Thursday, April 13, 2006

A License to buy Nyquil

It happened to me. I got carded buying Nyquil. I had to hand over my driver's license.

I felt like doing my Panic in Needle Park impression. "Man, my head is pounding! I can't breathe. I gotta have my stuff!" But I didn't, because these days, there is no sense of humor when it comes to drugs.

I agree abusing heavy drugs is a terrible thing. But you gotta remember: I went to high school in the seventies. I saw the films. I saw people find out that the films were lies. Then they did everything they could get their hands on, because the authorities lied and they had to find out for themselves.

I got carded for cold medicine because of the meth craze. But this is not the way to handle it.

Methamphetamine Epidemic Elimination Act: "Mr. SCOTT. Could you tell me how this bill would affect convenience stores and drug stores?

Mr. SOUDER. What roughly happens is, in Indiana, after it was originally proposed as a Schedule V - in a Schedule V, it's got to be in a pharmacy. And in small towns, the grocery stores don't have pharmacies. In fact, they're lucky if they have a grocery store or a pharmacy any more, because it can't make money. In Indiana, just going behind the counter, which means you have more and more behind the counter - you have lottery tickets, you have cigarettes, you have everything else - that they've restricted - the practical implementation in the last 30 days has been they've gone from 120 alternative cold medicines down to 20. They can't put them all behind the counter."

And what if you've got a deadline coming up, or the kids are sick too, or you are just trying to get through the day without your head exploding? Better be sure you've got ID. Cold medicines are on the restricted list. And if the one that works for you is not behind the counter? I guess you'll have to suffer.

The irony here is that it is just a bad law. NOBODY running a meth lab goes in and buys a bottle or two. That wouldn't leave them enough time to cook the stuff and sell the stuff and take the stuff. Even if they are speeding.

One thing I did learn from the seventies. In the name of altered consciousness, who in their right mind speeds on meth? They don't call them meth monsters for nothing. That's why meth crazes literally burn out.

And how can drugs have fashions, anyway? They do, in reality. There's heroin, then there's coke, then there's heroin again, then there's crack, and now meth. In the minds of those who are running The Drug War, they think there's something about drugs that makes people do this.

But I think the reality is that there is something about the people. Who take drugs. Any drugs. And if there isn't any drugs they do gambling and porn and shopping. What they are after is not something intrinsic in the drugs. They are after escape from the pressures of their circumstances, escape from their own mind. And in this mindset any drug will do, even the toxic and unpleasant nutmeg.

Will the Drug Misunderstanders ban nutmeg and shopping next?

Now THAT would be a War on Christmas.

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