The above Saturday, March 19th newspaper editorial provides an important learning opportunity about the "Law of Unintended Consequences".
Well intentioned lawmakers and others are rightly concerned about the use of common cold medications to produce the life destroying and devastating "Meth" drug.
They then rush to respond by attempting to restrict this over-the-counter drug abuse, by trying to make these otherwise benign medications illegal without a doctor's prescription.
And, as Hamlet once said, therein "lies the rub".
In attempting to deal with a minority rogue criminal element, should the majority of us be punished and our freedom diminished?
Is there an "absolutely" correct answer?
Perhaps not, but Beckley lawyer James M. Mullins does have an insight.
He simply and effectively argues that "agressive enforcement of existing laws" is a better way.
Postscript and Simply Put: The aforementioned "over-the counter" medications aleady require folks to show proper identification to the pharmacist, sign for receipt, and restrict the amount of medication received. A much better idea would to require pharmacists to report these purchases to a central data bank and then share this information with law enforcement agencies. In this way, medication "surfing" at various pharmacies by "Meth" addicts could be monitored and stopped - all without imposing a larger and expensive burden on the rest of us law-abiding folks.
We have all the data and the tools. Let's return, report, and use this data and tools. Let's not make life more difficult for those of us who aren't drug abusing criminals.
By the way, this legislation narrowly failed to win passage this year, but look for it to return. Click on the March 5th, 2011 entry, "More on Meth (HB 2649) for even more.