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TN Tops Meth Lab Ranking Despite Efforts to Curb it

By Heather Mathis
By hmathis@wbbjtv.com

GIBSON COUNTY, Tenn.- Figures for the first three months of this year are in, and the Volunteer State ranks first in the country in meth use.

Special agent in charge for the 28th Judicial District Drug Task Force, Donnie Blackwell, said the state is on track to break our biggest year with 2,400 active meth labs expected in the state by the end of 2013.

The Rand Company estimates that the state of Tennessee spends more than $1.6 billion each year on meth clean up. Blackwell said that could greatly decrease if pseudoephedrine would be made a controlled substance.

"I think a lot of the problem is we're up against a very powerful lobby in Nashville that's representing people that are making a lot of money selling pseudoephedrine in the state of Tennessee, and that's the bottom line," said Blackwell.

Blackwell believes that the state should follow in Mississippi and Oregon's footsteps and stop the drug from being available over the counter.

"The cost to the state is astronomical and why the legislature won't do anything to fix it is beyond me," Blackwell said.

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