The Senate approved the Tennessee Anti-Meth Production (TAMP) Act during the final hours of the 2014 legislative session, which is designed to combat the manufacture of methamphetamine in the state. Tennessee ranks second in the nation, behind Indiana, in meth lab seizures last year.
The state spends approximately $2 million annually on meth lab clean-up, and in 2013, 1,691 labs were seized in Tennessee. The Department of Children’s Services has reported that 1,347 children came into state custody from 2010 through 2013 due to exposure to meth, not including the number of children where non-custodial arrangements were made. This is in addition to tens of millions of dollars in TennCare costs associated with meth lab burns, many which involve children.
Senate Bill 1751, the Tennessee Anti-Meth Production (TAMP) Act, cuts the amount of pseudoephedrine that can be bought in Tennessee from the current limit of 9 grams a month to 5.76 grams. This is designed to target the so-called ‘smurfers’ who buy from a variety of stores in small quantities until they have enough to manufacture meth. The legislation sets an annual limit on pseudoephedrine purchases of 28.8 grams. It also requires a prescription for any person under eighteen years of age to purchase a product that contains any immediate methamphetamine precursor, unless a pharmacist generated prescription is issued.