Scorched Earth In The Drug War

The Mississippi legislature this week passed a bill that makes pseudoephedrine available only by prescription. Unless some miraculous event causes him to rethink his position, Governor Barbour will sign the bill, and many will consider this a major step towards defeating the meth labs. I’m not one of them. Pseudoephedrine already was held behind pharmacy counters, and you had to sign a log book when you bought it. Some advocated that perhaps an electronic registration system should be tried. But the Mississippi legislature, in an amazingly fast legislative process, passed this bill almost without debate. I hope it reduces the number of meth labs in the state. Because it will definitely cost Mississippians plenty of money and inconvenience. Today, if you have a cold, you can get pseudoephedrine at the pharmacy, after signing the log book, for about $5. Once Governor Barbour signs the bill, you’ll first have to go to the doctor, at a cost of $50-100, and get a prescription. Then, since prescription drugs generally are covered on the insurance company’s drug plan at fixed rates, I assume you’ll be paying $10-15 for what you once paid $5. Who will get that extra money? As for the meth lab crowd, they’ll simply drive to Memphis or Mobile or whatever town lies just across the border in Louisiana or Tennessee or Alabama. Will it be legal to transport pseudoephedrine across the state line? If I get sick while in Atlanta, and buy some, will I be breaking the law if I bring it home? It’s ironic that this editorial was in the Memphis Commercial-Appeal. And it’s ironic that the sheriff of Desota County was referenced in the editorial. Desota County lies right across the state line from Memphis, where pseudoephedrine is kept behind pharmacy counters. Meth dealers in his county will be among the least affected. I’m not discounting the effects of meth on our society. But this singles out one ingredient. Matches, acetone, starter fluid, paint thinner, iodine – all these are also ingredients used in meth labs. Will we restrict those too? Sometimes, what seems to be the obvious solution isn’t a solution at all.

February 4, 2010 В· Harry В· No Comments
Posted in: Mississippi

Leave a Reply