We're in the tiny minority of people who think government has gone overboard in cracking down on cold medicine to deter meth cookers. Meth is now streaming into the country from other sources, for one thing. Meanwhile, allergy sufferers pay the price. A note from a reader:
I went to the Heights Kroger to get their store-brand Sudafed, which I take regularly because of allergies. The store brand is around 50 percent cheaper than the Sudafed brand. The pharmacist said they had no store-brand Sudafed. It had all been recalled. Why?
Because a new law kicked in late in September that required the main distributor to have a DEA license for pseudoephedrine products. Kroger's distributor didn't have the license, so all store-brand products (and there are a bushel of them) with pseudoephedrine were pulled from the shelves.
Those of us who take this medicine have to pay for the higher-priced stuff and still endure the hassle of showing our driver's license, being looked up in a computer register and signing our names to a sheet of paper.
I'm not a cop or a statistician so I don't know whether all this has an effect on the meth trade. But I do see an article nearly every day in the paper on the arrest of yet another meth manufacturer, which leads me to believe that while I have to jump through hoops to get a simple medicine, the meth cookers are going about their business unhindered.
UPDATE: Here's a link to one of hundreds of articles, this one by CBS, that tend to confirm that bedeviling allergy sufferers has reduced home meth cooking in the U.S., but not meth use or its attendant ills.
The epidemic of meth use is still rampant because the drug is still plentiful on America's streets. Why?
"They just came across into Mexico to start production," said Fuillermo Gonzalez of the Tijuana Police Department.
This deadly drug is now a growth industry for Mexico's deadly drug cartels. They're replacing small U.S. kitchen labs with Mexican super labs. The cartels are smuggling ephedrine from China, India and Europe and cooking up huge quantities of cheap meth — including an especially potent variety, Mexican Ice. Then the cartels smuggle it north to U.S. users.
Wal-Mart isn't the only retailer that has turned to overseas suppliers for better products at lower cost to flood the U.S. market.