Unincorporated Jefferson County and other Missouri cities have enacted new laws requiring citizens to obtain a prescription for cold remedies that contain pseudo-ephedrine. There is also a push for a statewide law to do the same thing. The pharmacies, drug stores, retail outlets and convenience stores that sell cold remedies that contain pseudo-ephedrine will have to keep them behind the counter, as well as needing the prescription for them.
Requiring law abiding citizens to obtain a prescription to receive what used to be over-the-counter cold and allergy medications is not a Conservative, limited government approach to address the problem of “Crystal Meth.” A similar argument is made by “gun control advocates,” who want more and more restrictions regarding guns placed on law-abiding citizens and businesses.
Once again law abiding citizens will be punished because some government bureaucrat passes a law without thinking about the unintended consequences. Some of the unintended consequences are: People will need a prescription to obtain these drugs, which will cost time and money by having to make an appointment, go to the doctor, pay for the visit and then pick up the item. People may not want to go through the hassle of getting the medicine and may end up getting sicker because of it; necessitating a trip to the hospital. There will be an extra burden on the businesses by having to place the products behind the counter and check the prescriptions. Then there is the loss of revenue to the businesses and the municipalities that enact the law because people will shop elsewhere.
What is the reasoning for passing these laws? Could it be these politicians/ lawmakers are looking for the easy fix? Are they possibly thinking let’s make it difficult for these illegal drug makers to obtain the chemicals needed to make crystal meth? They claim pseudo-ephedrine is the one essential ingredient in making methamphetamine and this will stop the meth problem. Nevertheless, what will prevent the illegal drug makers from breaking into homes or robbing pharmacies to get that ingredient? Could the illegal drug makers possibly change the formula where pseudo-ephedrine is no longer needed by replacing it with another ingredient? What about the other ingredients and household chemicals such as: acetone, alcohol, anhydrous ammonia, battery acid, benzene, camera batteries, diet aids, drain cleaner, ether (starting fluid), gasoline additives/rubbing alcohol, iodine, iodine crystals, muriatic acid, paint thinner, phenyl acetone, red phosphorous, rock, table, or Epsom salt, Red Devil Lye, stained coffee filters, toluene (found in brake cleaner), white gasoline and wooden matches. that makes up crystal meth; should there then be a law to ban or restrict those items?
There has been an increase in the use of heroin in this county and this law does nothing to stop that. Some people try to make a correlation between the increases in the use of heroin with the selling of pseudoephedrine to illegal drug makers, because they use the money to purchase heroin. I do not see the correlation. Although some heroin users sell drugs to obtain other drugs, they also get their money from robberies, burglaries, prostitution and shoplifting. In fact, many stores do not prosecute shoplifters and these companies become enablers for the drug addicts to get their money.
The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office reported making 226 meth lab busts in 2010; 217 in 2009 and 93 meth lab busts as of April 30, 2011. They should be commended for that, however, speaking as a former police officer, who made numerous arrests including drug violations, that’s their job. There are laws on the books to deal with illegal drug making and those laws should be strenuously enforced. The way to combat the drug problem is to go after the drug dealers and producers. Law-abiding citizens and businesses should not be punished or penalized to correct the illegal drug trade and therefore, laws requiring a prescription to obtain pseudoephedrine products should not be enacted. Let’s go after the “BAD GUYS.”