Or how I learned that stupid policies turned me into a criminal for no good reason.
What with all the talk lately about legalizing marijuana, I have been reading some articles about the war on drugs in general, a few of them regarding the over the counter decongestant Pseudoephedrine which is more commonly known as Sudafed. Pseudoephedrine can be chemically transformed into Methamphetamine, and so in 2006 it was taken off the shelf, put behind the counter and requirements put in place to document purchases and ID customers. OK so far nothing too radical, I suppose. After reading more than one story about people being contacted by police and in some cases threatened with arrest and having their homes, cars, etc. searched after purchasing Pseudoephedrine, I started wondering: am I unitentionally violating the law and exposing myself to risk of harrassment or arrest?
I personally do not use Pseudoephedrine. It has been my decongestant of choice, but I developed an allergy to it about 10 years ago. It is, however, the only decongestant that works for my wife who has seasonal allergies that last for about a month or so in early summer. She uses it 24 hours a day during that time. I have been purchasing it for her, and I have made approximately four transactions at three different retail locations – two of them had written log books, and another swiped my drivers license. No one made any mention of purchase limits, but in doing some research I have learned that there are indeed limits on how much can be legally purchased per day or month. The limit is 3.6 grams per day, or 9 grams per 30 day period. A little quick math is now in order. I have been purchasing the 12 hour formulation, which is a 120 milligram (mg) tablet. Furthermore I purchased them in boxes of 20 tablets, so 20 times 120mg = 2400 mg or 2.4 grams per 20 count box. Twenty tablets is a ten day supply, so multiply by 3 to get a months ration, that equals 7.2 grams. OK, that’s below the 9 gram limit. Whew! Wait…hold on a sec….at one time I purchased two boxes for a total of 4.8 grams, which put me over the 3.6 gram daily limit. This purchase was made at a pharmacy, yet the clerk did not inform me of the limit. They also used a written log book, which I assume they turn over to the DEA periodically, and so my “crime” is documented.
Am I going to get a visit from the DEA or am I now a Breaking Bad suspect? Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you the idea is ludicrous. I am such a boring straight arrow that my nickname at one time was “the boy scout”. And now I find out I am a suspected druggie. Should I turn myself in? As I said the idea that I am a drug dealer or cooker is ludicrous, but if I can be ensnared by the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act then anyone can. It’s not hard to see how an individual could run afoul of the law as it is perfectly natural behavior for people to stock up on items they use regularly rather than go out and buy the minimum quantity each time it’s needed, especially medications.
It’s this type of nonsense that makes the War on Drugs a joke. This has been law since 2006, and as you can see the Meth epidemic is a thing of the past. Oh, wait…
And just for grins and giggles, here’s a little extra somethin’ somethin’ – thank a Democrat. It figures that Feinstein would get me sooner or later after all those letters I wrote during the Clinton Administration.
Cross Posted at Men Out Of Work Blog