NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A watered-down version of Gov. Bill Haslam’s anti-meth legislation has been approved by the House.
The measure was approved 80-17 on Wednesday, and is significantly different than the Senate version.
The House bill would set an annual cap of 150 days’ worth of allergy and cold medicines like Sudafed that could be bought without a prescription.
Haslam’s original proposal would have established a monthly limit of 2.4 grams of pseudoephedrine, or a 10-day maximum dose, before requiring a pharmacist to authorize another 10 days’ worth before getting a doctor’s prescription.
Facing resistance over that measure, the governor later removed the pharmacist element, and instead proposed a 4.8-gram month maximum and an annual cap of 14.4 grams. That proposal was adopted in the Senate. The House version sets a 5.8 gram monthly cap and annual limit of 28.8 grams.
Further, from The Chattanooga TFP:
What passed the House today reflected a compromise between Haslam, who advocated a tougher approach, and a group of House members who wanted looser limits, saying they wanted to protect law-abiding constituents with allergies.
Efforts on the floor to amend the bill by putting Haslam’s original proposal back into the bill failed on a 58-37 vote. Many lawmakers oppose any restrictions.
Under the House-passed bill, consumers would be limited to purchasing no more than 5.76 grams or about 48 tablets of pseudoephedrine-based products every 30 days. The annual limit is 28.8 grams per year.
Anything beyond that would require a doctor’s prescription.
Senators are more in tune with Haslam’s original proposal. Their bill calls for 40 tablets of pseudoephedrine a month or 4.8 grams and 120 tablets or 14.4 grams a year.
Law enforcement officials want even tougher approaches. But powerful drug manufacturers have heavily lobbied against the bill and have run ads attacking limits.
If senators pass their own version and both sides refuse to retreat, the measure could end up in a House and Senate conference committee.