State Senate delays vote on cold, cough medicine legislation

Thursday, February 24, 2011 at 12:37pm

The Senate adjourned Thursday in a state of uncertainty over whether to ban over-the-counter sales of cough and cold medicine to curtail methamphetamine cooking in Tennessee.

A vote on alternative legislation by Senate Judiciary Committee chair Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, was delayed for a week after senators raised questions.

“This is a serious bill. I don’t think you need to question it,” Beavers said, obviously annoyed at one point during the debate.

Her bill, which is backed by the pharmaceutical industry, would establish a statewide electronic system to track illicit purchases of over-the-counter cold and allergy products containing the meth ingredient pseudoephedrine. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation wants to allow sales of the medicine by prescription only. Sen. Randy McNally, R-Oak Ridge, was among senators favoring that.

“I would favor the nuclear option or using a sledgehammer to stop this terrible abuse,” McNally said.

Beavers said her bill “will dramatically enhance our current law by introducing proven technology which will target criminals while at the same time preserving over-the-counter access to much-needed cough, cold and allergy medication.”

“I know that meth is a huge problem in the state of Tennessee,” she added. “But I don’t think we need to go to the prescription-only route at this point. I think we need to try this. Prescription-only is going to incur doctor’s visits, costs to the consumer and cost to our TennCare program.”

4 Comments on this post:

By: pswindle on 2/25/11 at 9:55

The GOP cannot take a stand on drugs, but they can take a worker's rights away. They want the government out of their lives, well, we want them out of our lives and decisions. If we want a union to represent us, that should be our decision and not the GOP. It is going to be a long four years.

By: GUARDIAN on 2/25/11 at 9:45

GUARDIAN-What has communist unions have to do with meth except they some of it's members and their kin may be using it. The electronic check would work fine. NOW use your race card or whatever I'm not a GOP nor have I ever been. If it was up to me all the druggies would be in a central western desert prison camp. I've got a much better idea to use with the communist but they wouldn't have a second chance.

By: yogiman on 2/27/11 at 8:50

I agree with Mrs. Beavers on rejecting he increased mandatory visits to a doctor's office.

Requiring a doctor's visit would mean the cost of your common cough medicine would skyrocket from a couple of bucks to a "fergit that vacation" expense.

Would it be worth getting a cough anymore? Could you even afford to have one? How many times a year? Just take a little vinegar and honey. It'll help.

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