Residents Lobby To Require Prescriptions For Common Cold Meds - | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Residents Lobby To Require Prescriptions For Common Cold Meds

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by Aundrea Cline-Thomas

TULLAHOMA, Tenn. - More than 1,300 meth labs have already been seized across the state, leaving local communities footing the bill to clean it up.

Meth labs have not discriminated by zip code. Common household items were enough to start the dangerous chemical reaction.

"The only required product that you have to have is pseudoephedrine to make methamphetamine," said Chad Partin, an Investigator in Coffee County. "You take that element out of that recipe and you're done."

Coffee county residents recently gathered in a Tullahoma community center to learn more about how to curb the dangers of meth.

"You'll be seeing this petition all over town," David Clark, Vice Chairman of the Coffee County Democratic Party said. "In the churches, the schools, lunch counters (and) businesses."

The Coffee County Democratic party has been mustering support for a proposal to present to the Tullahoma Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

"It's such an environmental hazard," Clark said.

The proposal would require a prescription to buy cold medicine with pseudoephedrine. The law already requires customers to show identification and limits how much pseudoephedrine they can buy. But law enforcement officials said meth cooks are easily getting around it.

"I may be a meth cook and I may have purchased my limit of methamphetamine for the month," Partin said hypothetically when explaining a tactic called smurfing. "I send you in and you purchase and bring it back to me."

Until federal and state laws change, it would be up to local communities to take a stand.

"It was a real eye opener," one resident said. "I'm surprised that we cannot pass some kind of legislation get rid of the pseudoephedrine to stop the whole thing."

It will be weeks before residents will take up the issue in Tullahoma. They are hoping to join Franklin County, which passed a similar ordinance this summer.


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