KINGSPORT, Tenn. - Local police are still battling meth production even though laws have been put in place to help stop it. Now lawmakers are working to make it even harder for these people to obtain pseudoephedrine.
Methamphetamine production an ongoing problem that lawmakers are working to fix. Tennessee state representative Tony Shipely tells us the first step was to get pseudoephedrine off the shelf and behind the counter, forcing people to show IDs to obtain it. However, we learned they quickly realized if they needed more of it, they could just use a fake ID if the pharmacy asked for it at all. "People use fake IDs and when they use fake IDs pharmacies may or may not have some way to check and see what kind of ID they have," said Shipley.
One way Shipley says he is going to try to get around this is by having the same technology inside of the pharmacy that a police officer has inside of a patrol car. They ask people for their driver's license, take the number and put it into a system, which they can then tell if you have a valid license.
Shipley hopes that this change will help. "When the threat is there that the IDs are going to be checked against a law enforcement database, that will stop people from coming to the window to ask for it," said Shipley.
Tom Patton, Kingsport Public Information Officer, says he thinks it will not be a lasting effort. "We'll pass the new laws and the addicts and cooks will find a way to get around it as they always do," he said.
Shipley says another option bouncing around is making pseudoephedrine a prescribed drug, forcing people to go to the doctor to obtain it and costing more money; he says it is not worth it. "It's a silly step because 99.99 percent of Americans are responsible and can use this, so that's not really a solution, "said Shipley.
Shipley says he has been working to hopefully get this bill passed. While it will not fully get rid of the problem, he believes it will slow it down.
He also told us the legislation would only work if the stores comply with the law and ask for the ID.