Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jeff Tucker on Drug Laws

Jeff Tucker of the Ludwig von Mises Institute has an excellent article, "All Laws Have Teeth," in which he looks at the real results of the laws regarding purchase of Sudafed and many other products containing pseudoephedrine. As I often have pointed out on this blog, more and more laws in this country criminalize conduct that used to be legal.

A "troll" commenter on this blog continues to claim that these laws are necessary because the country is full of criminals and the government needs to snare them. No doubt, he will defend the attempt to imprison the people mentioned in Jeff's article. I will include the story of two people who are law-abiding but, in the view of the law and our "troll" commenter, they are vicious criminals who need to go to prison:
In doing some internet research, I came across your article "Free the Clogged Nose-25" and I want to thank you for showing me that I'm no where near alone in my way of thinking and that the current situation that my husband and I find ourselves in is most certainly not uncommon. You see, we have 3 teenage children still living at home. In April of this year, their ages were 17, 16 and 15. Both my husband and I, along with our 3 teenagers suffer from terrible seasonal allergies and we have tried every over the counter medicine available as well as a few prescription meds. The only one that offers us any relief is Sudafed or the generic equivalent.

So, as you already know, my husband and I are the only ones in our family who can buy Sudafed. I will and have been the first to admit that in order to keep enough of the medicine for all of us, both my husband and I made purchases from more than one drug store. I knew we were exceeding our allotted amount but I also knew that the code of Alabama stated that purchasing over the allowed 6 grams per month was only unlawful "with intent to manufacture." So, since we had no intent to manufacture anything, I didn't see it as we were breaking the law.

In March of this year, local news media released word that a law was passed that would create a statewide database for all businesses selling pseudoephedrine so that customers could not bypass the limit by going from one pharmacy to another. That was the extent of the press release related to that new law. About the middle of May, my husband and I learned the hard way that they had conveniently left out a very important part of that new law when announcing it to the public. Apparently, "with intent to manufacture" had been dropped from the Alabama law regarding pseudoephedrine purchases. I'm sure you can easily guess the rest of the story. He and I were arrested for "buy/sale precursor chemicals" which on the first offense is a Class C Misdemeanor. My husband is a USMC veteran so he has a criminal record (bar fights, etc.) but never any drug charges. I have never had so much as a speeding ticket and I'm a criminal justice major in college.

Even after explaining the situation to the judge and pointing out that we are law-abiding citizens just trying to offer some comfort to our kids during allergy season, the judge still found us guilty. We have appealed that decision and will go back to court in December. We cannot hope to beat this with just the truth because obviously the truth doesn't matter, so I am going to pray that "mistake of law" will get us a not-guilty verdict this time around … or I'm going to have to find a new major!

At the time we were arrested, our oldest daughter (not living at home) was a 4.0 GPA college student majoring in forensic investigation, our middle daughter was just days away from graduating historian of her high-school senior class after already having lettered in softball and volleyball and serving as secretary in the Beta club, our youngest daughter was finishing her 10th-grade year and an A–B student who had just days before made the color guard drill team for the fall, and our son was finishing his 8th grade year, an A–B student and hard working Junior Varsity and Varsity football player. We are very very proud of our kids and hate the fact that they have had to endure any negative associations that have come from our arrest. They are so resilient, though! They know that we weren't actually doing anything wrong so they hold their heads up high and keep going.
As you can see, these are "dangerous" people who (most likely, according to our "troll") probably had a meth lab somewhere in their house. Yeah, I am sure they are major drug dealers. The law -- and certainly the police -- never can be wrong!


Anonymous said...

Oh my what are we to do. I am serious what can we do they are every where.. Sad story. Great blog's Mr Anderson Keep them coming, Someone is going to lisen.

KC Sprayberry said...

Allergy sufferers, like everyone else in this country, will now have to make a co-payment to a doctor for a prescription that might or might not work. It's all part of turning America into a socialist country - where government has control over all. What will all those 'the law is right therefore you are wrong' people be when they can't eat whatever the government decides is bad for us, based on the word of people who rarely live in reality. Yes, we need to stop drug manufacturers from using over the counter medications for producing their poisons but to prosecute people, who can prove they bought the product for personal use, is wrong. BTW - I ran into this issue of documentation in GA for purchasing sugar free diabetic cough syrup for my husband last winter. It's the only kind he can use because of his high blood pressure but since the gov't says meth manufacturers use it, we have to have our names on a registry somewhere. But those buying these products for illegal uses rarely use their real names or they recruit others to purchase for them, thereby making yet another law for which the law abiding pay by becoming criminals.

Trish said...

This is why I buy the over the counter version of sudafed that doesn't have the ingredient in it that meth users need. I used to buy it, but did not like being made to feel like a criminal. I have environmental allergies and Sudafed is the only thing I can take that helps with congestion and doesn't knock me out. Thankfully the newer product works, but I have to take three instead of one!!!

I am sure there are many stories like this one across the country. The average person has to suffer and be treated like criminals, because of real criminals.

It is also insane that thanks to Obamacare, that we will know longer be able to purchase over the counter medicines with our Flex Healthcare Accts., unless we have a prescription from our doctor. I really think my doctor has more to do, than write scripts for over the counter medicine. What is the point of it being over the counter??? Also, the healthcare accts. are our own money, it is not the governments!!!!

Kaye said...


Here's another case of child molestation in North Georgia that sounds suspicious. I heard about this the other day, but the story at WRCB has more details than I first heard initially. Things don't add up...

William L. Anderson said...

I agree, Kaye. Notice that there always is the interview with the ubiquitous neighbor who did not realize someone like that lived next door.

Still Channel 3 gave the man's wife time and I appreciate that. I tend to withhold judgment on these things until I see what evidence is out there. In Tonya's case, it did not take long, and the same with the Jacobsons in Phoenix.

I don't have access to the materials in this new case, so I cannot say one way or another.

Victoria said...

This is so sad . My dad to wants to buy sudafed but does not want anything to do with it while it is regulated almost like morphine. I wish this family had found earthclinic.com because I have had great success with many of the folk remedies offered by other readers of that site for various ailments icluding sinus problems.

On another note, has anyone else been keeping abreast of the situation in NH with the couple who had their newborn stolen by CPS and law enforcement at the hospital after birth because of the fathers online association with Oath Keepers? Its an interesting situation not merely because of the dubious legality of yanking a child over a parent's association with a pro-constitution organization and the growing involvement of the SLPC and Mark Potok on Homeland Security and CPS, but also because it is raising awareness of the rouge nature of these entities. I am reading much shock and consternation among the comments posted on various sites and news articles that children can be removed without first either arresting or charging the parents with any crime or having a hearing. There is some question in this case about whether the father has a history of physical abuse of the mother and her older kids, however those children were apparently not removed from the household nor was either parent charged with any crime or neglect. So the situation appears suspicious and the public seems to be mostly in disbelief that this is how the CPS system works. It is getting quite a bit of attention because the membership of Oath Keepers are rallying support and the father was also an open carry advocate and that may attract the open carry and gun enthusiasts groups as well. While the father may turn out to be an unsavory character, the allegations against him may not yet be proven or may not hold up. Why too is the mother, with no record, not allowed to be with her newborn? Why do they take a newborn and not the older children still living at home. I think this case may underline the criminal nature of the CPS system.

From Oath Keeper's founder:

"And in this case the problem is not just a possible violation of the due process rights of these particular parents, but also the very real chilling effect this case will have not just on their speech but also on the free speech of potentially millions of other American parents who will, if this is allowed to stand, thereafter have to worry that their political affiliations will be listed among the reasons for taking their children in some future run-in with CPS.

A law or government practice that targets people for their speech and association, based on the content of their speech, or that MAY be used in such a way, is unconstitutional and harms not just that individual, but also all others who thereafter are “chilled” or dissuaded from engaging in similar speech or associations."


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Anonymous said...

Just catching up on a week's worth of blogs. Interesting on this one. My husband also has to take Sudafed or an off brand for any kind of relief. We've been through every prescription & OTC, and it is the one thing that works. I spoke to our pharmacist yesterday & we had a good laugh about the way this drug is "policed" now. As she said, she can recognize who is buying it to manufacture meth & who needs it for medical purposes. She said she has literally carloads of people who come in and get it. They come in one at a time, use their id's and walk out with the max. They are scratching, "tweeking", sweating, all of the signs of meth users, but time and again, they come in & get their goods. They go into the system, and nothing is done. But God help us if someone actually buys it for their health. She told me that there have been people, like my husband, who buy it 2-3 times per year & they have been questioned by authorities, but the people they know (and btw, they have alerted authorities to) are still coming in & have never been subjected to anything.

So here is our government at work. This story actually made me cry. Good people, with good children who simply wanted relief from their illnesses.

It's the same with pain medications. After a major surgery this year, my dr informed me he didn't believe in pain management. Would have been nice to know prior to the surgery, but hey, I quickly learned he was an idiot. His exact words, "what if you became addicted?" My husband & I sat there (me crying) for a second & I looked straight at him & said, "I believe that would be my problem & not yours." Everyone I spoke to who had the same surgery was in utter shock. Unfortunately, a normal 6-8 week recovery with pain medication took me 12 & I'm still not there yet. I know there is a problem with people taking them for the wrong reasons, but you can not punish everyone for those people's decisions. We might as well criminalize alcohol again. Hell, let's criminalize everything!!!