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May 2005
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Monitoring Medicine Purchases a Sick Idea

Assistant Editor Michael Smith has it right in today’s Galveston County Daily News:

Some in the Texas Legislature think the police ought to know how much cold and allergy medicine you’re buying.

They want consumers’ names entered in a log at the drugstore every time they buy remedies, such as Nyquil, Sudafed and Tylenol, that contain pseudoephedrine.

The rationale is that drug dealers and users are buying those products as ingredients for making methamphetamine, sometimes called “poor man’s cocaine.” […]

The government and various other drug warriors say there is an epidemic of methamphetamine cooking and use in the state. They would like us to believe that a significant portion of that epidemic is accounted for by people who buy Sudafed at Walgreens for $8 a box, from which they are able to extract a minute amount of active ingredient.

We just don’t buy it. […]

Government should intrude into our private business only when there is an irrefutable cause for it, coupled with a profound and undeniable benefit in doing so.

We see neither here. We see the camel’s nose at the tent flap. Let him in and soon he’ll be monitoring your bed, rooting through your medicine cabinet, inventorying your bookshelves and rifling through your sock drawer.

Every day, more people wake up and see the drug war as a Big Brother invasion into ordinary people’s lives.
It’s about time.

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