President Requests Input From Eric Watson, As Part Of National Law And Criminal Justice Committee

Thursday, September 26, 2013
Representative Eric Watson has been invited to give official input on the White House National Drug Control Strategy. This is the second year that Representative Watson has been selected concerning a national issue.  Last year, Vice President Joe Biden requested that he be a part of a 25 member delegation on human sex trafficking.  This year, the president has officially requested input from Representative Watson as part of the White House National Drug Control Strategy’s war on drugs.

Rep. Watson said, “It is an honor to represent Tennessee at the White House.  This opportunity will allow me to assist in the advancement of the drug control strategies and to bring what my colleagues and I have done in the Tennessee General Assembly.  Tennessee is only one of two states to use the Controlled System Monitoring Database and I feel that this is a key element that the nation would benefit from as well.

"As chairman of the House Criminal Practice Committee, my 2014 goals is to prevent illicit drug use in our communities; to intervene early in the health care system; to strengthen drug treatment services; break the cycle of drug use, crime and incarceration; disrupt the domestic drug production and trafficking; and improve drug-related information systems.

"Tennessee enacted the Prescription Safety Act in 2012 with the passage of HB2391 which became Public Chapter 880, making it one of only two states that require all pharmacies to report any Schedule II, III, IV, or V prescriptions filled to the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database, or CSMD.  A physician is also required to check the CSMD prior to prescribing one of the controlled substances and annually when the prescribed substance remains part of the treatment.

"Recently, the Tennessee Department of Health surveyed Tennessee prescribers.  Almost 80% said that they think the CSMD is useful for decreasing the incidence of doctor shopping.  Over 70% said they have changed a proposed treatment plan for a given patient after viewing the information found in the CSMD.  Nearly 72% said they are more likely to discuss substance abuse issues/concerns with their patients.  Given these figures, I feel that we are seeing positive results immediately.

"A number of physicians have requested that we find ways to protect them when a person picks up a fake prescription and has used the doctor's name and/or DEA number.  Patients must present a current and valid government issued identification or current health insurance card issued by either a government or private insurer in receiving prescriptions.  Without identification required, it is virtually impossible to identify who actually picked up the fake prescription.  This does not require the patient be the only person who can pick up the prescription, it just allows the pharmacist to be able to identify who actually picked up the drugs and would minimize impersonators from getting them. ” 

Rep. Watson is chairman of the House Criminal Justice Committee and serving his fifth term in the Tennessee House of Representatives. He lives in Cleveland and represents Bradley, Meigs, and Polk Counties.  In 2012, he was appointed to the Tennessee Criminal Justice Council to focus on law enforcement needs across the state.  He is also a graduate of the 2012 TBI State Academy inaugural class in which he was elected class president. He also serves as a law enforcement officer in Tennessee.


This Week In The Arts

This week in the Arts:  Thursday, August 25   Cocktails In Color: Storied Edition at the Hunter Museum of American Art The Speakeasy Revue at Jazzanooga Elements: An Exhibit by Camille Day at the Blue Ridge Mountain Arts Association  Friday, August 26 Night Fall Concert Series at Miller ... (click for more)

“Hands Across The Border” DUI Enforcement Campaign Begins Monday

Law enforcement officers in Georgia and five neighboring states will have zero tolerance for impaired drivers during the 25th annual “Hands Across the Border” enforcement campaign that will be held leading up to the long holiday weekend. Impaired drivers will be taken to jail during the week long enforcement campaign in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina ... (click for more)

Jury Awards 25 City Police Personnel Total Of $562,000 On Claims That Pay Plan Was Not Followed

A Chancery Court jury on Wednesday gave a verdict totaling $562,000 for 25 city police personnel who filed suit almost five years ago alleging that the city never lived up to terms of a 2010 pay plan. Attorney Stevie Phillips, who tried the case along with Janie Parks Varnell, said, "The jury awarded each officer what we had asked for to the penny." She stated, "These 25 members ... (click for more)

TDEC Defends Its Operation Of Septic Permit Office In Bradley County; Backs Hank Thompson

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) defended the operation of its septic permit office in Bradley County, including the work of manager Hank Thompson. The Bradley County Commission is studying whether to take over the operation of the office, saying there have been a number of complaints against Mr. Thompson and that he recently kicked Commissioner ... (click for more)

Alexander Should Do Something About The Affordable Health Care Act Price Increase - And Response (3)

Re:  Alexander's remarks about Tennesseans not affording "Affordable Health Care Act" prices Mr. Alexander,  Your message stated, Tennesseans can't afford a 44 percent to 62 percent increase in the Affordable Care prices.  I simply ask, as Senate Health Committee chairman, why don't you do something about it?  Don't tell us something most know already.  ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: 40 Questions About ‘Blue Bags’

No. 1 – Did you know that one in every five of the 42,000 children in the Hamilton County school district is what the experts call “food deprived?” No. 2 – Can you get your arms around the fact that a huge percentage of those 8,400 children get little, if nothing, to eat from Friday at lunch until they return to our schools on Monday? No. 3 -- Did you know that you – just ... (click for more)