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Dothan Eagle: Misguided lawmaking

Staff Report

In pondering a legislative approach to curbing the increasing incidence of methamphetamine labs in our state, Alabama lawmakers decided the best way to foil the cooks is to cut off their supply of ingredients.

As a result, the millions of Alabama residents who aren’t amateur drug chemists but who do have need for over-the-counter allergy medication containing ephedrine or pseudoephedrine are inconvenienced by new laws that track how much of the medicine an individual buys.

As for the meth makers, any working pharmacist will have plenty of stories about how the desperate dopers try to outsmart the system.

One has to wonder if the danger these drugs pose when misused is worth the imposition – and violation of privacy – of those whose only intent is to treat an allergy.

Consider ammonium nitrate, the common fertilizer that has, in recent years, become a popular volatile ingredient for bombers. Its potential danger to the general public is far greater than methamphetamine. The destructive properties of meth are generally limited to those stupid enough to ingest it. Ammonium nitrate, on the other hand, was the key ingredient in the fertilizer bomb that Timothy McVeigh used to blow up the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995, killing 168 people and injuring countless others.

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