March 19, 2004

Are we all becomin' unwillin' victims?

OKLAHOMA CITY Gov. Brad Henry called on lawmakers Wednesday to pass within two weeks a bill banning over-the-counter sales of cold tablets containing pseudoephedrine.

Pseudoephedrine found in popular cold and allergy medicines such as Sudafed is a key ingredient for making illegal methamphetamine.

The bill under consideration would make such medicine a regulated substance that can only be sold by pharmacists.

Consumers would have to show a photo identification and sign for the drug and would be limited to buying and possessing nine grams, or about 10 boxes. [full story - reg. req.?]

It appears that even law-abidin' citizens may become unwary victims of the War on Drugs. I use Sudafed as it is one of the few allergy medications that I can use that does not cause me to stay awake all night. Of course, I might continue to do so even if this law is passed, provided I don't mind goin' by my doctor's office and shellin' out a few extra bucks to get a 'script' for such. I will then likely be payin' a higher price for the product to compensate the pharmacist for keepin' such out of my reach until I show the proper identification and my 'script' so as to authorize him/her to slide such highly dangerous product across the counter.

Actually, I am agreeable that methamphetamine is a problem in our country, but am also of the opinion that the biggest cause of the methamphetamine problem is the War on Drugs itself. As the supply lines to other, less dangerous, imported drugs have been shut down, the ever increasin' demand (despite all efforts by the War on Drugs, to the contrary), has forced the emergence of drugs which can be manufactured locally from items found locally. I have always suggested that the War on Drugs was a war against the rights of people to self medicate themselves. After seein' the Oklahoma proposal, has it ever been more apparent?

Posted by notGeorge at March 19, 2004 07:30 AM | TrackBack

my thought exactly. they've already made it difficult to buy sudafed here, and photo ID is required for the purchase certain packages (eg the 8-hour strength). when will 'they' realise that to ban is to encourage the black market and therefore the reverse psychology desire of those who wish to imbibe? half the thrill is of doing something illicit.

Posted by: goldie at March 20, 2004 08:32 PM

If they want to make an impact on drug abuse by making people get a prescription for something that's currently over-the-counter, I say we start with nicotine.

Posted by: President Leechman at October 14, 2004 02:20 PM

If I understand correctly, there is really no problem with nicotine usage other than all current delivery systems.

Posted by: Tiger at October 14, 2004 09:50 PM

Well, all the current delivery systems and the fact that it's really really addictive, and the safer the delivery system the more you have to pay for it.

Requiring a prescription for cigarettes would just put the whole stupid sordid mess into perspective.

Posted by: President Leechman at October 17, 2004 06:31 PM

Hello all,

I agree that the war on drugs is useless. Pot, cocaine, heroin, etc will continue to get into the country because of an endless supply. People will continue to grow or manufacture something that is created from nothing else but seeds or existing plants when there's a profit to be made. I concur that government can't stop the inevitable. As I'm sure you all understand the war on drugs is here to stay. No amount of reason or financial arguments will convince the government to change this long standing policy.

I'm of the opinion that methamphetamine presents an entirely different situation that needs to be dealt with accordingly. Methamphetamine is the only illegal drug that can be produced solely from relatively inexpensive ingredients that can be found at almost any drugstore. The only ingredient essential to production is pseudoephedrine.

I realize that requiring a prescription for all medicine that contains this ingredient will not curb all meth production. However, since an enormous percentage of meth in this country is created by novice cooks using pseudoephedrine bought legally, making the purchase of pseudoephedrine illegal without a prescription would probably prevent many would-be cooks from baking up a batch in the first place.

One contributing factor to meth's spread is the wide availability of the drug in any rural area. This is why meth presents such a unique problem completely different from any we've ever seen.

Making a key production ingredient attainable only by those with a prescription will not keep everyone who wishes to make meth from being able to. I do believe, however, that it would severely diminish the supply and thus hopefully slow down the problem. As it is now, we don't have even half of the resources needed to deal with the severity of this issue, when you factor in the costs of cleaning up labs and all other meth related burdens.

In my opinion, having to visit the doctor for a prescription for cold medicine is less inconvenient than having this epidemic continue to spread unchecked.


Posted by: Jessica at November 17, 2004 01:06 PM


I live in a rural area. You mentioned pseudoephedrine, which, as a manufactured product, is able to be regulated by the FDA, but the real problems were the products containin' natural ephedra which were classed as dietary suppliments and were not governed by FDA regulations. I am unsure how the change was made, whether if was a state mandate or some federal mandate, but several months ago, all of our local convenience stores were required to pull all products containin' natural ephedra off the shelves. From my own personal observations, I sense that there has been a reduction in the amount of meth produced locally. It is suspected that some quantity is bein' imported from other areas, likely those close to the Mexican border where natural ephedra products can still be easily obtained.

Posted by: Tig at November 17, 2004 03:38 PM


Products containing the herb ephedra were pulled from our local convenience stores too. There was some kind of regulation that passed requiring convenience stores and nutritional supplement stores to pull any products containing the herb from store shelves, which was confusing to me because not all products containing ephedrine/ephedra have been banned. You can still get mini-thins and white crosses here in Jacksonville. About 95% of the diet pills now say they're "ephedra free" which only means substituted with a chemically similar compound that's not yet regulated by the FDA. While we still have the free labeling under "supplements" it's going to be extremely difficult to truly regulate the contents of any of these substances.
Since I've never made meth before and I don't really know much about the process, all I know is what I've read, and I'm not exactly sure about how the drug can be made using ephedrine diet pill products or similar products. If that's the case, then I would agree that regulating cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine would probably not have much of an effect.


Posted by: Jessica at November 18, 2004 10:47 AM