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Winchester Police Chief Won't Change Meth Rules

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Tennessee police chief says he will continue to enforce a local ordinance controlling the sale of cold medicines used to make methamphetamine despite a ruling from the attorney general saying the state prohibits such laws.

Winchester Police Chief Dennis Young told The Chattanooga Times Free Press (http://bit.ly/1fk6e4T) on Tuesday that he thinks the city's ordinance is on solid ground.

"Our ordinance is in effect and it has not been challenged (in court), and as of right now we're leaving our ordinance in effect," Young said. "We have multiple legal opinions. ... Until we get challenged on this and it's adjudicated, it's the law of Winchester."

His statement came after state Attorney General Bob Cooper issued a legal opinion Tuesday that says Tennessee law prohibits cities and counties from enacting such ordinances.

The legal opinion comes as several municipalities have passed laws requiring a doctor's prescription to buy pseudoephedrine-based cold medicines in hopes of cracking down on meth production.

Cooper said in his opinion that the General Assembly's intent has been for statewide rules enforcing meth precursors.

Young has been spearheading efforts to enact local ordinances around the state. Those efforts have been criticized by several local government groups and by drug companies that make cold medicine.

At least 18 municipalities have passed ordinances since June in an effort to combat meth abuse.

"It's been very successful," Young said of the Winchester ordinance, adding that police have seen a 70 percent drop in meth production labs since it was enacted.

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