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Music fans often check where their favorite songs are on the charts. Sports fans look to see where the Memphis Tigers are ranked in the latest poll. Even the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has an interest in rankings.

TBI recently said that methamphetamine is the number one illegal drug submitted to the state’s crime lab. Until now, Tennessee law enforcement agencies had submitted more marijuana samples for analysis in drug crime arrests.

Last year, TBI received 9,795 cannabis submissions, down from the 19,652 weed samples submitted in 2018. However, meth case samples surged to 12,072 in 2019.

TBI says meth samples have risen more than 300 percent over the last four years.

A Tennessee prosecutor said part of the reason for the rise in methamphetamine samples to TBI is that law enforcement agencies have shifted more of their focus to meth because they view the drug as especially dangerous and affordable. He said the methamphetamine making its way to consumers now is more powerful and cheaper than ever before.

According to TBI, it received more than twice as many marijuana samples than meth samples as recently as 2015 when the agency took in 8,798 weed submissions and just 3,748 meth submissions. Since then, there were generally small increases in the number of cannabis submissions until last year, when weed samples dropped. Meth submissions have steadily risen each year, however, averaging an increase of about 2,000 samples each year since 2015.

If you have been arrested on a drug possession, manufacturing or distribution, contact a Shelby County attorney experienced in aggressive drug crime defense.