Why is the solution to every one of society's problems, loss of freedom?


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Jeff White
March 29, 2004, 02:07 PM
Yes, meth is devastating many areas in the midwest. Yes, the labs are hazardous waste sites. Yes, the users develop paranoia and are dangerous. No, I don't want to go get a prescription for OTC cold medicine. Did you have to have a prescription to buy sugar and yeast during prohibition? How much more freedom are you willing to give up?

Jeff

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/News/St.+Louis+City+%2F+County/944271B50573379886256E66003C3A97?OpenDocument&Headline=Convenience+and+priorities
Convenience and priorities
By Matthew Hathaway
Of the Post-Dispatch
03/29/2004

Police and prosecutors in Missouri and Illinois say it's time for tough measures in their fight against the increasing production of the illegal drug methamphetamine.

One of their targets is a little pill many people take to relieve the common cold.

Across the Midwest, anti-meth crusaders are drawing attention to pseudoephedrine. It's an active ingredient in more than 80 over-the-counter cold remedies and an essential ingredient in most recipes for meth, a powerful stimulant often called ice, crystal or crank.

Police contend that easy access to pseudoephedrine pills - which are sold everywhere from gas stations to grocery stores - has contributed to an explosive increase in small meth labs throughout the nation's heartland. Most of the nation's meth is made at a small number of "super labs" in Mexico and California. But Missouri and the states it borders accounted for more than half of the meth-lab raids and related seizures last year.

Although meth also can be made using the chemicals ephedrine and phenyl-2-propanone, those ingredients are closely monitored and tough to get in significant quantities. Police say most of the meth made at Midwestern labs comes from pseudoephedrine, legally bought by small-time meth-lab operators.

Last week, the Oklahoma Senate unanimously approved legislation that would label most pseudoephedrine remedies "scheduled narcotics," sold only at pharmacies and only if customers agree to have the purchases - and their identities - recorded in a statewide database. The bill has the support of the governor. It would become the nation's toughest state law governing a meth ingredient.
Iowa's Democratic Gov. Tom Vilsack proposed similar restrictions this year, but legislators rejected the idea. Lawmakers in Minnesota this month voted down a ban on pseudoephedrine sales to minors, and scaled back other proposed regulations. In both states, supporters of the measures said the efforts were defeated after heavy lobbying by industry groups representing pharmaceutical companies and retailers. Opponents say the regulations are an inconvenience to consumers and offer no lasting solution to the meth problem.

The leading manufacturer of pseudoephedrine products believes that the proposed restrictions in Oklahoma are misguided.

"I'm not sure that legislators understood they're basically putting the entire cold aisle behind the counter," said Jay Kosminsky, a spokesman for Pfizer Inc., the manufacturer of Sudafed cold remedies. "The fact is this is going to get between sick people and their medicines."

Backers of tough restrictions don't dispute that. One Southern Illinois prosecutor says reducing the number of meth labs - and the related injuries suffered by addicts, their children and the police who raid the environmentally toxic labs - should be a more important public health priority. Wayne County, Ill., State's Attorney Kevin Kakac said he wants Illinois to be the first state to make pseudoephedrine a prescription product.

"Would it be unfortunate for the common hay fever sufferer? I guess so," Kakac said. "But when you compare it to the price we're paying for the meth scourge, it may be worth it."

Kakac said that despite a national reduction in crime, the number of felonies he prosecutes has nearly doubled since the late 1990s. He blames the highly addictive meth and the abundant supply of its ingredients. He said addiction to the drug can eventually turn meth users into meth cooks.

Illinois has no state laws governing the sale of meth-ingredient cold pills.

Missouri last year toughened existing regulations on how much pseudoephedrine a store could sell to an individual customer, and added new restrictions on where those cold pills could be displayed. Drug investigators say those laws do little to curb the drug's production. Nothing prevents meth cooks from visiting dozens of stores to get the thousands of pills needed to make even a few ounces of meth.

Several books offer meth recipes, and others are found on the Internet. Many recipes share an ingredient list that can be filled legally in an afternoon of shopping. The sole ingredient that is difficult to buy - the farm fertilizer anhydrous ammonia - can be easily stolen, and not every recipe calls for it.

As a result, lawmakers have honed in on pseudoephedrine as the one ingredient essential to nearly all recipes. But the architect of Missouri's current cold-pill restrictions, Franklin County Sheriff's Detective Jason Grellner, said they do little to curb the supply of meth. Grellner said he will advocate a law similar to the Oklahoma legislation - if not an even stricter one - next month at a statewide meth summit in Kansas City.

Grellner said the issue came up recently at a high school in Sullivan, where he was talked about the dangers of meth.

"This little girl in the ninth grade asks me, 'If everyone makes meth from pseudoephedrine, why doesn't the government ban it?'" Grellner said. "Out of the mouths of babes."

More colds or more meth?

The Drug Enforcement Administration says the amount of pseudoephedrine legally imported by drug companies has increased from 544,227 pounds in 1990 to 1,512,782 pounds last year, a 178 percent increase.

The DEA says much of that increase might be explained by an increase in legitimate use, both by cold sufferers and by drug companies that are using pseudoephedrine in products that used to include more regulated chemicals.

Many in law enforcement argue that increase is a result of the proliferation of meth labs, particularly in the Midwest.

"The fact is there aren't that many more sniffles now than 10 years ago," said John Duncan, chief agent for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics. He said that what he saw as the legal drug industry's unwillingness to act - even in the wake of a high-profile, videotaped killing of a Oklahoma state trooper by a meth cook - forced the state to act.

"If we leave it to the industry to regulate themselves, they won't do a damned thing except reap more profits," Duncan said.

Kosminsky, the Pfizer spokesman, said the company is working to develop pseudoephedrine medications that can't easily be converted into meth. But, he said, "the science just isn't there yet ... and it's tough to know how close we are."

A growing number of drug investigators say cutting off the supply of pseudoephedrine will make it virtually impossible for most criminals to make meth. But it's not likely that federal authorities will add more restrictions on the retail sales of the cold pills.

In 2002, Rep. Marion Berry, D-Ark., introduced legislation that would have made pseudoephedrine available only by prescription. Berry is a pharmacist-turned-politician who said the move would hurt meth cooks. The bill died in committee.

On the federal level, White House drug czar John Walters said the Bush administration won't propose new federal restrictions on the retail sale of pseudoephedrine.

Walters said that pseudoephedrine offers "an enormous, legitimate benefit" and that there's no reason to inconvenience people in states where meth production isn't a problem. But Walters said the White House doesn't object to states developing their own restrictions on cold pills.

The Oklahoma House is expected to vote on the proposed restrictions this week. Gov. Brad Henry, a Democrat, is so confident that an official said he has set the bill signing for April 5.

Grellner said he hopes such a law in Oklahoma would spur Missouri, Illinois and eventually the federal government into passing similar laws.

"This is just like dominoes. If one state does it, Missouri and some others are going to follow suit. And then, Washington is going to have to step in with a federal standard," he said. "After all, meth isn't a problem that's going away."

Reporter Matthew Hathaway
E-mail: mhathaway@post-dispatch.com
Phone: 636-500-4108

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Dex Sinister
March 29, 2004, 02:21 PM
But the architect of Missouri's current cold-pill restrictions, Franklin County Sheriff's Detective Jason Grellner,[...] said he will advocate a law similar to the Oklahoma legislation - if not an even stricter one - next month at a statewide meth summit in Kansas City.

Grellner said the issue came up recently at a high school in Sullivan, where he was talked about the dangers of meth.

"This little girl in the ninth grade asks me, 'If everyone makes meth from pseudoephedrine, why doesn't the government ban it?'" Grellner said. "Out of the mouths of babes."

Yeah - ninth graders are always the best at thinking through all the ramifications of their actions! We should definately make laws affecting the free choices of hundreds of thousands of people according to their advice! :rolleyes:

Dex }:>=-

CatsDieNow
March 29, 2004, 03:02 PM
"This little girl in the ninth grade asks me, 'If everyone makes meth from pseudoephedrine, why doesn't the government ban it?'" That seems overly complicated...why don't we just ban meth, and leave the cold medicine alone?

Back home in Indiana, there was an idiot who decided that he was going to take a cordless drill to the bottom of an anhydrous tank in the middle of a cornfield. He succeded, but apparently forgot that it is kept under pressure in the tanks. He was a popsicle very shortly thereafter.

TrapperReady
March 29, 2004, 03:37 PM
Interesting... stupid, but interesting.

BTW, if they make pseudoephedrine prescription-only... wouldn't that mean that the health insurers (those with drug benfits) would then have to pay for them? IIRC, that was a HUGE reason why they got Claritin re-listed as OTC, so a couple of the large HMOs in California wouldn't have to shell out the bucks for the meds.

Master Blaster
March 29, 2004, 03:42 PM
Several books offer meth recipes, and others are found on the Internet.

Geez How could they have missed the obvious solution here, ban books and printing presses. Then ban access to the internet.

No Honest man needs these high capacity information storage and exchange media. We will all be much safer with out them. If it saves even one child from the scourge of illegal drugs it will be worth it.

I understand also that if you are buying casses of these dangerous cold medications you must need a car or a truck to transport them to the secret cooking location. So we should also ban cars and trucks. Its very difficult to conceal cases of Sudafed on your person when you are walking.

R.H. Lee
March 29, 2004, 03:42 PM
It's the "Lowest Common Denominator" reaction of the left.
The left is completely devoid of the notion of personal responsibility (except when it comes to GWB). They profess (although they don't believe) in the equality of all people, and that .gov is the great equalizer, administrated by themselves, as they are obviously caring, and intellectually superior.

It's a classic mental disorder.

El Tejon
March 29, 2004, 03:42 PM
More laws, less justice.

More laws, more $ for me.:D

flatrock
March 29, 2004, 03:46 PM
I used to use pseudoephedrine a lot. I have alergies, and took it to clear out my sinuses enough that I could sleep every night.

I tried other decongestants, but they'd keep me awake all night.

I used to buy pseudoephedrine in the big bulk packs because it was least expensive that way. After a while they quit selling it in the larger bottles, and raised the price on the bulk packages they did sell.

I recently switched to a perscription nasal steroid, so I take the pseudoephedrine much more rarely now, but if I run out of my perscription, or forget it at home while on a trip I use the pseudoephedrine.

It would be really inconveinent if I had to get a perscription for what happens to be a safe and effective medicine. I also doubt they'd be sucessful in curbing the Meth trade much by making yet another component illegal to get over the counter.

Hasn't the "War on Drugs" already had enough bad side effects on people?

Doesn't the government realize how many alergy sufferers there are out there?

Pissing off all the voters with colds and allergies isn't a good political move. I hope someone points that out to them.

Langenator
March 29, 2004, 03:53 PM
When I lived in WA, another hotbed of meth activity, my wife worked at Rite-Aid (which as a drugstore like Walgreens for those of you who don't have them where live). They had a bunch of restrictions on meds containing pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). They weren't prescription only, but they were restricted.

Sudafed and friends were kept in a locked case, behind the counter. And you could only buy 4 boxes, each containing x number of pills, at one time.

Of course, the meth maggots had their ways around this. They'd come in in groups-how ever many could fit in the car, minus the driver, usually. They each buy 4 boxes, spaced a couple of minutes apart. Then they'd leave, go around the corner, and get in the car. I'm going to assume they then drove to another store and did the same thing.

If people want to break the law, they'll find a way to do it.

The more I look at the drug war, the more in favor I get of legalization. Just make sure that there's a clause in the law that states that anyone who uses drugs is solely and completely responsible for all the bad s^&*t that is going to happen to them, so the rest of us don't have to pay for it.

Nightfall
March 29, 2004, 05:41 PM
When are people going to wake up to how much freedom the WoD is sucking out of America? I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of Americans have or actively do use many of these medicines. But it doesn't matter if it will make life more difficult for probably more than half of the USA. Who cares! All those other laws didn't stop that drug production, but this one is finally the ticket! After this, meth labs will be a thing of the past, and we'll all let out a sigh of relief that our lives will be free of the burden of methamphetamines, all at the simple cost of some basic medicines. And it's not like you have to give up the medicines entirely! You just have to give up your privacy, and put your identity on another state database, all because you have to deal with some hay fever.
Why is the solution to every one of society's problems, loss of freedom?
I don't understand how the answer to making things better can ever be "take more freedoms". Things get worse and worse, and the answer is to take more liberty away from the people... while things continue to get worse... :banghead:

BHPshooter
March 29, 2004, 06:12 PM
How absolutely disgusting.

What the hell is the problem with people making these laws? It's already illegal to make, use, or sell methamphetamines, and it isn't working. So let's make the ingredients illegal.

Hey, while we're at it, why don't we make a law making it illegal to break laws? It'll make sense to them, even though we know that they're certifiable.

People like YOU AND ME need to get off our asses and get involved. Don't like who's running for office? RUN YOURSELF! This is the only way to get these idiots out of office.

The war on drugs has got to go. Can you imagine how much money that would save, and therefore could be shown as tax savings for the populace. It's only going to happen if we get involved.

Wes

Standing Wolf
March 29, 2004, 08:52 PM
Why is the solution to every one of society's problems, loss of freedom?

Curbing "excessive freedom" is the leftist extremists' object. Pretending to address real and/or imaginary "social problems" is the sugar coating. They practice regulation for the sake of regulation, social control for the sake of social control.

carpettbaggerr
March 29, 2004, 09:12 PM
Is this a real story? It reminds me of the jackass legislators who got voted to ban dihydrogen monoxide.

vmi93
March 29, 2004, 09:14 PM
Sadly, the urge to limit freedom in order to PREVENT crime (rather than punishing it) knows no party lines. The War on Liberty/Drugs/Guns/Porno/Alcohol/Tobacco/Hi-Cap Commodes has been a bipartisan effort.

Politicians get a lot of reward for a little effort when they grab some headlines by attacking some menacing freedom that's enjoyed by a section of the population that does not buy many congressmen. It's hard to get re-elected on a platform of "Vote for Me, I'll Leave You Alone". People want to vote for someone who will "do something", especially if that "somethng" involves taking some freedom away from an unpopular group.

The "Left" wants government intrusion into your gun cabinet, your garage and your toilet tank. The "Right" wants government intrusion into your medicine chest, your bedroom, your computer, and your liquor cabinet.

spartacus2002
March 29, 2004, 09:27 PM
"In every generation there are those who want to rule well -- but they mean to rule. They promise to be good masters -- but they mean to be masters. "

Brian Dale
March 29, 2004, 10:19 PM
"The fact is there aren't that many more sniffles now than 10 years ago," said John Duncan, chief agent for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.No, but there will be next year. More sniffles and sneezing, and folks will be able to spread their germs for a longer period of time with each infection. Old people, sick people and babies die from these simple infections every year. Epidemiologists will be able to tell you in a few years how many your legislators have killed. Heck, somebody with a set of actuarial tables might be able to tell you right now. That is what a public health problem is, Mr. Duncan. If I were a physician in Oklahoma, I'd think about moving."If we leave it to the industry to regulate themselves, they won't do a damned thing except reap more profits," Duncan said. and How In The World is that your business, Mr. Duncan?

That's the most strongly Communist statement I've ever heard out of Oklahoma (Woodie Guthrie was before my time). Your inability to catch bad guys is already letting bad guys kill their (willing and unwilling) victims. Now your legislature is about to kill a few more. What's next for Oklahoma—gonna go back to outdoor plumbing?

Imagine what we'd see there in the heart of wheat country if the price on anhydrous ammonia were jacked up as much as the cost and difficulty of acquiring cold meds is going to rise with this abomination in place. It wouldn't be pretty. Farmers would jerk any legislators who supported that kind of legislation right out of their chairs and back home to work in a grocery store or a tire-repair shop.

Quartus
March 29, 2004, 10:39 PM
Back home in Indiana, there was an idiot who decided that he was going to take a cordless drill to the bottom of an anhydrous tank in the middle of a cornfield. He succeded, but apparently forgot that it is kept under pressure in the tanks. He was a popsicle very shortly thereafter.


Cool way to win a Darwin Award!


:D


I crack myself up! :D Get it? CRACK! :D




Oooooh! I've been at work too long today! :what:



Time for bed!




:D

XLMiguel
March 30, 2004, 09:57 AM
Regardless of how many 'laws' are passed, it's all for naught if the laws aren't passed. Whether the ingredients are illegal or not is irrelevant as long as the final product is illegal (oh, that part's done!?!)

What they really have to do is quit the legislative mastubation and fund law enforcement to go get the meth producers. All this silliness accomplishes is more bureaucracy that whizzes away tax money (that might properly be spent on actual law enforcement that might produce some real benefit to society) while potentially criminalizing those suffering from colds and allergies.:fire: :barf: :fire: :barf: :fire: :barf:

Orthonym
March 31, 2004, 04:03 AM
That reminds me of a little girl we had around here a few years ago. She solicited (all too successfully, I'm afraid) donations to buy bullet-resistant body armor for police dogs. I don't know about you other folks, but I think human cops are mostly too much, let alone dogs trained to go after humans, or to pretend to sniff out "contraband."

If one offers to bite me, I'll assume it's armored, and reckon I'll just try to shoot it in the head.

Funny how all the schweinhuende used by the polizei were bred by Germans and have German breed-names. Makes me want to get an AMERICAN Pit Bull Terrier, bred to be nice to all humans, and bite the heads off of Rottweilers, Doberman Tax Dogs, and German Police Dogs (their real name, only recently called German Shepherds).

Little girls have no business whatsoever in deciding the government of the state. Remember the little girl who wrote the letter to Abragoddam Lincoln suggesting he grow a beard? That may have gotten him elected, and thereby caused the deaths of about a million good men.

XLMiguel
March 31, 2004, 09:52 AM
But Ortho - there's a precident - remember when Jimmuh Carter asked 10 y.o. Amy her thoughts on nuclear policy? Made about as much sense -:barf:

:neener:

wingman
March 31, 2004, 10:15 AM
In any society as population increases,crime goes up, then more laws and
less freedom for all. Think it's bad now hang around 20 years.:(

carp killer
March 31, 2004, 10:31 AM
In any society as population increases,crime goes up, then more laws and less freedom for all. Think it's bad now hang around 20 years.

Just look at ********** and you will see the future of the United States.:what:

Augustwest
March 31, 2004, 12:40 PM
"Would it be unfortunate for the common hay fever sufferer? I guess so," Kakac said. "But when you compare it to the price we're paying for the meth scourge, it may be worth it."

As long as it's good for the masses... :banghead:

TallPine
March 31, 2004, 01:37 PM
"After all, meth isn't a problem that's going away."
Actually, the War on (people using) Drugs is the problem that isn't going away :rolleyes:

From where I see it, meth and crack were never a problem until the great prosecution/persecution of people using more natural substances like pot and coke (not that those are by any means good for you) drove those folks to find some worse alternative.

Anyway, I'd sure rather have my neighbor growing pot in his garden than cooking up something explosive and stinky.

Almost every "problem" started out as a "solution" to a previously perceived "problem"

rock jock
March 31, 2004, 02:17 PM
The more I look at the drug war, the more in favor I get of legalization. Just make sure that there's a clause in the law that states that anyone who uses drugs is solely and completely responsible for all the bad s^&*t that is going to happen to them, so the rest of us don't have to pay for it.
Therein lies the problem. Most of the legalization advocates love the govt. to come to their aid when they are addicted and homeless. That provision is critical, and is exactly why legalization laws will never be passed.

twoblink
March 31, 2004, 02:36 PM
Well, my understanding is, water is involved in the making of meth.

Ban water!!! :o

Stupidity knows no bounds...

It's like banning cars because of drunk drivers....

geekWithA.45
March 31, 2004, 02:50 PM
Why is the solution to every one of society's problems, loss of freedom?

Because, literally, that is all they CAN do.

Liberty cannot be granted by government, only taken away.

The phrase "promote freedom" is a misdirection, it feeds the belief that there is some positive action you can take that somehow causes freedom to BE.

Freedom IS.

If you want to increase freedom, you REDUCE OBSTRUCTIONS TO IT, and thus create a state of Liberty.

iapetus
March 31, 2004, 03:28 PM
Slightly OT, but the UK police foiled a major terrorist plot a deay or two ago.

Seem a bunch of terrorists had got hold of about a ton of ammonium nitrate (or similar) fertilizer, and were going to make a huge fertilizer-bomb.

I've already heard calls for fertilizer to only be sold in small quantities / only in large quantities to farmers / anyone buying fertilizer has to have their name etc passed to the police / etc.



I also recently read a letter someone had sent to a magziine saying "Why doesn't the government pass a law banning house prices from rising more than 5% per year". Fortunately I was sitting on the floor at the time, as I literally fell over laughing.

Langenator
March 31, 2004, 06:36 PM
"Why doesn't the government pass a law banning house prices from rising more than 5% per year"

They already have, in many urban areas. It's called rent control. Doesn't work to well though. It simultaneously increases demand (by artificially limiting the price) while decreasing the incentive to increase supply. Thus it actually increases the cost of housing in the long run.

iapetus
April 1, 2004, 01:32 PM
Ah, so it's as stupid an idea as I thought, but not so stupid some politician hasn't tried it :rolleyes:

Cellar Dweller
April 1, 2004, 03:36 PM
Suppose the various JBTs mentioned have their way and pseudoephedrine is BANNED from OTC sales.

Prices of Sudafed rise.
Prices of meth rise.
Alternative sources of Sudafed are utilized - like a truckload from Mexico or Canada.

What next, you must carry your prescription at all times? Possession of more than X number of pills is a felony? You must be medically certified (by a visit to the doctor, not a phone-in prescription) that you indeed have a cold or hayfever?

When your cold ends or hayfever season is over, will you be mandated to turn over all remaining pills?

After this legislation fails, as it surely will, what is the next (il)logical step?

telewinz
April 1, 2004, 06:06 PM
A large part of our society refuses to take responsibility for their actions and they insist that that a responsible party (the government) be their guardian. Been that way since before WW2 and it will only get worse.

Tag
April 1, 2004, 10:26 PM
All this WoD fiasco makes wonder how much of the endless money that comes off the street is being funneled into congressional pockets? The WoD benefits no one except the bureaucracies put it place to fight it and the Drug Dealers, who without the WoD, would not be making money by the pound.

Jeff White
April 2, 2004, 04:38 PM
http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/news/stories.nsf/News/St.+Louis+City+%2F+County/3FF68E2DC5624E7886256E6A0056FDB3?OpenDocument&Headline=Dozens+are+accused+of+diverting+pills+to+meth+labs++

Dozens are accused of diverting pills to meth labs
By Matthew Hathaway
Of the Post-Dispatch

Drug investigators in southwest Missouri said Thursday that they had cracked an elaborate crime ring devised to divert bulk quantities of over-the-counter cold pills to illegal methamphetamine labs.

On Wednesday, authorities in Springfield, Mo., unsealed federal drug, weapons and money-laundering indictments against 38 suspects, including at least nine store owners and two wholesale distributors. Authorities allege the targets of these indictments were involved in the illegal sale of cold pills.

Nick Console, an agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration in Springfield, called the indictments "the first of their kind in the nation" and said the operation will provide a road map for drug investigators elsewhere.

The case highlights the growing, illegal diversion of pseudoephedrine, the active ingredient in more than 80 over-the-counter cold remedies and an essential ingredient in most of the recipes for meth, a powerful and highly addictive stimulant that has soared in popularity in recent years.

Missouri leads the nation in raids on meth labs and meth-related dumpsites. Recently, the St. Louis area has been a hot spot for meth production.

In Missouri, it's illegal for retailers to sell more than two boxes of the pills to an individual, and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan proposed similar legislation this week. On Monday, Oklahoma Gov. Brad Henry is scheduled to sign the nation's toughest restrictions on pseudoephedrine. The legislation would label most pseudoephedrine cold pills "scheduled" narcotics, sold only at pharmacies and only if customers agree to have their purchases - and their identities - recorded in a statewide database.

The federal indictments - as well as several state charges expected to be filed soon - are the product of a two-year investigation called Operation Ice Palace. The investigation takes its name from a street term for meth, which also is called ice, glass, crystal and crank.

Authorities said the operation exposed dozens of retailers who were knowingly selling enough pseudoephedrine to make hundreds of thousands of meth doses. Those indicted included:

Roy James Hudspeth, 39, vice president and chief executive officer of Handi-Rak Service Inc., who police say made at least $287,000 supplying dozens of retailers with massive quantities of cold pills that were then sold directly to meth cooks.

David Deputy, 51, the owner of a drug paraphernalia shop and body-piercing parlor in Taney County, who police say made more than $900,000 after he started a company dedicated to selling bulk quantities of pseudoephedrine to meth cooks and crooked retailers.

Owners of nine liquor stores, convenience stores and other shops that sold - in some cases - thousands of cold pills to police who had posed as meth cooks.

Fourteen store clerks and nine others who worked for Hudspeth and Deputy.

Todd P. Graves, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri, said the indictments "send a message to all business owners" that his office will prosecute suppliers of meth ingredients as aggressively as meth cooks themselves.

"The legitimate sales of over-the-counter products can't be used as a smokescreen for an illicit black market," Graves said.

Operation Ice Palace revolves around two companies that allegedly supplied large quantities of undocumented pseudoephedrine to a network of dozens of retailers frequented by meth cooks.

Although the DEA tracks legal distribution of the cold pills from manufacturers to retailers, investigators say the two companies got around that federal oversight by keeping separate books and - when pressed by authorities to account for discrepancies - claiming that illegally diverted pills actually were stolen from warehouses or were never received from manufacturers.

Police say they began to suspect the distributors - Handi-Rak, based in Brookline, Mo., and D&D Distributing, of Forsyth, Mo. - after tracking the purchases of some off-brand pseudoephedrine that kept turning up in raids on meth labs.

When suspects told police where they bought the pills, undercover officers visited the stores posing as meth cooks. According to police, most of the stores sold the officers whatever they wanted - even multiple cases containing several thousand cold pills.

For decades, Handi-Rak has supplied motels, convenience stores and other businesses with novelty products, over-the-counter medications and personal hygiene supplies. When the company started, the products were sold on consignment and stored on a single rack, which gave the business its name.

According to police, Hudspeth - the son of the Handi-Rak founder - realized that in southwest Missouri, pseudoephedrine was a hot commodity.

Hudspeth was indicted on charges of conspiracy to distribute pseudoephedrine and three counts of money laundering. Police say he aggressively marketed the cold pills to shops that were popular with meth cooks, and eventually agreed to sell cold pills off the books so retailers could sell large quantities of pills at a premium without drawing any suspicion from police and federal regulators.

When reached by telephone Thursday, Hudspeth said he was aware the company was being investigated, but he denied any wrongdoing. He said he didn't know he was indicted.

According to investigators, Deputy ran an unusual shop called The Castle. Police said the building featured medieval-style ramparts and was surrounded by a moat. An investigator said as many as 20 meth cooks would line up outside The Castle every Thursday to buy cold pills.

State and federal authorities said cold pills sold in bulk on the "gray market" for as much as four times the retail price - a premium meth cooks would pay because it allowed them to spend less time finding ingredients and more time making drugs, police said.

Capt. Tom Jackson, commander of the St. Louis County drug task force, said that drug investigators in this area have a good relationship with most stores that sell the cold pills but that some smaller, independent shops will "buy as much pseudoephedrine as they can and sell to whoever they can for as much as they can."

Reporter Matthew Hathaway
E-mail: mhathaway@post-dispatch.com
Phone: 636-500-4108

jke456
April 2, 2004, 05:02 PM
my first post

:)

If were not going to legalize then we need to start actually sending the druggies to real time

we had a guy busted for manufacturing meth here a few weeks back and all he got was four years...... oh boy

word is he will serve 18 months in rehab unit and be back out on the streets

:confused:

P95Carry
April 2, 2004, 05:09 PM
Same ol' ploy ain't it? Punish the masses for the crimes of the few ... plus making more and more laws ... ever more making Joe Sixpack into an unwitting criminal... as he endevors to live a ''normal'' life, but inadvertantly keeps ''crossing the line''. It's all again about control.

Here's an example of something sorta similar ... not meth related but ''drug'' related. Iapetus will know this one ....


UK has a cheap (used to be) ..... simple and effective analgesic ... it's called Paracetamol ... and it's always been an OTC substance, also available as branded product for inflated prices!. It's precursor, phenacetin was also available but the paracetamol gives the liver less of a hard time. It's basically, when used as directed, both effective and safe.

However .... too much paracetamol and irreversible liver damage occurs .. take enough and it will kill ... slowly. Needless to say it has been used by suicides .. who take a whole bunch .... often failing but still screwing their livers. Bad choice.

What does Nanny Gov do about it? They stop allowing nice cheap 100 tablet bottles of generic from being sold and instead - limit them by packaging in 16's and 32's (fancy blister packs) .... at vastly increased price!! So, a person can only buy 32 max at a time .... but it is easy to go down a main street and call into three pharmacies and still get near 100!!

So ... nothing much is achieved .. except profiteering, higher costs for all the people who use it and are NOT suicidal.! I mean hell .... car exhaust in a garage is still an option for those bent on self destruction ... so is jumping off a high place.!

Back when I lived over there .. it cost little more than a Dollar for 100 ... it lasted me 6 months and more .. just used for odd headaches etc ..... like thousands of other non-suicidal people.

OK .. no relation to meth but similar principle behind the ''regulation'' ..... total expensive joke. Don't ''they'' remember prohibition?? :rolleyes: .... where there is a will - there is a way ... regardless.

Foe[H]ammer
April 2, 2004, 06:02 PM
If were not going to legalize then we need to start actually sending the druggies to real time

I'm sorry I know I'm new but I take issue with this mentality.

Druggies only exist because of prohibition. Before that they were your next door nieghbors, and prolly still are. During alchohol prohibition if you were running shine to Texarcana you could stop at the local Rexall and pick up a pack of cocaine (legally, over the counter) to "speed you on your way". Druggies is a demonization of adults choosing their favorite intoxicant over others much like the term "gun nut" describes an adult choosing 50 different guns over the 2 currently legal.

Not to get too far off topic. If you create an artificial market that is so lucrative that people will kill over small shares of it and literally amass empires from the proceeds, then offering a hundred more years to the sentece if they get caught is futile (odds are, regardless of what CNN would have you believe, they won't get caught).

You hear everyday about the guy they caught bringing 80 pounds of weed from Mexico hidden in his gas tank. Want to know why he tried? Because 80X1600=120,000 that's 2 years wages for well paid midclass folks for three weeks worth of work front to back. I'd take the risk 3 times for the return, because what you don't hear about is the guys selling 400 pounds a year and stay under radar who retire in Barbados after 3 years, comfy forever. I'm not glorifying what they do or even saying it's right.

Were the evil drugs not illegal we could use a tenth of the money we spend on combating their spread (which is an exercise in futility) to help the REAL addicts who want to get clean. Instead we "create" addicts by offering the choice of rehab or jail to first offenders.

Drugs are not a criminal problem any more than guns are, drugs are a medical problem, much like alchoholism, you treat the addict once, maybe twice with extinuating circumstances and then you abandon them. Should they commit crimes against society put them UNDER the jail.

Drug users are by and large a peaceful group who want to get high and admire the state they are in. Don't think I don't know some are violent, just like drunks and otherwise law abiding gun owners who catch their wives ... you know. Punish those who break sensible laws and not everyone else because they might.

/rant off

Oh yeah and this article reeks of hilarity.

Brian Dale
April 2, 2004, 09:01 PM
Nick Console, an agent with the federal Drug Enforcement Administration...said the operation will provide a road map for drug investigators elsewhere.I believe that. How lovely. :rolleyes: ... Operation Ice Palace ... oooOOOOooooh ... catchy name.

People persist in falling for the notion that there's some intention of fixing a drug problem. That is not the goal. The goal is to build empires and enhance careers, and it's working very well.

zahc
April 3, 2004, 07:01 PM
Ban water!!!

But water is made from hydrogen and oxygen! the solution? Ban everything on the periodic table!

Ok it's not funny anymore but hey.:D

pax
April 5, 2004, 08:23 AM
What next, you must carry your prescription at all times? Possession of more than X number of pills is a felony? You must be medically certified (by a visit to the doctor, not a phone-in prescription) that you indeed have a cold or hayfever?
Actually, in Washington state, possession of more than three 48-pill packages of pseudoephedrine is already illegal.

Basically, they've made it illegal for my large family to have enough cold medicine to last a week.

pax

mercedesrules
April 5, 2004, 09:12 AM
Welcome to the forum, Foe[H]ammer. :) I agree with everything you said, except this:
Were the evil drugs not illegal we could use a tenth of the money we spend on combating their spread (which is an exercise in futility) to help the REAL addicts who want to get clean.
I don't want to have any of my money forcibly taken from me to supposedly help some drug addict. People should pay for their own medical care.

MR

RealGun
April 5, 2004, 09:22 AM
Perhaps I should be entered in a database when I buy ammo. Perhaps the FBI should pay me a visit if I mail order a whole case.

I would be against restricting pseudephedrine, which I use, because it redefines what prescription restrictions mean. I might use steroid spray, but I don't want to pay for it ($$$), nor do I need to pay a doctor to tell me I need it.

Suggestion:
If they need to restrict sales of pseudephedrine, then they will need to buy out the patent on steroid spray and make it available OTC at modest prices. I am not aware of significant contraindications that would require a doctor's oversight. The price is protected and nothing else, seems to me. If someone gets nosebleeds from overuse, they should know what to do, right?

Iain
April 5, 2004, 09:54 AM
Couple of points and a couple of questions.

P95 is absolutely right about the paracetamol thing. I used to go through quite a lot and it got more expensive at the time that changed if I recall correctly. Is the method of choice for the para-suicide over here as well as the suicide. Of course it may take a reasonable amount to kill you, but a overdose of a fairly small amount is going to make you pretty ill as it recycles through the liver. So even 32 is quite a lot. Silly law easily circumvented as P95 points out.

As soon as something bad happens the first call is for more legislation - which leads me to my first question - when you are out on the street in America how many laws are you potentially subject to? Anyone know the figure?

Secondly, for the chemists, from the name pseudoephidrine I assume it it like ephidrine in some way. Can ephidrine be used for meth production? If I recall correctly ephidrine was banned recently wasn't it? Could be way wrong.

Don Gwinn
April 5, 2004, 10:25 AM
Gotta be thousands--figure all the federal laws, plus the laws in your particular state, plus your county laws, plus any municipal ordinances if you're in an incorporated area.

We bandy around the figure of 20,000 gun laws nationwide, but that includes state laws so you're not subject to all of them at the same time. It's also out of date, I suspect, as I've been hearing it since junior high. Over ten years, now.

I wonder how one would go about finding that figure. I've never even thought about it.

Foe[H]ammer
April 5, 2004, 11:11 AM
I don't want to have any of my money forcibly taken from me to supposedly help some drug addict. People should pay for their own medical care.

Fair 'nuff, I don't think you should have to donate to a cause, any cause, you don't want to.

I'd be happy to pony up (having been through rehab on my own dime, man that was expensive) but I wasn't suggesting you be forced to. I was more illustrating the cost difference than trying to rob you through tax dollars.

Sorry I wasn't clear. :)

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