A bunch of new laws will be surfacing around the nation in 2012, but one really has me steamed:
California also became the first state in the nation to require a prescription for obtaining any drug containing dextromethorphan, an ingredient found in many popular over-the-counter cough suppressants, including Robitussin, NyQuil and Dimetapp.
The law was prompted by a spike in the use of cough syrup as a recreational drug. A Food and Drug Administration advisory panel considered making the medications prescription-only, but rejected the idea in September.
You can expect to see this law spread to other states as well and it’s a fundamental problem with our society.
The United States already has the highest incarceration rate per capita in the world, yet we continue to find ways to keep our prison populations high instead of reducing them. This law, while designed to “keep people safe”, will quickly devolve into such a measure. Not only that but we will also see future people who are unable to seek employment because their record has that ding for taking NyQuil without a prescription.
Another thing that bothers me is that people can’t afford to go to the doctor or miss work to go. Instead they head to the local pharmacy and buy their cough medicine over the counter (hell I’m doing it right now!). Now they won’t be able to do that. Instead that $10 bottle of NyQuil will cost hundreds when you factor in time lost from work, the cost of a doctors visit and the cost of the prescription. Instead people will just not take the medication and remain sick even longer. How in the hell does that help our nation?
But it’s also indicative of another, much greater, problem we face. We have been seeing young people turn common household items into recreational drugs more constantly. In response to that lawmakers outlaw those products. How long before we have a very short list of items we can get without identification or prescription or just down right banned all together?
America needs to wake up and realize that if people want to experience a high then they will. Ironically the safest way to do that is also the one that has been illegal the longest – marijuana. Countries that allow people to toke don’t end up having the problems like we face here. Coincidence? Not at all. People have a safe and legal way to let their minds go and those nations embrace it. Not only that, but those nations also profit from it through taxes and a decreased jail population.
Want to talk fiscal responsibility? Fine – let’s legalize marijuana, put taxes on it, stop jailing people who smoke it and stop devoting so many resources to fighting it. It’s a losing battle our nation has been in for decades and one that will never be won. Time for the tired ways of old thinking to adapt to what we know and take a common sense approach to our drug problem.