Op-ed

Can We Stop Meth?

Approximately 25 years ago, in this general area, meth was born.We read about meth labs and drug busts on a weekly basis in the Tullahoma News, Manchester Times and other local papers. I served on a Coffee County grand jury in 1999 and we heard nearly 200 cases with 75% of those being meth related. Back then meth was made like it is today but on a much smaller scale. The users made small amounts for themselves and maybe one or two others. Today it is a billion dollar industry that harshly affects the lives of millions nationwide. Now it is time for meth to die.

When a person wants to kill themselvesslowly, agonizingly, as with meth, I think it is a shame. But it is their business. When the process they use to make meth endangers the lives of innocent children and the community at large, then it is time for the community to take action. The key ingredient to making meth is the drug pseudoephedrine. It is found in cough syrups and decongestants and sold over the counter [OTC]. You have to sign for it in the store and show your driver’s license, which inconveniences sick people. The meth drug lords and their dealers get rich buying it OTC andif and when they get caught, they get other people to sign for it. The meth registry appears to have about 25% of the 20,000 meth offenders listed. That means 15,000 of thesemeth monsters are going into drug stores in Tennessee to get their supplies. Tennessee was number 2 in the country in the total number of meth labs and surging at last count. Time for community action. Time for a city ordinance on OTC sales. Make pseudoephedrine products prescription only and put the meth labs out of business.

Why can’t the State Legislature just pass one law for the whole state? The first two states to consider this ordinance, succeeded. Meth labs disappeared and crime rates dropped like a stone. The next twenty three states to try to pass it, failed. Why? Pharmaceutical companies weren’t about to lose any of their billion dollars in annual sales just to stop a drug plague that kills people, terrorizes children and is a threat to public health. They launched an NRA type PR campaign and threatened to reel in campaign donations to legislators just so they could keep supplying the drug lords. Fifteen Tennessee cities and four counties have passed this ordinance. A local law enforcement official told me that they can’t arrest their way out of this. A local physician and criminal court official told me it is the only way to go. Therefore, it is up to Tennesseans to rid the state of these drug dealers one town at a time.  We alone can protect our children and make our communities safe.

David Clark Tullahoma 37388

1645 Old Shelbyville Hwy.

Clarkdavid01@bellsouth.net

931-247-6508


Posted on Wednesday, October 2, 2013 at 9:11 am