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State AG: Local Meth Fighting, Prescription-Only Regs Illegal

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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  The State Attorney General says Tennessee municipalities do not have the authority to make the sale of certain cold medications by prescription only.

Earlier this year, the small town of Huntland in Franklin County passed an ordinance making the sale of pseudoephedrine-based cold medications by prescription. Several other communities quickly followed suit.

The measures are an attempt to crack down on the mushrooming illegal manufacture of methamphetamine.

But late last week, Attorney General Bob Cooper opined the local ordinance violate state law. He says the Tennessee General Assembly clearly intended to reserve for itself the power to control meth pre-cursor drugs.

Winchester Police Chief Dennis Young has led a statewide charge to pass local prescription-only ordinances and was disappointed by the AG’s ruling. He says the ball is now in the State Legislature’s court.

“We’re fighting the big pharmaceutical industry that wants to keep these products on the market. They’re makin’ a lot of money off of it, at the expense of our communities and the expense of our children.”

Young says The Tennessee Sheriff’s Association and the Tennessee Association of Chief’s of Police will both be pressing Tennessee lawmakers to further tighten the state’s anti-meth laws when the new legislative session begins in January.