Jacob Sullum offers a brief history:
First the government encouraged illicit production of methamphetamine by restricting access to legal speed. Then it encouraged pseudoephedrine-based production by banning or restricting other precursors. Appalled by all the scary, toxic, flammable meth labs that subsequently popped up around the country, it restricted access to cold and allergy remedies containing pseudoephedrine, forcing customers to ask pharmacists for them, sign a registry, and abide by quantity limits. Those restrictions, in turn, encouraged a shift to the "shake and bake" method for producing meth, which is less complicated and does not require as much pseudoephedrine but is in some ways more dangerous and more environmentally destructive. The next logical step, according to Lincoln County, Oregon, District Attorney Rob Bovett, is to require a prescription for products containing pseudoephedrine, thereby banning all over-the-counter sales. This time for sure!
...What Rob Bovett actually demands, then, is that people sacrifice cheap, safe, and effective medicine so he and like-minded authoritarians can look like they are fighting drug abuse. The proper response to this plea is a snot-filled sneeze of contempt.
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