Yesterday, I was at Target and I needed to buy some cold medication. I already knew that the pharmacies don’t keep any medicine that has pseudoephedrine on the shelf any more, in order to prevent people from buying it in bulk and using it in meth labs or something.
Instead of just tossing the box of pills in your cart, now you have to bring a little card for the medicine you want up to the pharmacy counter. Easy enough, I thought. So I get there and they ask for my driver’s license. Then they type the name and address from my driver’s license into the computer. Now I’m mad. Then they drag out this log book and make me sign for the pills. What could possibly be the point of all of this? If people are so afraid of bulk purchases of pseudoephedrine, I can see the store asking people why they’re buying, oh, ten boxes of generic cold medication. I was buying ten pills. Is all of this data uploaded to some centralized system? Are they worried that people are going to hit every drug store in town buying one box of pills at each? How much does crystal meth sell for anyway?
I was ready to blame Target for overzealous enforcement of some incredibly lame regulations, but the North Carolina Board of Pharmacies consumer FAQ indicates that all of the steps I went through are required regardless of where you buy pseudoephedrine.
I care a lot less about the plague of crystal meth than I do about moronic regulations that get everyone used to being treated like a criminal. When I read that Congress is spending less time in session than ever, it’s laws like this that make me think that’s maybe not such a bad thing. (I know that this is a state law, but you get my point.)