I, Sheriff Mark Gammons, want to inform the citizens of Macon County that myself and nine other Sheriffs that are on the Tennessee Sheriff’s Association’s Legislative Committee met Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at the Legislative Plaza in Nashville. We work every year to strive to take bills before the Legislators to help the citizens of Macon County as well as all the others in the State of Tennessee.
Two years ago, we proposed a bill to make a stronger Meth Bill in the state of Tennessee. The bill we are presenting now is the same bill that we proposed two years ago, which was not passed in the General Assembly. Instead they came up with the “meth registry,” which is not working in Macon County or any county in the state of Tennessee. This is due to the fact that we have “smurfers” which is a term used by law enforcement referred to as people who buy pseudoephedrine to make meth.
Tuesday, when we met with the House Criminal Justice Subcommittee, we presented the bill as follows: That pseudoephedrine is to be a prescription drug that is prescribed by a doctor, nurse practitioner, or a pharmacist. It was implied that people would have to take off work and go to the doctor to get this prescription. This is not the case; as long as they are an upstanding citizen, they can get a prescription at the drug store.
All sheriffs, including myself, in Tennessee do not want to make any citizens struggle with the cost of their prescriptions however, the citizens are paying more tax dollars on the county and state level due to meth, for the following reasons: meth babies being born with health problems, extra work for DCS by having more children out of their homes and finding child placement, meth clean-up spending millions of tax payers’ dollars, housing the subjects when arrested on meth charges, judiciary cost in court, hospitalization, and TennCare cost. There is also a large cost to homeowners that have had meth produced in the home to make the home livable again.
We also proposed the removal of anything with pseudoephedrine in table/pill form off the shelves and put into a capsule/liquid form if pseudoephedrine is even being allowed at all. We find that it is harder to distract the pseudoephedrine from liquid than it is from the tablet/pill form.
This is not a dead bill, and I urge all citizens to call your legislators and senators to let them know that it is time to take a stand on meth labs in Macon County and all the counties in Tennessee. A reminder: the states of Oregon and Mississippi have already put this same form of bill in place and have drastically cut the meth labs.
I respect the pharmacists in our community and know they join me in fighting against meth production in Macon and surrounding counties.
I want the citizens of Macon County to know that I work hard every day on all law enforcement issues and I will be at the Legislative Plaza fighting hard for the citizens of Macon County and their children to help get meth out of our county!
Sheriff Mark Gammons