Strangely, the step of putting drugs containing pseudoephedrine behind the pharmacy counter and making allergy and cold sufferers show an ID to get it, as well as preventing consumers from stocking up on the drugs when they're on sale and limiting their purchases has not stopped the production of methamphetamine using those drugs as precursors.
So what's a politician to do? Propose newer, stricter rules, of course!
If Gov. Jay Nixon has his way, Missourians suffering from allergies or a cold who prefer Sudafed, Claritin-D or any other medicines containing pseudoephedrine will need a prescription from their doctor before picking up their preferred drug from the corner pharmacy.
The attempt is part of a law enforcement-pushed effort to crack down on the sale of the illegal drug methamphetamine, which is made using pseudoephedrine. Already in Missouri, several cities — including Eureka, Washington and Farmington — and Jefferson County have passed similar laws. Missouri would be just the third state to pass such a law.
"This deadly drug cannot be allowed to fester in Missouri," Nixon said. "We have already enacted several measures to fight meth, but it's time to take this significant next step."
Because everything we've already done has been so successful, let's think up more successful ideas!
It would seem a truism that someone doing something illegal will do illegal things, so making more illegal things won't stop people who do illegal things. Limiting the purchases hasn't stopped drug producers from making meth. Wait a minute, this just in: Making it illegal for people to get Vicodin or OxyContin without a prescription has not prevented people who do illegal things from doing illegal things. Drug abusers still get drugs illegally.
Watch the efficacy of the continual ratcheting to fight meth. Making you, the citizen, register your purchase hasn't stopped illegal production. Making you produce a prescription won't stop illegal production. Because Sudafed doesn't have the second amendment protection that guns have, politicians and legislators can do to helpful drugs what they would do to guns if they could. No matter what punitive measures they enact to protect you, those measures will only hinder and hurt you. Those who do illegal things will do illegal things except now with things they get illegally, but you can't get at all.
(Additional coverage at the Springfield News-Leader.)
UPDATE: Headline changed to correct the drug's spelling. Pardon my functional illiteracy.