Kingsport Times News Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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Northeast Tennessee lawmakers: No battle plan yet for war on meth

January 4th, 2014 9:56 pm by Hank Hayes

Northeast Tennessee lawmakers: No battle plan yet for war on meth

KINGSPORT — Northeast Tennessee lawmakers admit they don’t have a good feel for how to combat methamphetamine use.

They also admit the state’s war on meth will probably get a lot of attention in the Tennessee General Assembly’s next legislative session beginning on Jan. 14.

“The public is expecting something. ... There’s an expectation of some sort of resolution with meth and it’s a very difficult place to go,” state Rep. Tony Shipley, R-Kingsport, said in meeting between lawmakers and members of the Times-News Editorial Board.

A next step could be passing a law requiring pseudoephedrine products — so-called “meth precursors” — to be sold by prescription only.

Tri-Cities municipal governments, in their proposed 2014 legislative policy, support requiring pseudoephedrine to be sold only by prescription and also feel the state should be financially responsible for meth lab cleanups.

Shipley, who chairs a House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, noted law enforcement discovered 2,800 meth labs that cost about $10,000 apiece to clean up across the state in 2012.

For an expanded version of this article, please see Sunday's print edition or our expanded electronic edition.

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