9 January 2005
Another fine meth
Last April, Oklahoma imposed limits on over-the-counter tablets containing pseudoephedrine, limiting the amount any one buyer can purchase to nine grams in thirty days and requiring pharmacies (the only legal outlets in the state for them) to obtain photo IDs and signatures. The idea, of course, was to put a dent in the state's methamphetamine production pseudoephedrine is the primary ingredient in meth and by all accounts it has worked fairly well.
"Yeah," you say, "they'll just drive out of state to get the stuff." And they're doing exactly that, leading other states in the region to ponder whether they should adopt similar restrictions. Governor Henry, of course, thinks they should:
Nationwide success in stopping the methamphetamine epidemic will come from a combined effort of states limiting access to key ingredients. That is why laws similar to Oklahoma's hold such tremendous potential in stamping out this scourge.
A second path suggests itself: replacing the tablets with liquids and gelcaps, from which pseudoephedrine is not so easily isolated. The Oklahoma statute, in fact, does not mandate the same restrictions on liquids and gels, though pharmacies might reasonably impose the restrictions themselves, as a matter of simplifying inventory control, or as a means of avoiding customer confusion: "How come you have Sudafed gelcaps on the shelf, but I have to sign for the tablets?" Some of us who have certain reservations about the War On [some] Drugs might find this approach a bit more palatable than shoving the entire class of products onto Schedule V.Posted at 10:50 AM to Soonerland