BRISTOL, Tenn. - All of the recent meth lab discoveries have some wondering if anything can be done to strengthen the laws against meth.
"The biggest thing is they're making it too easy to access the pseudoephedrine and everything else off the shelves," said Michael Marion, who is concerned about the meth problem.
Marion tells News 5 he lives close to where a meth lab was found, and he wants lawmakers to strengthen the laws even if they've already been tightened up over the years.
People abusing medications containing pseudoephedrine has forced pharmacies to put them behind the counter and limit the amount you can buy; for example, you could only buy one pack of a certain kind of pills a day.
Now Tennessee State Representative Tony Shipley tells us he's working on a way to reduce the amount of pseudoephedrine people can buy. "One would logically conclude that if there was a 40 percent reduction in pseudoephedrine it would show you a 40 percent reduction in meth," adds Shipley.
Shipley tells us currently Tennessee law allows people to buy up to 3,600 cold pills a year. The FDA's maximum dose for adults is only 2,400 a year.
Shipley says the average person usually only uses between 18 and 24 cold pills a year. "What's the difference between 36 and 24? Well it's a little over a thousand and what is that used for if you can't use it in a medically-appropriate fashion? It's used to make meth," says Shipley.
Shipley tells us he would like to see it reduced to at least the FDA's regulation of 2,400 pills. "What we'd like to see is meth go away completely, but that's not going to happen," adds Shipley.
Shipley says they are working to find the best solution for the whole state.
Shipley also tells us every time a meth lab is discovered it costs taxpayers $10,000 for hazmat crews to clean up the site.