Sen. Beavers, Rep. Maggart, and Rep. Hawk Applaud Early Success of Anti-Meth Legislation
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Just released January data collected by the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) reveal impressive results for Tennessee in blocking unlawful sales of pseudoephedrine (PSE) at the sales counter. Sponsors of the law are touting the results as proof Tennessee is at the forefront of the fight against meth.
NPLEx uses real-time, stop-sale technology to block PSE sales. NPLEx data also provides law enforcement officials with valuable data to assist in the apprehension of methamphetamine criminals. PSE, the active ingredient in many safe and effective medicines that treat common cold and allergy symptoms—medicines like Advil Cold & Sinus, Claritin-D, and Sudafed— is also used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
In just one short month since the NPLEx was fully implemented in Tennessee, the electronic system has successfully blocked the sale of more than 4,993 illegal boxes of PSE, keeping more than 13,000 grams off of Tennessee streets.
This system also incorporates the newly instituted Tennessee’s Meth Offender Registry, a database which contains the names of 2,354 individuals who, due to previous meth-related offenses, are not permitted to purchase medicines containing PSE. In January, the NPLEx system kept 111 of those offenders from making 222 PSE purchases.
The NPLEx system was a key component of the multifaceted anti-meth bill sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and Representative David Hawk (R-Greeneville), which was signed into law by Governor Bill Haslam in June 2011. Representative Debra Maggart (R-Hendersonville) was also instrumental in the law’s development, adoption, and implementation.
“These numbers show that NPLEx is working to stop meth crimes before they happen,” Beavers said. “Not only does the electronic technology help law enforcement identify criminals, it also allows law-abiding Tennesseans to continue to purchasing safe and effective cold and allergy medicines without a prescription.”
Rep. Maggart, who serves as Chairwoman of the House Republican Caucus, added, “The fact that NPLEx has blocked over 13,000 grams of illegal pseudoephedrine sales in just one month is an enormous victory for the thousands of cold and allergy sufferers in Tennessee. The success of the electronic technology means these responsible consumers won’t see their access to popular and reliable cold and allergy medicines restricted. NPLEx is providing our state law enforcement agencies with a valuable tool to track down the criminals who are manufacturing meth in Tennessee.”
“I am very pleased that NPLEx is doing exactly what it was designed to do: stop would-be meth cooks from getting the ingredients they need to make this dangerous drug,” stated Rep. Hawk. “Meth is a huge problem in our state, and I applaud everyone who had a hand in the ‘I Hate Meth’ Act for addressing illegal PSE abuse through sensible legislation.”
Tennessee is one of 17 states that currently use NPLEx, which works across state lines, and tracks and stops illegal sales when the purchaser has exceeded his or her legal limit. As part of the comprehensive anti-meth bill, the law also:
- Increases the penalty for making meth in the presence of children;
- Makes it easier to prosecute those who purchase medicines containing PSE at different times and places for the purpose of exceeding the allowable amount, or through use of false identification; and
- Imposes minimum mandatory fines on those offenders.
Haslam’s Administration also provided an additional $750,000 in state appropriations to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and $280,000 in federal Byrne JAG grant funds from the state Office of Criminal Justice Programs available to the TBI.