Haslam signs comprehensive Anti-Meth Bill into law
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam this week signed into law a
multi-faceted bill to help combat the increasing problem of
methamphetamine manufacturing and use in Tennessee.
Law enforcement officials seized 2,082 meth labs in Tennessee
in 2010, a record number.
â€śThis bill helps us to confront Tennesseeâ€™s meth problem
head on and is a comprehensive approach to addressing a serious
problem in our state,â€ť Haslam said. â€śI want to thank
Safety Commissioner Bill Gibbons for his leadership on this
issue along with the sponsors of the legislation and all of the
parties that came to the table and worked to make this legislation
Many of the key provisions of the law take effect July 1,
2011. The legislation aims to tackle Tennesseeâ€™s meth problem
in a variety of ways:
â€˘It increases the penalty for making meth in the presence
â€˘tracks the sale of products containing pseudoephedrine,
which is a key ingredient in making meth;
â€˘makes that sales information available promptly to law
â€˘makes it easier to prosecute those who purchase pseudoephedrine
products at different times and places for the
purpose of exceeding the allowable amount, or through use of
â€˘and imposes minimum mandatory fines on those offenders.
During the event, Haslam also announced the availability
of more than $1 million to assist in meth lab cleanup:
â€˘$750,000 in state appropriations to the Tennessee Bureau
of Investigation (TBI);
â€˘and $280,000 in federal Byrne JAG grant funds from the
state of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP) available to TBI.
Working with the TBI, the Tennessee Meth Task Force will
purchase special storage containers and additional supplies
for the disposal of meth waste. The containers will be placed
at secure locations across the state.
The OCJP has also committed a $200,000 grant to the Tennessee
Department of Safety and Homeland Security to fund
a targeted communication campaign to educate and warn citizens
of the consequences of violating the new law, specifically
making meth in front of children and purchasing pseudoephedrine
for non-medical or illegal purposes.