine.
An even better step, they say, would be to require a prescription before any pseudoephedrine - the main ingredient in meth - can be purchased in this state.
The governor has agreed to a compromise that would allow 4.8 grams, or roughly 20 doses of pseudoephedrine, to be purchased a month without a prescription. There would be an annual limit of 14.4 grams.
Once a consumer reaches the limit — either in a month or in a year - he or she must obtain a doctor’s prescription to get more pseudoephedrine.
Meth production takes a huge bite out of tax dollars going to law enforcement. There is the cost cleaning up the very toxic meth labs. There are the medical and dental costs of those jailed for making meth. (Washington County Sheriff Ed Graybeal said his office is now paying $1,000 more a month for a dentist to deal with cases of “meth mouth” at the jail.)
There is the cost of taking children into state custody as a result of a parent making meth. And there is the cost of investigating burglary and other theft crimes committed by meth addicts desperate for money to buy the drug.
Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch said ending local meth production might mean traffickers will try to bring the drug in from other areas of the country. But that’s OK, he said, because area law enforcement agencies do have the resources and expertise to tackle that problem.
Rausch told the Press last month that he and other members of the Tennessee Public Safety Coalition believe the only way to bring the meth problem under control is to require a prescription for any purchase of pseudoephedrine in Tennessee. He said the governor and state lawmakers are under the mistaken impression that Tennesseans would be opposed to that.