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War on drugs stupidity goes federal

Laurie Kellman:

Suffer from springtime allergies? You could be among the first affected by the USA Patriot Act poised for final congressional passage this week.

Besides terrorism, the bill takes aim at the production of methamphetamine, a highly addictive drug that cannot be manufactured without a key ingredient of everyday cold and allergy medicines. The bill would impose new limits next month for how much relief a person can buy over the counter.

And beginning Sept. 30, it’ll take a flash of ID to buy that medication.

But I thought the Patriot Act was for terrorism? I was assured it wasn’t just a law enforcement wish list. More:

Beginning 30 days after President Bush signs the law, expected sometime this week, purchase limits go into effect. One person would be limited to buying 300, 30-mg pills in a month or 120 such pills in a day. The measure would make an exception for “single-use” sales – individually packaged pseudoephedrine products.

Yup, they’re going to ban high-capacity pill bottles.

8 Responses to “War on drugs stupidity goes federal”

  1. Captain Holly Says:

    It’s already started. Wal-Mart and Rite-Aid no longer sell Primatene tablets (ephedrine); Albertson’s (a local grocery chain) keeps them behind the counter. It sucks because my asthma is really mild and my occasional attacks are easily controlled by taking just two pills whenever I feel one coming on.

    Now I might have to go get a much more expensive prescription from my doctor. But hey, a least those tweekers aren’t making their own meth!

  2. Marc Says:

    I’m so glad that the people we put in power make laws for everyone based on what the worst of society does.

  3. Lyle Says:

    Well, we learned in the 1920s and early ’30s how well Prohibition worked. This is no doubt an attempt to build upon that spectacularly successful experiment in social engineering.

    Oh, and of course it goes without saying that absolutely no one in the pharmaceuticals industry is going to do any “moonlighting” on the side, now that the black market prices will be driven higher. Follow the money on any of these Prohibitions, and I submit it will lead to a political office holder somewhere – likely a bunch of them – just like it did in 1929.

  4. ben Says:

    I’ve never bought “relief” before. Maybe I oughta start.

  5. Alcibiades Says:

    Be careful when giving tablets to help people. It may constitute an illegal transfer.

  6. Ron W Says:

    Problem-reaction-solution. The government creates a problem by criminalizing something and then comes with the solution which is more power for government officials and agents along with a diminishing of our liberties.

    “It is not the function of the government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the government from falling into error.”— U.S. Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson

    “We are fast approaching the stage of the ultimate inversion: The stage where the government is free to do anything it pleases, while the citizens may act only by permission – which is the stage of the darkest periods of human history, the stage of rule by brute force.”–Ayn Rand

  7. Eg Says:

    If your wondering how this became part of the Act, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif, was a lead author of the measure.

  8. _Jon Says:

    I am sure I will flamed for this opinion, but I got to thinking about this and have come to a different conclusion.

    It is myunderstanding that this substance used to be only available via prescription – it isn’t “naturally ocurring” like asprin. So it had to go through some form of FDA testing and approval before it made it to shelves. I would expect that if it were like other drugs, it was prescription only, then after being shown safe, the makers applied for and received permission to have it as OTC in less-concentrated amounts. This is the typical path for OTC drugs.

    There have been instances where a prescription-only drug is pulled (e.g. Vioxx) and there are Prescription Only (PO) drugs that will never be OTC. In this case, we have a PO that made it to OTC and is now found to have some negative side effects when made OTC. There are four options;
    - Leave it as is. In this case, the FedGov and Drug Companies could probably be held negligent for allowing a known harmful product to remain openly available.
    - Return it to PO status. This would increase health-care costs, but it would certainly cut down on abuse.
    - Hybrid the OTC & PO status to a “Behind The Counter” status. This requires crafting a new set of laws and enforcements. And we all know that – like locks – it really is a hassle for honest people and only prevents noob’s from harm. Serious criminals will find ways around it.
    - Remove the drugs from availability. This would do more harm than good. Pro’lly won’t happen.

    Given all that, I agree with the “BTC” status.
    What I don’t like is the half-baked (pardon the pun) set of laws, processes, and enforcements. The security around the information is crap – we all know that. The “hassle factor” is high – it should be as easy as swiping your DL when the item is scanned. Or it should be enforced just as cigarettes and alchohol are. If those two do not require recorded info for purchase, neither should this.

    I think *something* should have been done. What has been done, however, is too draconian for me. Perhaps this is a “future” test to see if tobacco and alchohol will require the same “information gathering” actions.

    “Little by little.
    Bit by bit.
    Freedom is chipped away.
    Lest the populace awaken,
    and reclaim their Natural Rights.”

Remember, I do this to entertain me, not you.

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