State lawmakers finish up by approving meth bill

State lawmakers wrapped up business for the year by approving new legislation to combat meth production, as senators backed away from a showdown over meth legislation and agreed to accept the House of Representatives' limits on cold and allergy medicines Thursday afternoon.

The Senate voted 26-5 to accept a conference committee report that caps sales of pseudoephedrine, a drug contained in some medications that is also essential to meth production, at 28.8 grams a year, the amount contained in 120 day-long tablets. The Senate also accepted the House of Representatives' limit of 5.76 grams a month, or 24 day-long tablets.

The move broke an impasse between the two chambers and sent the meth bill on to Gov. Bill Haslam for signature. While the caps were higher than the governor proposed last January, senators said the agreement was better than no new limits at all.

The final bill also included a provision making it illegal to sell pseudoephedrine to minors without a prescription.

Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in medications such as Allegra-D and Claritin D, but it also is required to make methamphetamine.


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