Dickson County residents can hear how other Tennessee communities are battling the growing problem of methamphetamine abuse by requiring prescriptions for a key ingredient at a Town Hall meeting hosted by the Drug Free Dickson Coalition tonight. The meeting is 6-8 pm in the Lester Speyer Community Center on Tennsco Drive. The town hall meeting is presented by the coalition, 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force, Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force, Franklin County Prevention Coalition, Dickson Police Department, Dickson County Sheriff’s Office and Dickson Apothecary. Speakers include Winchester Police Chief Dennis Young and Tabatha Curtis, director of the Franklin County Prevention Coalition. Winchester and other municipalities in Franklin County passed ordinances requiring a prescription for cold medications containing pseudoephedrine or ephedrine, which is the key ingredient for cooking meth. Also speaking tonight will be Tennessee Methamphetamine and Pharmaceutical Task Force Director Tommy Farmer, Michael Pate of the 23rd Judicial District Drug Task Force and Tim Wilson, a former meth-maker. Currently Tennessee law requires anyone purchasing over-the-counter medications containing ephedrine to show a photo ID, sign for the purchase and purchases are reported to a statewide database. Residents are limited to purchasing 9 grams in a 30-day period. But law enforcement official say meth-makers use other people, known as “smurfers,” to travel from one jurisdiction to another purchasing the medications to stay ahead of the state reporting system. For this reason, cities like Winchester have passed local ordinances requiring prescriptions. But state and federal officials question the validity of such local laws. Food and Drug Administration rules do not allow municipalities to require a prescription for medications that the FDA has classified as over the counter unless a special exception is granted. So far, the FDA has not granted any exceptions for ephedrine products but the local ordinances have not been challenged in the courts. For more information on tonight’s Town Hall meeting, contact coalition Coordinator Anita O’Dell at 686-3128.