Tennessee State Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) issued the following statement in response to the recent results achieved by the real-time, stop-sale system in Tennessee. Data released by the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) shows that during the first six months of 2013, electronic technology in the Volunteer State blocked the sale of more than 17,749 boxes of medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE) preventing more than 26,000 grams from potentially being diverted by meth criminals. Meanwhile the meth-offender registry, which prevents previously convicted meth criminals from purchasing any medicines containing PSE, contained barely over 4,500 entries.
Senator Beavers was the original Senate sponsor of anti-meth legislation that implemented NPLEx in Tennessee in addition to the meth-offender registry and strict penalties for meth-related crime. The system, which allows retailers to block unlawful attempted purchases of certain cold and allergy medicines containing pseudoephedrine (PSE), has been fully operational in Tennessee since January 2012.
“These block numbers prove conclusively that NPLEx is doing exactly what it is designed to do; prevent the illegal sale of pseudoephedrine, and in turn, the illegal production of methamphetamine. It is a system that provides law enforcement with an invaluable intelligence-gathering tool, helping officers make more meth busts and arrests,” said Senator Beavers. “Reports like these emphasize the importance of finding innovative, effective and sensible solutions to help in Tennessee’s fight against illegal drugs. They also point out the importance of utilizing all of the resources at our disposal.
Figures associated with our state’s meth offender registry, for example, indicate that it is drastically underutilized by Tennessee law enforcement officials. This is unacceptable. Law enforcement officials and court clerks have had eight years since the passage of the Combat Meth Act to figure out how to properly make use of the Meth Offender Database. If we are serious about winning the fight against meth, then we need to be serious about following through with our policy objectives. We should not be concerned with passing new laws until we fully apply those which are already on the books.”
“Moreover,” Beavers continued, “with fall around the corner, it is more important than ever to support policies that strike a balance between punishing meth criminals and maintaining access to popular cold and allergy relief for honest consumers. Last week saw the release of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation’s 2013 Fall Allergy Capital list and, much like last year, Tennessee cities are featured prominently. Out of 100 cities nationwide, Tennessee has four in the top 25 for “worst fall allergies.” As elected officials, it is our duty to make sure that residents who suffer from seasonal allergies can still access the cold and allergy medicine they need for relief.”