If the Tennessee General Assembly had passed Governor Bill Haslam’s version of the Anti-Meth Production Act, it would have created some of the toughest pseudoephedrine and ephedrine purchase restrictions in the country. But pressure from the pharmaceutical lobby and others who claim the bill would inconvenience law-abiding pseudoephedrine users convinced the governor to lower his expectations.
The version that passed the full House today would require a prescription for more than 48 tablets in a month or 240 in a year. It’s much less restrictive than the governor’s original plan, which would have capped monthly purchases at 40 tablets and annual purchases at 120 tablets.
Pseudoephedrine is a popular over-the-counter drug used by those who suffer from colds, allergies and sinus congestion. However, it’s also one of the main ingredients in the manufacture of illegal methamphetamine.
Tennessee reported 1,691 math lab seizures in 2013, the second-highest number in the country.
The Senate is the next chamber to take up the pseudoephedrine issue with a bill that more closely resembles Haslam’s original proposal.