By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday he is standing by his anti-meth proposal despite the bill being sidetracked in a House subcommittee earlier this week.
The Republican governor told The Associated Press that his proposal to limit sales of cold and allergy medicines used to make the illegal drug will do more to combat meth production in Tennessee than a rival measure with lesser restrictions.
“If you talk to most law enforcement officials, they would say that the limits we set are a lot more likely to make a big difference to what’s a big problem in Tennessee,” Haslam said. “I think our bill will live to see another day and we feel good about its long-term prospects.”
Haslam’s comments came a day after the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee delayed consideration of his administration’s proposal until its last meeting on March 18. The subcommittee did advance Chairman Tony Shipley’s bill that carries lesser restrictions on the amount of medicines that could be bought without a prescription.
Shipley, a Kingsport Republican, said his bill would set that annual limit at an eight-month supply, while the governor’s proposal would restrict people with chronic allergies to less than a three-month supply.
Shipley’s proposal would cap prescription-free purchases to 44.8 grams of pseudoephedrine per year — more than three times Haslam’s proposed limit of 14.4 grams.