Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

December 21, 2006

The War on Sudafed

by Brad Warbiany

Chris wrote about this a few weeks ago:

But that’s not why its a “problem”; its a problem, because it’s also the primary ingredient in Methamphetamine; and therefore the government has declared war on it…

…declared war, on a nasal decongestant.

The war on some drugs has made getting the actual medications that work, a lovely process where you must give your drivers license to a clerk, where they record and report on your purchases; and in most stores in most states, you can’t purchase more than 1 weeks worth of recommended adult dosage at a time.

Of course, this doesn’t worry too many people. After all, pseudophedrine can be used to make methamphetamine, which is claimed to be the center of an epidemic even beyond the proportions of crack. And it’s just a silly little cold, as far as commentor John is concerned:

Chris: You’re too self-centered and obsessed with yourself. Get over it, man. The pseudo laws are working and today there are fewer labs blowing up all over the place. Stop thinking about your silly cold and be thankful for small things. Begin with your mind.

Yes, because when the government makes something illegal, it’s just a law, and as long as you follow it, nobody gets hurt. Sure, maybe you and your family are forced to suffer through your colds, your allergies, and that’s simply the way it is. Because the scourge of meth is dangerous enough that we need to do whatever it takes to stop it.

And if that requires putting a man in prison because he wanted to buy Claritin D for his son, SO BE IT:

“(I was) made to feel like a criminal — Made to feel low, dirty. Just totally degraded,” recalled Tim Naveau, who says he’ll never forget the hours he spent in Rock Island County Jail — he says all because of his allergies.

“They searched me, made me take my shirt off, my shoes off,” he recounted.

Tim takes one 24-hour Claritin-D tablet just about every day. That puts him just under the legal limit of 75-hundred milligrams of pseudo ephedrine a month. The limit is part of a new law that Quad Cities authorities are beginning to strictly enforce.

The law limits the amount of pseudo ephedrine you can buy. Pseudo ephedrine is an ingredient in medicines like Sudafed and Claritin-D, and it’s also a key ingredient in methamphetamines.

“It’s the only allergy medicine that works for me — for my allergies,” Tim explained.

The only problem is, Tim has a teenaged son who also suffers from allergies. And minors are not allowed to buy pseudo ephedrine.

“I bought some for my boy because he was going away to church camp and he needed it,” he said.

That decision put Tim over the legal limit. Two months later, there was a warrant for his arrest.

Of course, in our world of zero-tolerance, it doesn’t matter that he’s not running a meth lab. It doesn’t matter that Claritin D is the only thing that works for his and his son’s allergies. Tim Naveau is a lawbreaker. He should have suffered through his allergies like any good law-abiding citizen would have.

At least, that’s what the cops say:

Rene Sandoval, Director of the Quad Cities Metropolitan Enforcement Agency — the agency that enforces the law — says it’s meant to catch meth makers, and does.

“We’ve seen a huge decline in methamphetamine labs,” Sandoval said.

But even if you’re not making meth, if you go over that limit — of one maximum strength pill per day — you will be arrested.

“Does it take drastic measures? Absolutely. Have we seen a positive result? Absolutely,” Sandoval stressed.

Yep. It doesn’t matter if you lock up people who are doing nothing worse than trying to alleviate their allergies. It’s worth it.

Hat Tip: Jonathan Wilde at Catallarchy

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