091312 Meeting Notes

091312 Coalition Meeting

Representatives Jon Lundberg and Tony Shipley joined us to discuss the last legislative session and upcoming issues. Successful legislation that interests the coalition included:
  • HB 2286 - created Class E felony for manufacturing or selling an imitation controlled substance, and Class A misdemeanors for ingesting or possessing for the purpose of ingesting, an imitation controlled substance
  • HB 3175 - Criminal Offenses - As enacted, implements various procedures concerning controlled substance analogues in the same manner in which those procedures are carried out concerning controlled substances.
This year's session will add some tweaks to the law to help make it easier for the prosecutor to answer the question (for the jury) "What is it?" There are still no test kits for bath salts. The Nashville Drug ID Service cannot help if they cannot say that a substance is substantially similar to a know illegal substance. Coalition members had concerns about Internet access and the laws of bordering states. Our legislators recognize there is a need for more interdiction coordination and will be working to strengthen our laws.

  • HB 2749 - DUI Offenses - authorizes judge to order the use of an ignition interlock device for any person granted a restricted driver license; (may be with or without geographical restrictions), if the device is ordered, then it must remain on the vehicle during the entire period of the restricted license
  • HB 2750 - DUI Offenses - epands present law to provide that it is not a defense to a violation of the DUI statute if a person is or was lawfully entitled to use an intoxicant, marijuana, controlled substance, or other drug.
  • HB 2752 - DUI Offenses - clarifies that a person may be compelled to submit to an alcohol test under the implied consent law by other provisions of law, court order or search warrant.
Rep. Shipley hopes to decrease the requirement for an ignition interlock from .15% blood alcohol content to .08% BAC. 

Other issues addressed or things learned:
  • Suboxene, subutex - Rep. Shipley is putting together a task force to make recommendations for changes in legislation. 
    • Several suggestions were presented. In response to a request to place a tax on clinics prescribing these substances, we learned that such a tax has been found to be unconstitutional
    • In order to prevent abuse, one local pharmacy is restricting access on these drugs to 1 refill/day, controlled substances 1 refill/month
  • After three years of working on it, Kingsport schools should soon have school-base Telemedicine clinics that will be able to bill TN Care. Often school clinics provide the only medical care a student may receive.
The Coalition also stated some ideas that should be in our Prescription Drug Abuse strategy

 Provide informationSpeakers (Sherry has list of speakers)
Work with other organizations, such as Boys and Girls Club
Educate the community about the need for more Take-Back events
 Build SkillsFollow up: print materials, surveys 
Start a SADD chapter 
 Provide supportSupport School Health Coordinator to help stop addiction before it begins
 Change accessHold more Take-Back Events
 Change incentives or consequencesCreate a local report about prescription drug use
 Change physical environment 
 Change policy, practice, procedure 

Also, Sherry Wagner, Margaret Feierabend and Susan Lodal agreed to help work on a Rx Drug Abuse Town Hall Meeting.