Monday, November 26, 2007

I am not a criminal

And my government shouldn't treat me like one

I suffer from allergies. Not just the seasonal, don't play in cut grass/ragweed/etc. allergies. The year round, I must be allergic to oxygen allergies. (Or as a former co-worker in a hospital once told me, I must be allergic to work). Sudafed has, until recently, been one of my very close friends. Back in 2005 the Missouri legislature took any drug containing pseudoephedrine off the shelves and required that anyone purchasing the products to present a state ID. They did this because pseudoephedrine is one of the ingredients in meth, a very addictive drug that does horrible things to people. Two years later and we still have a serious meth problem, and its been spreading.

Now, I know the government has the right to control access to dangerous drugs. And meth is definitely a dangerous drug (people who are on it will ignore everything else just to stay on it, including children, themselves, and their houses, which often burn down in the process of making the drug if the maker is not careful). But pseudoephedrine is not a dangerous drug. In fact it can be one of the only drugs that can help some allergy sufferers like myself. I am not going to use the drug to make another one, I have a perfectly good use for it as it is. I should not have to give my personal information away to some random desk clerk, who in turn gives it to every law enforcement organization that asks for it. My information is not for you to mine.

For the first year and change, I suffered through allergy attacks relying on Benedryl and hoping I didn't have to drive much while on it (great at bedtime though...). This spring I decided that I wouldn't make the rest of my family suffer with me and went down to the local Walgreens to get some Sudafed. Unsurprisingly, I got tons of dirty looks from the pharmacy techs for buying this and grumbling about having to give my information. They probably sent my information to the FBI immediately just for that... The next time we ran out (several months later as I buy the biggest pack possible and ration myself so I don't have to go through that often) my wife got it for me because she knows how I feel. I had to go again today and get it, and again with the dirty looks.

If this system worked, I might have some sympathy for it. It still restricts my rights, but compared to the general benefits it could have brought about ... oh, who am I kidding, people are so desperate to escape this reality that they will drink even fermented deer's blood. Let me live my life peacefully and find a better, more targeted way of stopping meth production. You don't have to worry about me misusing it.

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