Governor signs new law to crack down on meth production

By: Kate Burgess Email
By: Kate Burgess Email

ALCOA, Tenn. (WVLT)--Governor Bill Haslam signed a new law to crack down on meth production Monday. The I Hate Meth act implements a real time tracking system to find people who are buying pseudo ephedrine to manufacture and sell the dangerous drug. But in the battle against what lawmakers call an "epidemic," it might not be enough.

"Meth addicts go to extremes to get the products that they need to manufacture methamphetamine, said addiction expert Webster Bailey. Extremes that usually land them behind bars, or worse. "An extremely small percentage of meth addicts find recovery and continue using. So they either end up in jail or dead," he said.

At the Cornerstone of Recovery, Bailey has seen what the drug does to people. And he doesn't think any new laws or penalties can change the nature of the addiction. He said, "when you're addicted, you'll do whatever it takes to get the substance. It doesn't matter if that means traveling to another state, or to another county, or to another country."

Tennessee lawmakers have been trying to monitor pseudo ephedrine sales for years; a task that falls mostly on pharmacists.

Hank Peck, a pharmacist at Long's Drugstore in Knoxville said, "it's important to have some interaction. When people come in asking for that sort of thing, go out and talk to them."

But Bailey said limiting access won't help. "It's supply and demand. And I hope this act gets in the way of some of that, but I don't think it's the solution to end the methamphetamine epidemic."

So what is the solution for what Bailey calls our "drug using society?" He said people need to stop thinking that a pill or a drink or a fix is going to make us feel better. "Getting back values, and to the basics and realizing that more is not better."

The law takes effect July 1st.

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  • by Roxkin on Jun 20, 2011 at 07:49 AM
    New Tracking law is a Joke. Meth Heads do not care that they are being tracked. All they care about it the drug. The law makers should have made the stuff Precription only Instead of letting the Drug companies Line thier pockets.
  • by Anon Location: Knoxville on Jun 7, 2011 at 01:04 AM
    Why don't these so call agents go after the flea markets? I have seen people sell these over the counter drugs and they were expired too. One of the flea markets was at the Knoxville Expo Center that goes on every month. You would be amaze what they sell.
  • by Angela Location: Knoxville on Jun 6, 2011 at 07:23 PM
    Now meth addicts will be robbing drug stores also. We are so close to other states where addicts can get what they need to make meth like Ga.,Ky.,or even Va. They will not think twice about going to these states to get what they need because there is money in selling it. You can not stop it if you are not going to treat the problem. Time in jail does not help addicts get off meth when you can get more drugs in jail than on the streets in some counties. I'm not saying don't hand down jail time but also send to rehab. Which cost tax payers more keeping addicts in jail or in rehab? If someone has the answer to that question I would like to know. I'm sure 3 months or so of rehab has got to be cheaper than 3 years in jail and release them still addicted.


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