Cutting down the apple tree

Meth has everyone on edge. Politicians and law enforcement agencies are desperate to do something. They have enacted laws requiring you to show ID and sign a log for a pharmacist who keeps cold remedies behind the counter, decreasing the number of home labs by half. Creating a prohibitionist mindset and now they want to do more.

Mandating a prescription requirement for a cold pill equates to cutting down the apple tree to get rid of a few bad apples. If our legislature makes pseudoephedrine a scheduled drug, the ability to track purchases in real-time will be eliminated. Resulting in unintended consequence of such a law. If you need a box of Sudafed, you will have to take time off work, drive to your doctor, wait the customary hour, get that prescription for your sniffles, pay your co-pay, assuming you have insurance, which is assuming a lot, drive back to your pharmacy and get your $6 Sudafed.

Now we’re talking about a serious inconvenience plus unnecessary added costs. Neither those with or without insurance will go through this. Sales will plummet, manufactures will realize there’s no profit in West Virginia. Poof, nobody gets Sudafed, even with a prescription.

Why continue to spout about eliminating drug use? As past prohibitionist learned only after the damage was done, current prohibitionist will discover that prohibition does not work. As long as there is a demand there will always be a supplier to fill it. Prescription pseudoephedrine may eliminate some of the small meth labs, but then larger producers and distributors will be more than willing to take up the slack. Resulting with a few big time labs with lots of money and power.

The only way to combat meth is on the demand side. Why do people want meth? It’s cheap and effective; $10 worth of meth will give you 10 hours of high. A joint of marijuana might get you an hour of fun, a crack rock 20-minute high, a drink at a bar only a minimal buzz.

Meth is incredibly addictive. And it makes you feel really, really good, which for some people living in poverty and despair may be the only good they ever feel. Only education, treatment, and a life worth living can combat that demand.

Now they are considering restricting something that when used as intended is beneficial to the user and harmless to the community solely because a few misuse it.

Robert Ware