The “PATRIOT” Act and Your Local Pharmacy

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Last March, Sally Harpold of Clinton, Indiana bought a one box of Zyrtec-D cold medicine for her husband. A few days later, she bought a single box of Mucinex-D for her adult daughter, who is the mother of triplets.

Four months later, Mrs. Harpold and her husband were awakened at daybreak by the always unwelcome sound of police banging on their front door. She was arrested and taken away in handcuffs for the purported crime of purchasing more than 3.0 grams of ephedrine or pseudoephedrine (PSE) within a seven-day period.

The grandmother saw her picture plastered on the front page of the local statist media organ (also known as the Terre Haute Tribune-Star newspaper) under the headline “17 Arrested in Drug Sweep.” Charged under Indiana “law” 35-48-4-14.7, Mrs. Harpold faced the prospect of 60 days in jail and a $500 fine — as punishment for buying legal over-the-counter cold preparations in quantities the state’s parasite class considers inappropriate.

Vermillion County Prosecutor Nina Alexander, of out the supposed goodness of what passes for her heart, allowed the innocent grandmother to go through a “deferral” program: In exchange for paying the court costs run up in prosecuting her for doing nothing, Mrs. Harpold (who had never been in trouble with the “law” before) would have her record expunged.

Alexander acknowledges that the grandmother is innocent of criminal intent, and that her actions were not criminal in se. However, she maintains, “I’m simply enforcing the law as it was written,” and that she will continue to monitor pharmacy records to “prosecute people who violate this law.”

“Sometimes mistakes happen,” comments Sheriff Jon Marvel of neighboring Vigo County. “But for the good of everyone, the law was put into effect. I feel for [Mrs. Harpold], but if she could go to one of the area hospitals and see a baby born to a meth-addicted mother….”

Marvel didn’t finish that thought, because it was a crashing non-sequitir. Harpold has never had anything to do with the production or consumption of methamphetamine. Nothing the government of Indiana is doing to restrict purchases of ephedrine or PSE has depleted the available supply. The same is true of other state-level efforts nation-wide to enforce the “Combat Methamphetamine Act of 2005,” which was grafted onto the renewed USA PATRIOT Act.

During World War II,the government actively encouraged amphetamine consumption by combat pilots to fight fatigue (and it still permits — or even compels — the use of amphetamine by those it dispatches on killing errands abroad). Meth itself is a by-product of the so-called War on Drugs: When the government in 1988 clamped down on the P2P precursor used to produce amphetamines, some chemists switched to ephedrine, and the latest civilization-imperiling “plague” was born.

It bears repeating: The only things that government “makes” are criminals out of innocent people, and corpses out of living human beings.

10:55 am on September 26, 2009
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