Category Archives: Pseudoephedrine

Suspect Sniffles

Pseudoephedrine interdiction, the other shoe drops.

Google alerts dropped this in my inbox;

Other View: Law doesn’t stop meth

At least one government effort to curb methamphetamine production seems to have been a bust.

The Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 … makes it more difficult to purchase common, non-prescription cold medication containing pseudoephedrine.

Pseudoephedrine is the main ingredient used in the manufacture of meth. So, instead of simply purchasing drugs like Sudafed over the counter as in the past, everyone must now get them from behind the counter, usually from a pharmacist.

… It turns out, however, that it probably was all for nothing. A study published in the March issue of the American Economic Review found that restricting pseudoephedrine had only a temporary effect on the meth trade.

Yet, the government continues to track cold and allergy sufferers as if everyone with the sniffles is a potential criminal, while meth manufacturers go about their business as usual.

The Decatur Daily, Ala.

(from the Traverse City Record-Eagle website)

It’s listed as an opinion piece, but it’s based on an evidence based indictment of the entire drug war. If you want to pay $7.50 you can download the study from The American Economic Review website.

Here’s the abstract;

In mid-1995, a government effort to reduce the supply of methamphetamine precursors successfully disrupted the methamphetamine market and interrupted a trajectory of increasing usage. The price of methamphetamine tripled and purity declined from 90 percent to 20 percent. Simultaneously, amphetaminerelated hospital and treatment admissions dropped 50 percent and 35 percent, respectively. Methamphetamine use among arrestees declined 55 percent. Although felony methamphetamine arrests fell 50 percent, there is no evidence of substantial reductions in property or violent crime. The impact was largely temporary. The price returned to its original level within four months; purity, hospital admissions, treatment admissions, and arrests approached preintervention levels within eighteen months.

(emphasis added)

So, like all attempts to curb demand by targeting supply, this effort has simply lead to alternative methods of getting meth to the people who want it.

How long are we going to throw away billions (perhaps even trillions) of dollars trying to keep people from pursuing what they see as ‘happiness’?

Protectionism and My Stuffy Nose

So, here’s the latest story in a long running discussion about being able to buy my over-the-counter medications over-the-counter again, rather than be forced to register like some deviant because I have allergies. I like the way this author thinks:

So let me go out on a limb here and say what any reasonable person would strongly suspect. The reason you can’t get Mucinex and Sudafed that work without jumping through hoops isn’t really about stopping basement meth users. It is really about the racket going on in Washington in which the law is used to benefit influential producers in cahoots with the political class at the expense of less influential producers and the American people, who should have the freedom to choose.

read more | digg story

The phrase follow the money has proven itself to me time and time again. The German company that makes phenylephrine lobbied hard to get the anti-meth act passed. Imagine that.

Reminds me of the accusations leveled at Dupont and Hearst during the days when Marijuana was demonized. They, of course, deny these accusations, but following the money certainly does shed some interesting light on politics.

…And here I thought we were passing these laws to protect the children.

DownsizeDC – 20 Minutes, 422 Pages

The latest post on the subject of the Read the Bills Act concerns the passage of this bill:

…the Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 introduced on Wednesday, September 19: “Final bill text released twenty minutes before floor consideration.” That’s bad. What makes it worse is, this bill is 422 pages long. Is it just me, or does 20 minutes seem like not quite enough time to read 422 pages? – Downsize DC Blog, 20 Minutes, 422 Pages

The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (H.R.3580) contains, amongst it’s other unread passages, a provision to create a new reporting agency within the FDA, which allows them the ability to remove a product from public access based on a single reported instance of harm; even if the harmed person doesn’t report the harm his or herself.

Considering that the FDA has been wanting to restrict access to supplements for a few years now (purportedly at the request of the AMA) this looks like granting the FDA the ability to do this one supplement at a time; essentially a back door approach to do the same thing that public feed back has stymied up to this point. Considering the hassles that we now have to go through to get former OTC medicines like Pseudoephedrine and Ephedrine, as well as the cluster fuck that was last year’s spinach debacle. Never mind that simply irradiating the food would have removed any possible chance of infection. Don’t even get me started on the pseudo-science behind the banning of that process in the US. This does not bode well for future access to all kinds of products that the FDA will find objectionable under the new reporting rules.


Mea Culpa review 2018, the review continues. I have eaten a Big Bowl of Crow since publishing this and other thoughts on many subjects.

“It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow.” -Alexander Hamilton and James Madison (Federalist No. 62, 1788)

That is probably the quote that got me to post this dispatch to the blog. I find it interesting that the full context of the quote bears an ominous warning for the every day inconsistency that we’ve seen since the Orange Hate-Monkey took office at the beginning of last year. here is the quote in context,

Fourthly. The mutability in the public councils arising from a rapid succession of new members, however qualified they may be, points out, in the strongest manner, the necessity of some stable institution in the government. Every new election in the States is found to change one half of the representatives. From this change of men must proceed a change of opinions; and from a change of opinions, a change of measures. But a continual change even of good measures is inconsistent with every rule of prudence and every prospect of success. The remark is verified in private life, and becomes more just, as well as more important, in national transactions.

To trace the mischievous effects of a mutable government would fill a volume. I will hint a few only, each of which will be perceived to be a source of innumerable others.

In the first place, it forfeits the respect and confidence of other nations, and all the advantages connected with national character. An individual who is observed to be inconstant to his plans, or perhaps to carry on his affairs without any plan at all, is marked at once, by all prudent people, as a speedy victim to his own unsteadiness and folly. His more friendly neighbors may pity him, but all will decline to connect their fortunes with his; and not a few will seize the opportunity of making their fortunes out of his. One nation is to another what one individual is to another; with this melancholy distinction perhaps, that the former, with fewer of the benevolent emotions than the latter, are under fewer restraints also from taking undue advantage from the indiscretions of each other. Every nation, consequently, whose affairs betray a want of wisdom and stability, may calculate on every loss which can be sustained from the more systematic policy of their wiser neighbors. But the best instruction on this subject is unhappily conveyed to America by the example of her own situation. She finds that she is held in no respect by her friends; that she is the derision of her enemies; and that she is a prey to every nation which has an interest in speculating on her fluctuating councils and embarrassed affairs.

The internal effects of a mutable policy are still more calamitous. It poisons the blessing of liberty itself. It will be of little avail to the people, that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood; if they be repealed or revised before they are promulgated, or undergo such incessant changes that no man, who knows what the law is to-day, can guess what it will be to-morrow. Law is defined to be a rule of action; but how can that be a rule, which is little known, and less fixed?

Another effect of public instability is the unreasonable advantage it gives to the sagacious, the enterprising, and the moneyed few over the industrious and uniformed mass of the people. Every new regulation concerning commerce or revenue, or in any way affecting the value of the different species of property, presents a new harvest to those who watch the change, and can trace its consequences; a harvest, reared not by themselves, but by the toils and cares of the great body of their fellow-citizens. This is a state of things in which it may be said with some truth that laws are made for the FEW, not for the MANY.

In another point of view, great injury results from an unstable government. The want of confidence in the public councils damps every useful undertaking, the success and profit of which may depend on a continuance of existing arrangements. What prudent merchant will hazard his fortunes in any new branch of commerce when he knows not but that his plans may be rendered unlawful before they can be executed? What farmer or manufacturer will lay himself out for the encouragement given to any particular cultivation or establishment, when he can have no assurance that his preparatory labors and advances will not render him a victim to an inconstant government? In a word, no great improvement or laudable enterprise can go forward which requires the auspices of a steady system of national policy.

But the most deplorable effect of all is that diminution of attachment and reverence which steals into the hearts of the people, towards a political system which betrays so many marks of infirmity, and disappoints so many of their flattering hopes. No government, any more than an individual, will long be respected without being truly respectable; nor be truly respectable, without possessing a certain portion of order and stability.

Alexander Hamilton and James Madison are describing the US government as it exists under the OHM currently. What prudent person would hazard their wealth under the rule of this capricious man? When any act of independence is seen as an act of betrayal? This passage speaks volumes about Caudillo Trump and his administration, none of it good.

But that wasn’t the subject of the article in question. The subject was The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (H.R.3580) and what is now obvious to me, a lack of understanding how meticulous the reconciliation process between the two houses of congress is, on the part of the editors of the Downsize DC blog and the average libertarian like yours truly. Either I believe they don’t understand the process, or I believe that they knowingly lead their readers and supporters astray by relying on Republican sources of information without actually checking the validity of the information that was being passed on to them.

I’m sanguine with the FDA itself these days. If anything, they are too forgiving of the supplement industry and far, far too willing to let Americans harm themselves with quack cures and snake oil. A good portion of the population are now either actively participating in MLM schemes to sell each other fake cures, or are the victims of same. Sometimes both at the same time. In the end we have to rely on rigorous testing and science to be able to tell if a product is safe and works as promised. And that means we have to accept that science tells us truth things about the world around us, something that about 50% of the population doesn’t agree is true.

That is the scariest thing of all.

The Drug Lords say ‘Thanks’

Quoting a story published today:

The number of meth-lab busts plummeted more than 30 percent last year as most states put in place laws to restrict the sale of over-the-counter cold medicines used to make meth, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s El Paso Intelligence Center.

Yep, denying the average allergy sufferer easy access to the medications they need is all the rage these days, we’ve got to curb access to the ‘devil’s drug‘, don’t you know. Or is it really that much of a problem?

How about the figures from “The Sentencing Project” (referenced in the same article) that point out:

less than 1 percent of the nation’s population uses meth; meth abuse remains a “highly localized” problem

Of course, that doesn’t stop the majority of counties from reporting that meth abuse is a problem. Better to get on the gravy train early, wouldn’t want to miss out.

Contrary to popular belief though, meth is not a ‘new drug’. It’s just another one of the drugs made popular in the 60’s that has managed to hang on longer than LSD and a few of the others, mostly because it’s less damaging to the person who takes the drug. The only thing new about it is that small time labs started springing up, competing with the large meth labs that historically supplied the drug. Meth labs that still exist, by the way:

Local law-enforcement officials say there is still a strong appetite for the highly addictive drug and warned that meth makers in Mexico and other countries are moving to fill the supply void.

I just love euphemisms like “highly addictive”. Nicotine is highly addictive. Alcohol is highly addictive. Caffeine is highly addictive, and it’s in 9/10’s of the soft drinks that children love (and most parents complain about ‘hyperactivity’. The kid’s hopped up on sugar and caffeine. I’m just amazed he doesn’t actually fly, myself) Meth isn’t the problem; police agencies drunk on anti-narcotics funding is.

The only benefactor of the recent crack down on Psuedoephedrine containing medications is the large drug manufacturers across the border, and the police agencies tasked with interdicting them. The police openly say ‘thank you’ for your faith in them.

I’m sure the drug lords say likewise.

Meth – the ‘new’ devil’s drug

(One from the archive, but this issue is still being fought out in various legislatures)

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It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. The (small gov’t?) GOP has a problem with the proposed new rules on curbing accessibility to Pseudoephedrine and Ephedrine (as if you can even find Ephedrine anywhere to start with) Not that proposed new rules on cold medications go too far….

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2005-08-18-meth-politics_x.htm

No, the “Meth plague” has to be fought even more stringently than the Bush administration is proposing (Question: if it’s a plague, where is the massive increase in victims? Where are the facts and figures to back up this fear-mongering assertion?) Never mind that some people might need to have access to cold and flu medications. Never mind that some of us don’t care to be listed in their database as known purchasers of pseudoephedrine containing medications. Nope. We have to start a witch hunt, so that we can ride that fear into another re-election campaign.

BTW, the only attempt at factual reporting is the link at the bottom of the page. It leads to the “anti-meth site” www.kci.org/meth_info/links.htm Facts and figures about illegal methamphetamine (there is legally available prescription meth, BTW; does anyone remember this? No) It is ‘factual’ in that the site declares itself as ‘anti-meth’, which is the only fact available in *any* of the stories I’ve read to date.

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Since writing the above last August, the fed passed their ‘standardised’ rules for the whole nation; I can now have the liberty of being treated ‘as if’ I would go out and start a meth lab if they would only let me buy a truck load of Pseudoephedrine. As if the people running these labs walked into a pharmacy and bought the drugs over the counter.

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Somebody else who “gets it”: Cold pills? Sign here

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And if you think it’ll stop anytime soon: Dangerous high sold over the counter

They’ll be targeting your cough medicine next. Hello stupid parents! Cough medicine disappearing from the cabinet? Maybe you should quiz the kid, ya think?

Soon we’ll have to sign to buy detergent, moth balls, fertilizer and fuel. Wouldn’t want you making any bombs in your kitchen now, would we?