TN lawmakers tackle meth legislation at the Capitol

In Nashville Tuesday, state lawmakers voted on a number of bills all aimed at curbing the production of meth in Tennessee.

A few of the bills passed the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee.

One bill would require Tennesseans to notify authorities if they discover methamphetamine being manufactured on their property or in their workplace. A person must inform the police of their discovery within 24 hours or be subject to a misdemeanor punishment.

Another proposed rule would give the state a better way to count its methamphetamine offenders.

Under current law, if a person is caught producing, selling, or possessing meth, they're charged with having a "controlled substance".

The new bill would instead say that person is charged with a meth-related crime.

"We will be able to count the offenders, we will be able to mathematically determine exactly how large this problem is in what counties and what jurisdictions," said Rep. William Lamberth of Cottontown. "These folks have tried real hard to paint a picture of what the problem is, but this will give us the numbers."

The subcommittee also wants to fix the state's Meth Offender Registry, a database meant to stop drug dealers from buying the main meth-making ingredient pseudophedrine.

Previous Story: Criminal Court Clerk's Office not updating meth registry

Last week, WBIR 10News learned the Knox County Criminal Court Clerk's Office had withheld some offenders' names from that state list.

The subcommittee bill that was approved Tuesday would urge the clerks' offices around the state to hand over an offender's information to the database within 10 days of receiving a meth-related ruling from a judge.

The same subcommittee also discussed bills that would make pseudophedrine a prescription-only drug.

Eighth Judicial District Attorney General Lori Phillips-Jones went to Nashville with the group "Stand In The Gap" to promote one of their own.

We won't know the fate of those bills for some time. They were rescheduled for votes at later dates.

"I think there are a lot of discussions going on, because there are so many different bills with different limits and they each sort of address the problem in a different way," Phillips-Jones said. "And, I think that the legislature is just trying to look at what's the best way to remedy our meth problem."


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