In one of the most recent escalations of the War On Drugs, Congress made it more difficult to buy certain over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, arguing that the restrictions would help the fight against meth. That's why I have to jump through hoops to get a little Sudafed. Surprise!:
Electronic systems that track sales of the cold medicine used to make methamphetamine have failed to curb the drug trade and instead created a vast, highly lucrative market for profiteers to buy over-the-counter pills and sell them to meth producers at a huge markup. An Associated Press review of federal data shows that the lure of such easy money has drawn thousands of new people into the methamphetamine underworld over the last few years.
Balko sums up the rest of the findings:
Meth use was also up 34 percent in 2009. So the new laws are inconveniencing law-abiding people who want to treat cold and allergy symptoms, have had either zero or a positive effect on meth use, have lured new people into the meth trade, and have created a bigger market for smuggling meth and meth ingredients into the country from Mexico. But perhaps we should go easy on the politicians who passed these laws. I mean, it’s not like anyone could possibly have predicted any of this.
Thanks, drug warriors.