Dispute forces state Senate delay on meth bill

Dispute forces state Senate delay on meth bill

February 25th, 2011 by Staff Report in News

NASHVILLE-Senate disagreement Thursday over how best to combat illegal production of methamphetamine in Tennessee resulted in the forced delay of a proposed electronic tracking system.

Senators voted 18-12 to delay the measure, sponsored by Sen. Mae Beavers, R-Mount Juliet, for a week.

The system is being promoted by pharmaceutical manufacturers and the Tennessee Pharmacists Association, who don't want to see cold medicine made with pseudoephedrine-one of the key ingredients in meth-turned into prescription-only drugs.

During debate, Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, a pharmacist, said the industry-backed tracking bill doesn't appear to solve Tennessee's meth problems.

"I feel at least in my area, law enforcement would like to see pseudoephedrine made a controlled substance. I would favor the approach that they take," McNally said.

As the debate continued, Beavers told colleagues "this is a serious bill. I don't think you need to question it."

She rejected requests to delay the measure, resulting in the vote forcing the delay.