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

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Jeff White, Mar 29, 2004.

  1. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Alma Illinois
    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?


    Convenience and priorities
    By Matthew Hathaway
    Of the Post-Dispatch

    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
  2. Dex Sinister

    Dex Sinister Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Northern CA. No, S.F. is not "in the north".
    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 }:>=-
  3. CatsDieNow

    CatsDieNow Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Fort Worth, TX
    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.
  4. TrapperReady

    TrapperReady Senior Member

    Jan 29, 2003
    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.
  5. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Delaware home of tax free shopping
    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.
  6. R.H. Lee

    R.H. Lee Mentor

    Jan 26, 2004
    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.
  7. El Tejon

    El Tejon Elder

    Dec 24, 2002
    Lafayette, Indiana-the Ned Flanders neighbor to Il
    More laws, less justice.

    More laws, more $ for me.:D
  8. flatrock

    flatrock Active Member

    Mar 23, 2004
    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.
  9. Langenator

    Langenator Senior Member

    Jul 30, 2003
    Ft Belvoir, VA
    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.
  10. Nightfall

    Nightfall Participating Member

    Feb 24, 2003
    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.
    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:
  11. BHPshooter

    BHPshooter Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    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.

  12. Standing Wolf

    Standing Wolf Member in memoriam

    Dec 24, 2002
    Idahohoho, the jolliest state
    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.
  13. carpettbaggerr

    carpettbaggerr Participating Member

    Nov 13, 2003
    Is this a real story? It reminds me of the jackass legislators who got voted to ban dihydrogen monoxide.
  14. vmi93

    vmi93 New Member

    Apr 16, 2003
    Not left or right..

    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.
  15. spartacus2002

    spartacus2002 Participating Member

    Jan 7, 2003
    Richmond, VA
    quote from Daniel Webster

    "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. "
  16. Brian Dale

    Brian Dale Senior Member

    Aug 12, 2003
    on the farm
    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.
    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.
  17. Quartus

    Quartus Senior Member

    Jan 13, 2003

    Cool way to win a Darwin Award!


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

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

    Time for bed!

  18. XLMiguel

    XLMiguel Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    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:
  19. Orthonym

    Orthonym Participating Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    Southern Florida
    Little girl in the ninth grade...

    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.
  20. XLMiguel

    XLMiguel Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    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:


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