Pseudo-poppycock

8 09 2009

As I write this, the nation is opening a new front in the (long-since lost) War on Drugs™. The Federal Gummint, along with a few local and state jurisdictions, have apparently decided that we (the People) cannot be trusted with pseudoephedrine.

For those of you not familiar with this over-the-counter drug, pseudoephedrine (brand name Sudafed) is a decongestant- a non-addictive chemical which dramatically helps with sinus congestion. It has been issued over the counter for decades because of its efficacy and lack of side effects. For millions of people with allergies, colds, flu, or chronic sinus problems, this inexpensive drug is a boon beyond price.

Unfortunately for those sufferers, the Gummint (in typical mama knows best dearie form) wants to make pseudoephedrine in all its guises available by prescription only. Not because of some recently-discovered side effect wherein the user is transformed into radioactive iguanas or might be prone to wandering bladder syndrome followed by catastrophic explosions. No, the Gummint (we only have your best interests at heart) is doing this (for your own good, of course) because some people might use it to make meth.

Never mind that ordinary citizens already have to show identification before purchasing this dangerous product. Never mind that such laws have had no measurable effect (in Oregon, for example, where this is already state law) on the production of meth anywhere. Never mind that pseudoephedrine is no longer strictly required to make meth anymore (there is a fast, cheap, and dirty method of making the vile stuff in a 2-liter soda bottle which does not require any pseudoephedrine-containing products). In a classic case of padlocking the barn door long after the horses have escaped, the Gummint is bound and determined to “do something” about the “meth epidemic”. In a typical Gummint frenzy to appear to be accomplishing something, this inexpensive drug may soon be only available with a doctor’s prescription. I assume the Gummint’s next smooth move will be to outlaw common household chemicals (such as baking soda) to combat meth, and perhaps potting soil to combat the “scourge” of marijuana.

Let’s take a look at the probable consequences of this action: A drug that anyone can now pick up at any grocery store or drug store for about six dollars will now only be available after paying a doctor upwards of fifty dollars for an office visit. Because the common, inexpensive drug must now be carried in the security of a drug store safe and only dispensed by licensed pharmacists, the cost per unit will have to be raised (to pay for the additional paperwork, among other things). Law-abiding citizens stricken with sinus headaches, allergies, or sinusitis will now have to wait until they can be seen by a doctor before getting any relief at all. The best part of the whole plan, of course, is that this will have almost no measurable effect on the production and sale of meth. The only possible real effect on meth production this might have would be to reduce production by local meth-heads and increase production by Mexican drug lords. By all means, let us create a new revenue stream for the narcolords south of the border. After all, those stalwart, law-abiding hombres would never dream of violating US laws.

This asinine drug war has to stop. We (the People) need to be smart enough to recognize a lost cause when we get beaten over the head with it day after day. Criminalizing common items in a demonstrably vain attempt to prevent people from getting high (or low) is having the effect of militarizing our police forces, creating a crippling number of overcrowded prisons, and fueling the drug violence in Mexico with billions of our dollars. We’ve gone this route before with Prohibition, and look how well that turned out. Seriously. Look at how Prohibition turned out. The parallels are staring us in our collective face, but we (the People) are seemingly unable to accept the stark reality of this War on Drugs™. Legislating puritanism does not work in a free society.

One of the people at the Centers for Disease Control was interviewed about the so-called “Crack Epidemic” of the 80’s by P.J. O’Rourke for his book, Parliament of Whores (published in 1991). This worthy forecast that the “crack epidemic” would be mostly over in about ten years because most of the crack addicts would be dead by then. This was entirely accurate, if politically incorrect.

Let us stop criminalizing so-called “dangerous drugs” and start criminalizing dangerous behavior. This is similar to what we are doing with alcohol in the wake of the failed experiment in national puritanism called Prohibition. We criminalized the behavior, not the substance. All we (the People) need to do is extrapolate existing laws to cover dangerous behaviors which are already illegal- such as driving under the influence. Drive while stoned or drunk, spend a  year in jail, mandatory. Cause damage to people or property while stoned or drunk, double that. Kill someone while stoned or drunk, life in prison without parole (or death, if your state allows this). Pretty soon, those without the self-discipline to enjoy their drug of choice at home will all be dead or in prison. This idea has the advantage of being far cheaper than the current War on Drugs™, but would also strangle the flow of cash to the drug lords in Mexico. Taxing the various recreational pharmaceuticals will be problematic for a considerable time, but the huge cost savings from not funding the attempts to win an unwinnable “War” should really be enough of an incentive to try this. Any tax revenue raised would be pure profit for the Gummint, compared to the hundreds of billions of dollars currently being poured down a rat-hole every year for no appreciable gain.  It also has the enormous advantage of being far more friendly to liberties of the individual citizen.

Any one of these advantages ought to be enough to convince people to end this wasteful War on Drugs™. Sadly, I fear far too many of my fellow Americans- on both sides of the political spectrum- are uninterested in rational decision making or logical choices. Those on the left might claim to be appalled at the callous disregard for the lives of the addicts, while those on the right might claim to be outraged at the idea that someone might be enjoying himself outside of their idea of “proper behavior”, but they’re both just trying to disguise their desire to control others.

Here’s a lovely quote from Heinlein which seems appropriate:

Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire. The former are idealists acting from highest motives for the greatest good of the greatest number. The latter are surly curmudgeons, suspicious and lacking in altruism. But they are more comfortable neighbors than the other sort.

Current status: Surly, suspicious, and lacking in altruism

Current music: Uprising by Muse

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9 responses

8 09 2009
Posts about Mexico Violence as of September 8, 2009 | EL CHUCO TIMES_El Paso_News

[…] them along. Internet cafes were going to be too expensive. What did I do? A manual cut and paste. Pseudo-poppycock – archvillain.wordpress.com 09/08/2009 As I write this, the nation is opening a new front in […]

9 09 2009
Bill Harris

Debaters debate the two wars as if Nixon’s civil war on Woodstock Nation didn’t yet run amok. One need not travel to China to find indigenous cultures lacking human rights or to Cuba for political prisoners. America leads the world in percentile behind bars, thanks to ongoing persecution of hippies, radicals, and non-whites under banner of the war on drugs. If we’re all about spreading liberty abroad, then why mix the message at home? Peace on the home front would enhance global credibility.

The drug czar’s Rx for prison fodder costs dearly, as lives are flushed down expensive tubes. There’s trouble on the border. My shaman’s second opinion is that psychoactive plants are God’s gift. God didn’t screw up. Canadian Marc Emery sold seeds that enable American farmers to outcompete cartels with superior domestic herb. He is being extradited to prison, for doing what government wishes it could do, reduce demand for Mexican.

The constitutionality of the CSA (Controlled Substances Act of 1970) derives from an interstate commerce clause. Only by this authority does it reincarnate Al Capone, endanger homeland security, and throw good money after bad. Official policy is to eradicate, not tax, the number-one cash crop in the land. America rejected prohibition, but it’s back. Apparently, SWAT teams don’t need no stinking amendment. Father, forgive those who make it their business to know not what they do.

Nixon promised that the Schafer Commission would support the criminalization of his enemies, but it didn’t. No matter, the witch-hunt was on. No amendments can assure due process under an anti-science law without due process itself. Psychology hailed the breakthrough potential of LSD, until the CSA halted all research and pronounced that marijuana has no medical use, period.

The RFRA (Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993) allows Native American Church members to eat peyote, which functions like LSD. Americans shouldn’t need a specific church membership to obtain their birthright freedom of religion. Denial of entheogen sacrament to any American, for mediation of communion with his or her maker, precludes free exercise of religious liberty.

Freedom of speech presupposes freedom of thought. The Constitution doesn’t enumerate any governmental power to embargo diverse states of mind. How and when did government usurp this power to coerce conformity? The Mayflower sailed to escape coerced conformity. Legislators who would limit cognitive liberty lack jurisdiction.

Common-law must hold that adults are the legal owners of their own bodies. The Founding Fathers decreed that the right to the pursuit of happiness is inalienable. Socrates said to know your self. Mortal lawmakers should not presume to thwart the intelligent design that molecular keys unlock spiritual doors. Persons who appreciate their own free choice of path in life should tolerate seekers’ self-exploration.

11 09 2009
Shaheen Lakhan

Thanks for submitting this post to our blog carnival. We just published the 17th edition of Drugs and Pharmacology and your article was featured!

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Shaheen

11 09 2009
Drugs and Pharmacology, Seventeenth Edition | Brain Blogger

[…] Dark and Sinister Force for Good writes Pseudo-poppycock: Let’s take a look at the probable consequences of this action: A drug that anyone can now pick […]

12 09 2009
Wenchypoo

Making mountains out of molehills–this is what our government’s best at.

Take the “uninsured Americans” invented crisis: the public option is supposedly to cover the supposed 40-some-odd million people without coverage at all, but when you take out the illegal aliens, this number falls to 30 million. When you take out the people who qualify for existing programs and don’t sign up, this number drops again to about 20 million. Take out the people who “went without coverage at some point during the year” (for as little as 1 month), and this number drops again to about 10 million.

Are 10 million people worth the effort and expense of turning our current health care system upside-down and sideways just to get them covered, out of the 600 million or so that currently reside here? No, certainly not!

For political cover, we’re going to try, though. Our politicians know full well that once a new entitlement program is created, it will never die.

Have the means to go it alone (pay cash)? Too bad–you’re penalized for trying to escape the system. You’re not paying someone else’s fair share, and you now owe us $3400 in fines….not for YOU, but for someone else’s coverage. You’ll still be expected to pay for your own coverage too, just like the existing insurance/Medicare tax you pay now, only worse.

It’s but one of a myriad of ways Congress aims to wring money out of us. Just you wait for the time they try to pass Universal Savings (and the sudden requirement of us to buy bonds and only bonds for our retirement, because everything else, including IRAs and 401k plans), will be taxable). It’s bad enough they want us to check a box to get our tax refunds back in bonds with a 17-year maturity date!

13 09 2009
The BoBo Carnival of Politics - September 13, 2009 Edition | The BoBo Files

[…] presents Pseudo-poppycock posted at A Dark and Sinister Force for Good, saying, “First, they came for the weed, but I […]

18 09 2009
Bill Bartmann

Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,

A definite great read.. 🙂

-Bill-Bartmann

30 09 2009
Tnelson

what a great site and informative posts, I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

23 04 2016
tomm

You don’t know what your talking about. You need to research things before writing about them. You have and will always need psedofedrine for making meth. Your misleading and giving false info

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