May 31, 2005

Idaho to meth cooks: welcome!

This was predictable:

Now that Washington state lawmakers have restricted over-the-counter sales of the ingredients used to make the illicit drug, some officials are worried that Idaho will see an increase in meth-related crimes.

Both Oregon and Washington have adopted laws restricting the sale of cold and allergy medicines that contain substances used to make meth.

Idaho freshman Rep. John Rusche, D-Lewiston, pushed for a similar measure during the 2005 legislative session, but the bill failed in the Senate amid heavy lobbying from drug companies.

"I am significantly impressed at the impact large pharmaceutical companies and retailers have on the Legislature," said Rusche, a pediatrician.

They're gearing up for the next meth wave in Idaho Falls.

"Reality-based" commentary on regulating meth precursors here:

What amazes me is that the OTC drug lobby has so much power that the Congress, which is always happy to vote for longer drug sentences, is only now getting around to considering imposing this fairly minor inconvenience on a national basis to deal with today's #1 drug menace. It might well fizzle. But it's worth a shot.

"Hot air and ill-informed banter" about meth precursors here.

Bonus links and updates:

A harrowing quote from the 7th Circuit, courtesy of Indiana Public Defender.

Meth Mouth! (not for the dentally squeamish)

Mike at Crime and Federalism on what happens when after much crying of "wolf," there really is a wolf.

For instance, say you have an audience of Seattle NPR listeners, maybe skeptical already from the War on Drugs. In your region, something is devouring scores of people, maybe some you know. If you suggest putting pseudoephedrine behind the counter, should the listeners' first response be to shake their fists at The Man and vow, "Give me convenience or give me death"? "More addiction and crime from meth, or point-of-purchase Sudafed - don't make me choose!"? What a world.

(I thought that most of this recent talk show about meth on KUOW was uninformed and uninformative, but listen and judge for yourself.)