Cartersville City Council approves pill mill moratorium
by Shaka S. Lias
Apr 22, 2011 | 3688 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Earlier this year Judge Carey Nelson denied a request to return prescription drugs to a confidential informant arrested last February by a Cartersville police officer.

The CI was working for a Kentucky agency but, at the time of his arrest, was not on duty. He was found with five bottles of pills, including oxycodone, alprazolam, hydromophone and ibuprofen.

Court testimony revealed that Joseph Smiley was returning from Florida where he purchased the pills illegally. He was stopped in Bartow County for failing to maintain a lane.

Members of the Cartersville City Council voted unanimously Thursday to approve a moratorium to set rules and regulations for filling medicine prescriptions.

Also known as "pill mills," Assistant City Attorney Keith Lovell said the issue has been a growing problem for the community.

One problem Lovell pointed out is "issues with people refilling the same prescription over and over, then selling those prescriptions to individuals who may not need them for medical reasons."

The resolution would impose a one-year moratorium on any establishment that comes into the community. At the end of that year the city would evaluate the establishment.

City Manager Sam Grove stated he wants to be sure that legitimate doctors know that they are not referring to them.

Lovell agreed. "This will not apply to a hospital or establishment that will have a full-time licensed doctor or pharmacist at the facility," he said.

It would only apply to those patients that doctors call in prescriptions for on behalf of the establishment.

Lt. Leslie Cheek with the Bartow-Cartersville Drug Task Force told the council the agency is working closely with the Drug Enforcement Administration. "The rules and regulations that they go by are general to begin with," he said.

Georgia is one of three states that doesn't have a central database registration to control prescriptions. People from neighboring states are traveling to Georgia to fill prescriptions.

Lovell said the city would set regulations that apply to all establishments.