Restricting Choice Is Bad Medicine In War on Meth

March 7, 2012

The war on drugs looks to inflict a blow on methamphetamine production, but will the collateral damage against personal liberty be too high?

Senator Dan Foster (D-Kanawha) is pushing hard to amend Governor Tomblin’s prescription drug bill so that it includes a provision to make pseudoephedrine based cold medication only available by prescription. These medications include Mucinex, Advil Cold and Sinus, and Aleve. Foster argues that the measure worked to cut the number of meth labs in Oregon and other states

According to the Facebook page of Delegate Gary Howell (R-Mineral), a single parent with three children could only purchase a one day supply of cold medicine for him/herself and each child. Responding posters complained that the state would treat law abiding citizens like criminals. One pointed out the obvious, that residents in border counties could easy obtain medicated relief. Those in the interior would have to schedule an expensive doctor visit to obtain a very small amount of medication.

An Oklahoma law enforcement study published in the Tulsa World last October indicated that possibly two-thirds of pseudoephedrine based medicine went to meth labs. The Consumer Healthcare Products Association pointed out that the statistical track spied during seasons when people were most likely to be ill. Other drug industry statistics cited in the same article showed that only 3 percent of the pills sold would be needed to satisfy the needs of meth makers.

This proposed measure makes no sense. Methamphetamine is a growing problem that tears apart families and communities. A lot of elements combine together to serve the trade in this horrific drug. Should the government heavily restrict car use, since automobiles transport the materials? No reasonable person would support that, even though it could reduce the meth trade to lower levels than restricting cold pills.


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Tags: Dan Foster, Gary Howell, methamphetamine, pseudoephedrine, war on drugs

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