NASHVILLE – Just released January data collected by the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx) reveal impressive results for Tennessee in blocking unlawful sales of pseudoephedrine (PSE) at the sales counter. Sponsors of the law are touting the results as proof Tennessee is at the forefront of the fight against meth.
NPLEx uses real-time, stop-sale technology to block PSE sales. NPLEx data also provides law enforcement officials with valuable data to assist in the apprehension of methamphetamine criminals. PSE, the active ingredient in many safe and effective medicines that treat common cold and allergy symptoms — medicines like Advil Cold & Sinus, Claritin-D, and Sudafed — is also used in the manufacture of methamphetamine.
In just one short month since the NPLEx was fully implemented in Tennessee, the electronic system has successfully blocked the sale of more than 4,993 illegal boxes of PSE, keeping more than 13,000 grams off of Tennessee streets.
The NPLEx system also incorporates the newly instituted Tennessee’s Meth Offender Registry, a database which contains the names of 2,354 individuals who, due to previous meth-related offenses, are not permitted to purchase medicines containing PSE. In January, the NPLEx system kept 111 of those offenders from making 222 PSE purchases.
The NPLEx system was a key component of the multifaceted anti-meth bill sponsored by Senator Mae Beavers (R-Mt. Juliet) and co-sponsored by Representative Mark Pody (R-Lebanon).
“These numbers show that NPLEx is working to stop meth crimes before they happen,” Beavers said. “Not only does the electronic technology help law enforcement identify criminals, it also allows law-abiding Tennesseans to continue to purchasing safe and effective cold and allergy medicines without a prescription.”
“NPLEx has blocked a large amount of illegal pseudoephedrine sales in its first month of implementation,” said Rep. Pody. “It is a valuable tool to track down the criminals who are manufacturing meth in Tennessee, while providing access to pseudoephedrine to allergy sufferers. I am very hopeful that this new law will continue to block sales to those who use this drug illegally for meth.”
Tennessee is one of 17 states that currently use NPLEx, which works across state lines, and tracks and stops illegal sales when the purchaser has exceeded his or her legal limit. As part of the comprehensive anti-meth bill, the law also:
• Increases the penalty for making meth in the presence of children;
• Makes it easier to prosecute those who purchase medicines containing PSE at different times and places for the purpose of exceeding the allowable amount, or through use of false identification; and
• Imposes minimum mandatory fines on those offenders.
Haslam’s Administration also provided an additional $750,000 in state appropriations to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and $280,000 in federal Byrne JAG grant funds from the state Office of Criminal Justice Programs available to the TBI.