From The Tennessean there's this story about Williamson County Sheriff Jeff Long complaining because our meth problem is out of control and the state legislature won't make pseudoephedrine prescription-only:
The meth users are winning, police say.
They’ve beaten new restrictions on how much pseudoephedrine — a main ingredient in methamphetamine — they’re allowed to buy, despite a computer system designed to stop bulk sales. A bill in the legislature that would have made pseudoephedrine a prescription-only drug was killed yet again for another year. And funding to clean up meth labs across the state is set to run out at the end of this year.
But here's what irritates me. If we admit that restrictions on pseudoephedrine sales have made no difference, then why is this in the story: "As an alternative, Shipley has filed a bill that would further limit quantities of pseudoephedrine that can be sold to consumers to 7.2 grams per month or about 240 pills"?
If we know that our efforts to limit sales have done nothing good — and in fact have created a whole new class of criminal, in the smurfers who buy the drugs for the manufacturers — why the hell would we further limit sales?
Inconveniencing people who don't break the law while having no effect on people who do break the law is stupid. Making a whole new class of criminals who weren't previously involved with the meth trade is a complete and utter failure. And making pseudoephedrine prescription-only is going to work as well as making oxycodone prescription-only. Which is to say that all it's going to do is make it tempting for doctors and nurses to get involved in the meth trade, just like they're involved in the oxy trade.
How are these things viable solutions? How can law enforcement officials advocate for this stuff, when they know that has to be the result?
I don't know what to do about our meth problem. It's a terrible drug. It ruins lives. But doing more of what's already failed so spectacularly cannot be the answer.