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Memphis News & Weather | Memphis, TN | WATN - localmemphis.com

TBI leaders weigh in on new, ongoing drug challenges across Tennessee

Tuesday, TBI leaders didn’t sugarcoat the state’s ongoing drug issues, with new threats joining the old and risking lives.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – Tuesday, TBIleaders didn’t sugarcoat the state’s ongoing drug issues, with new threatsjoining the old and risking lives.

There are bothimported and home-grown drugs, along with powerful prescriptions which sparkopioid addictions.

TBI leaders said anew kind of meth is pouring into our state from Mexico and providing newproblems for communities filled with people needing their fix, and getting itcheap.

“It’s justopened up a whole new crisis for us,” TBI Assistant Director T.J. Jordansaid.

For TBI leaders,crystal meth is the most critical drug threat facing Tennessee today.

“We areseeing an abundance of meth, at low price,” Jordan said.

Jordan weighed inon this new challenge, Mexican-made meth, after years of law enforcementchipping away at another similar challenge: home-grown meth operations inTennessee.

“We are nottalking about your father’s or grandfather’s methamphetamine,” Jordansaid. “It’s much more potent.”

“It’s asupply and demand situation and the demand is still there,” TBI SpecialAgent in Charge Jay Barnes said.

Then there’s theongoing opioid issues, hitting Tennessee’s urban and rural counties equallyhard, and keeping the TBI’s resource-challenged drug investigators busy.

“When you’vegot availability and vulnerability and accessibility and being affordable, thechallenge is plugging the holes,” Jordan said.

Even with medicalmarijuana recently becoming legal in nearby Arkansas, Tuesday, TBI leaders madetheir views on the substance especially clear.

“Make nomistake, the TBI is adamantly against the legalization of marijuana,”Jordan said.

TBI leaders saidlast year, processed marijuana topped the list of seized drugs.