Monday, January 31, 2005
Pardon My Language, But the "War On Drugs" Can Kiss My Ass
Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's last bill to cut use of methamphetamines
was crushed by the drug lobby. Now she's back, championing a tougher bill and
wielding bipartisan support to force the issue.
Leading a dozen senators, Feinstein and Republican Jim Talent of
Missouri introduced legislation Wednesday that would put the primary chemical in
illegally produced meth - pseudoephedrine - behind the pharmacy counter. Their
bill also would place strict limits on its purchase by repeat customers.
Under the proposed law, no person could buy more than 9 grams of
pseudoephedrine in a 30-day period. This would limit purchases of remedies from
Sudafed to Tylenol flu medicine. By restricting pseudoephedrine use, the
senators hope to keep meth makers from clearing the shelves at local drug stores
to supply their operation.
And just how would repeat purchases be prevented? Oh, that's right - we're going to put buyers on a list:
Talent and Feinstein’s bill would classify pseudoephedrine as a Schedule V
drug, meaning products containing pseudoephedrine must be kept behind a pharmacy counter and sold only by a pharmacist or pharmacy technician.
They would be required to present proof of identification and sign for
the medicine upon purchase. In order to ensure that rural communities
without pharmacy access are not negatively impacted, the legislation provides
for the Director of the Federal Drug Administration to authorize others to sell
the medicines so long as they follow the same procedure.
So, how many allergy products contain pseudoephedrine? Just about any of them that aren't explicitly for "nighttime relief" (it's a simulant, so it's not the best thing to take before bed). How much is 6 grams? Well, that's about 200 standard tablets, which might seem like a lot. But one dose (2 tablets) of Tavist-D contains 60 mg, and up to 6 doses per day are recommended. That's only a 16-day supply for one person, or 4 days for a family of four. What complete and utter bullshit. You know, I don't see anyone limited folks to a four-day supply of beer or smokes.
I don't particularly care for drug users or pushers, and I think anyone who derives their primary source of pleasure from a pipe, joint, line of powder, or bottle is missing out on life. But make no mistake - this War On Drugs stuff is eroding our rights, and when it comes to regulating a very common and extremely useful over-the-counter drug, I'd hope some people start waking up and taking notice. After all, it's not like anyone really wants to do meth, and if other drugs were made available in a safe and legal manner, I highly doubt there would be a single user of that crap. But, noooo, the same folks who decry Feinstein's stance on guns (she's probably the most anti-gun person in Washington) will thump their chests and salute her "tough stance on drugs", and the cycle of stupidity will continue. Feinstein has been getting a lot of flak from the left wing lately for acting "too moderate", and by that they must assume that attacking liberty from both sides of the political spectrum somehow averages out towards the center. Eventually, I suspect that someone will figure out how to make a suitcase nuke from baked potatoes, or a biological weapon from cotton briefs, and we'll have to deal with restrictions on the purchase of those items as well.
UPDATE: My bad - seems that meth is becoming the drug of choice for some folks.