Thursday, November 05, 2009

Allergic to the Drug War

It is that time of the year when my seasonal allergies ambush my body's immune system. For about two and a half months out of the year I live on benadryl and as my symptoms get severe, I have to add psuedophedrine to keep my nose from running like a faucet.

Turns out, some clever lads have discovered ways to transform my perfectly legal, over-the-counter medicine into a crude form of methamphetamine. As part of our War on Drugs, I do not just get my medicine off the rack and pay for it like any other. I get a card off the shelf, take it to the pharmcist (assuming one is on duty, if after hours, I'm out of luck), present photo ID, sign a lenghthy form swearing I will not divert my OTC Sudafed to illicit purposes and wait to see if the nanny-state has any further objections to my purchase.

About this time, with half my lunch hour gone, it occurs to me that if I were buying the meth everyone is afraid my allergy medicine might be turned into, I would already have that.

Understand, I am not making light of the meth problem; I've known people who have gone 'round the bend under influence of same. What I would like is a scintilla of evidence that my inconvenience has in any way served the public good.

Sad to say, all evidence says otherwise. We have tried long (and horribly expensive to taxpayer) prison terms; assett forfeiture, similar results. As we cut off the head of Druglord A, three underlings, B,C and D grow hydra-like from the body and after the formality of a turf war adds to the body count, the machine is soon running at peak efficiency again.

Two things are evident: my time wasted is real and; the effectiveness of the law wasting my time is zero. So far as what I hear, any meth tweaker looking for a fix can still find it in less time than I wait to get my legitimate medicine.

Also evident is there is little chance this nuisance law will be repealed. Good sense it might be, but good press, not so much. Any legislator proposing repeal would be labelled "soft on (drug) crime". Once in force, any law, especially any law related to drugs, has huge inertia to remain in place.

What we might learn from this example is to more carefully consider new legislation in any field.

1 comment:

  1. And, of course, even if we can completely shut down the Mom and Pop meth labs here in the USA we have oodles of bad guys who are manufacturing the stuff by the ton (literally) in places south of the border. I remember the dude of Chinese origin whose humble abode in Mexico was raided, and the Federales seized a quarter of a billion (that's with a "B") dollars in cash... all related to the meth trade.

    As long as there is a demand for a thing, somebody will make it and get it to the customer. And illegality of a thing serves to make trade in that thing more lucrative.