Report: Laws fighting meth in TN 'inconclusive'

Two of the most popular methods of combating the production and use of methamphetamine in Tennessee "have shown inconclusive results," according to a new report from the state comptroller's office.

In 2012, Tennessee started electronically tracking purchases of cold medicines commonly used to produce meth. Twenty-eight other states have also adopted this practice using the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx).

However, the study says, the number of meth lab incidents reported by law enforcement in Tennessee has not decreased substantially in that time.

At least 18 local governments in Tennessee have passed ordinances that require a prescription to purchase products used in the production of meth.

Last month, the Tennessee Attorney General's Office issued an opinion which holds that the ordinances violate state law. Many municipalities have continued to enforce them anyway.

The study stops short of branding those laws successful or unsuccessful.

"Sufficient data is not yet available to assess the impact of local prescription-only ordinances in Tennessee," the report said. "However, the Winchester Police Chief has noted a decline in meth lab incidents, as well as a decline in smurfing and associated crimes, since the municipal ordinances in Franklin County became effective in June 2013."

The study was issued today by the Comptroller's Offices of Research and Education Accountability. It updates a report issued by OREA in 2013.


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