Cold Medication Still Perceived as a Challenge in War against Meth
The state of Tennessee gained the lead in methamphetamine lab seizures last year. At the same time, the lawmakers in that state also got busy passing one of the most comprehensive sets of anti-meth laws since 2005.
However, law enforcement officials claim that they were not able to get what they wanted in the new law, which is, making the key ingredient in meth production, pseudoephedrine, obtainable only through a doctor’s prescription. The Tennessee legislature instead chose to go for a system like the one used in Kentucky, a more stringent cap on how much a person can buy in a day a pseudoephedrine-based over-the-counter drug.
The leaders of the fight against meth in Tennessee have already suggested that they will take another run next year at the state legislature, saying that the new law will do little to rein in the meth manufacturers’ practice of “smurfing.” This practice involves recruiting other people to buy pseudoephedrine in small amounts and contributing them to a meth batch.
Tommy Farmer, the director of the Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force, said, “We basically have a whole cottage industry out of here of people who do nothing but go around and buy ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.” He also said, “They run under the radar by not exceeding those legal limits, those thresholds.”
The Tennessee Methamphetamine Task Force is a statewide agency that coordinates efforts pertaining to meth enforcement.
Some Tennessee residents who have been caught in the clutches of methamphetamine addiction cannot help but agree, saying that the underground world of meth labs and dealers will only find a way around the cap system utilized by pharmacies known as NPLEx.