In 2005, Oregon placed strict controls on pills containing pseudoephedrine in a misguided attempt to curb the production and consumption of the do-it-yourself drug methamphetamine. Pseudoephedrine is an active ingredient in common cold medicine and is often cooked up in makeshift basement labs.
On the surface, this law appears well intended. However, it is plain to informed observers that the politicians in Oregon desperately wanted to look proactive on the issue and made a bad policy decision in order to do so.
In fact, Medford police Lt. Brett Johnson, who is a supervisor for the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement team, went so far as to say that, even years six years after the law was enacted, “Meth is still king.”
By most measures, the demand for meth has not decreased, but instead has actually increased. 22 pounds of meth were seized in 2011, which is a 134% increase from 2010. Also, the death rate for overdoses related to meth, heroine and cocaine or some combination thereof also increased over 200% from 2010. You read that right: public officials have had six years to implement and perfect enforcement of the law and meth seizures and related deaths are still drastically increasing year to year
The people of Oregon should be outraged at the results of these restrictive and discriminatory laws. If the government is going to usurp citizens’ rights and trample on their freedoms, they should at least get the “benefits” they were promised, right? Somehow, things never work out like the government promises.
As Americans, we especially should remember that kings do not go down without a fight. The 2005 law is a feeble and unfair attempt to address a serious issue, but meth is still king in Medford.