According to the Salem (Oregon) Statesman Journal in a September 16 article, 75% of inmates in the Marion county (Salem) jails and work-centers "reported problems with meth addiction".
Apparently the efforts of state and local police to shut down Meth Labs are insufficient to stem the flow of methamphatamines to your friendly neighborhood Crystal addict.
So what did Oregon do?
Having no better targets, the Oregon Legislature (which meets every two years, and need to do SOMETHING to justify their office) has decided to limit the supply of precursor chemicals upon which meth labs depend.
They passed a law which required retailers to take Sudafed and Drixoral, and any other decongestant which includes pseudophines and methamphetamines, off their shelves and only sell them directly over the counter. To buy these cold remedies, the consumer must ask for the OTC medicine by name and present ID. The purchase is entered into a log, along with the identifying number on your driver's license or other such appropriate photo ID.
That doesn't seem to be cutting down on the supply to the meth labs, so the Oregon legislature passed ANOTHER law, which will come into effect in 2006. This law "requires people to have prescriptions for cold and allergy medications that can be converted into methamphetamine."
In a recent interview with MS-NBC, Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski had an interesting exchange with the hosts, Ron Reagan (may the REAL Ronald Reagan rest in peace) and Monica Crowley :
MONICA CROWLEY, HOST CONNECTED COAST TO COAST: Well governor, you’re come up with a creative way to combat this problem, you’ve signed into law legislation that would require people to have a prescription for what was formally an over-the-counter medication.
Tell us how this works, lets say someone has a cold and they need, say, Sudafed, are they going to have to go to their doctor and get a prescription?
KULONGOSKI: The answer to that is yes, let me just tell you that about 18 months ago, I created a meth task force in this state composed of the law enforcement community, prevention specialists, correction, and they came up with a report at that time and I went to the board of pharmacy over about a year ago, and I asked them to put all of these pseudoephedrine cold remedies behind the counter where the pharmacist would actually keep a list and require an I.D.
There wasn’t a prescription required at that time, but the legislature had just met, and one of the requests that we made to them was to make pseudoephedrine listed under our system as a class three drug, that would require a prescription.
Now one of the things I have to tell you already, there are over 40 new products without the pseudoephedrine chemical in it that are utilized for colds. So the pharmaceutical industry can actually address this issue quite easily, because they are already coming out with products that do not have pseudoephedrine in them.
REAGAN: Now governor, as well meaning as these steps are, you know that you are going to have critics out there, saying aren’t you inconveniencing the wrong people here. You’re inconveniencing the pharmaceutical companies I suppose to some extent, and just cold and allergy sufferers. And the methamphetamine users and makers are going to break into drug stores and just steal the stuff if they can’t buy it. How do you respond to that?
KULONGOSKI: Well my answer is, if you’re asking me if this is an inconvenience to some of our citizens than yes, I’ve never denied that, but let me suggest to you is one of the ways that we can address this epidemic is asking for a shared sacrifice of all of out citizens. You know the difference between what the states do and what the federal government does is very critically important to each of the states and by that I mean when our children are impacted the most are by these home meth-manufacturing labs.
Where the children of these parents are subject to abuse and neglect, they’re crawling around, they’re living in this environment where this meth is cooked, these children’s lives are being destroyed, it’s a tremendous cost to all of us as citizens, the cost to us is about 15-20 thousand dollars to clean up one of these home grown meth labs. The fact is, they’re showing up in our corrections system, I just talked to the director of the department of corrections, and hi budget is being strained by what is referred to as meth mouth -- this stuff is battery acid, it eats you teeth out -- and these people are showing up in our corrections system, are we are having to pay the cost to have to put implants into their mouth.So what I’m trying to suggest is in fact, the best thing for all of us is to share in the solution to this problem on the local level. The federal level, that’s what I’m waiting for, I want a much more aggressive posture by the federal government to tell both the pharmaceutical companies, and these other countries that produce these major
Essentially, what Ted The Med is saying is that:
- This Meth thingie is costing Oregon Voters a lot of money, and
- We don't know what to do about it, so
- We've passed laws which inconvience the voters and
- Cost them money when they have to use their insurance co-pay to get prescriptions
- Just so it looks as if we're doing something to solve the problem, even though
- We're not, actually.
- PS: I hope to GOD the voters are dumb enough to buy this Big Lie.
- Just to make sure, we're not going to let them actually VOTE on it.
Now the same person has to get a doctor's appointment, to get a prescription, and the same OTC medicine which use to cost $5.99 for a week's supply costs two or three times as much because of the need to co-pay the visit.
But HEY! It's all in a good cause, right?
And it's just our personal contribution (according to Ted the Med) as Good Citizens in order to Stop The Meth Problem ... which the combined forces of Federal and State Law Enforcement Agencies haven't made a DENT on in the past five years!
So, even though the prescription requirement isn't active yet, how's it working so far? I mean, the new law prevents the Drug Dealer Army from buying Sudafed off the shelf, so this should cut down on the amount of Meth available to drug dealers, right?
That should cut down on the amount of Meth available to the Oregon Addicts, right?
Washington pair nabbed on I-5 with meth cache - September 30, 2005Got that?
A routine traffic stop on Interstate 5 led troopers to a six-pound stash of methamphetamine and cash Thursday morning.
At 7:46 a.m., Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Bill Matson stopped a 1995 Ford Explorer heading northbound on the freeway near milepost 39 just north of Medford. He had clocked the Explorer traveling 84 mph in a 65 mph zone, police said in a news release.
The driver, Victorino Santos-Andres, 18, of Lacey, Wash., could not produce identification, prompting Watson to take him into custody.
"Enough probable cause was then established to lead us to search the vehicle," Watson said.
An OSP drug dog named Cookie was dispatched to the scene. Cookie aided troopers in the discovery of six pounds of methamphetamine and around $6,000 in cash hidden in the vehicle’s rear storage compartments, officials said.
OSP drug enforcement officials estimate the value of the drugs to be between $30,000 and $40,000.
Santos-Andres was arrested on charges of manufacturing, possession and delivery of methamphetamine. He was also cited for failing to carry a driver’s license.
He was lodged in Jackson County Jail, where he remained late Thursday in lieu of $68,000 bail.
The passenger, Baltazar J. Vazquez, of Olympia, Wash., was arrested on charges of manufacturing, possession and delivery of methamphetamine. He was lodged in jail, where he remained late Thursday in lieu of $75,000 bail.
Officials from Immigration and Naturalization Services determined that both men are illegal aliens. They told troopers that they were returning to Washington from California, Watson said.
"It’s one of the larger seizures of the year so far," OSP Lt. Gregg Hastings said.
OSP troopers have lately seen an increase of drug trafficking on Interstate 5, particularly in Southern Oregon, Hastings said.
OSP is concerned with the number of daytime drug busts in the last few months. Until recently, most drug finds have been at night, Hastings said.
"This is just more evidence that drugs are being transported around the clock in this state," Hastings said.
" . . . drugs are being transported around the clock in this state . . ."
Legal folks-with-a-cold are now being required to jump through hoops to buy cold and allergy remedies, and it's only going to cost them more in the future. In the meantime, because of the Open Borders policy of the U.S. Governement, Meth is being "transported around the clock in this state."
This sounds like something that the Feds should be addressing. So what's their contribution?
Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) and Gordon Smith (R-Ore.) today announced that the U.S. Senate has approved legislation they championed to stop the creation, distribution and use of methamphetamine. The Combat Meth Act, which Wyden and Smith cosponsored along with U.S. Senators Jim Talent (R-Mo.) and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), has been included as part of the Fiscal Year 2006 Commerce, Justice Science (CJS) Appropriations legislation. The CJS appropriations bill now moves to a conference committee to work out differences between it and the House version of the bill. The Combat Meth legislation will provide resources and tools to help law enforcement officials and prosecutors to pursue and punish producers and distributors of Meth, increase community awareness of the Meth problem, and establish new treatment options. The Oregon Department of Human Services has reported that Meth use is the biggest drug problem facing Oregon child welfare today. Meth is the second-most treated drug addiction among Oregon teens.
"The deadly problem of Meth is eating away at the social fabric of our state, and today's action by the Senate is a big step forward in rebuilding that fabric in a variety of ways," said Wyden. "Fighting Meth use and distribution requires a multi-pronged approach, and the Federal government needs to do its part to support the good work of communities throughout Oregon to make headway in fighting this pernicious epidemic."
Yeah, Ron Weyden (D-ORE) and Gordon Smith (R-ORE) are taking the fight to the hallowed halls of Congress.
I've got a lot of faith in those two yahoos.
PS: Did I mention that Oregon is a "Blue State"?
UPDATE: Comment-Spammer Alert!
In the final chapter of Les Audacious, Avaricious, Avalance of Advertising from Our Old Friend Femme, after today I will no longer merely disable these comments which have been submitted for no better purpose than to promote commercial websites. I'll just delete them ... immediately, and permanently. I've let a few of them hang around in limbo, but they DON'T DIE IMMEDIATELY and I'm getting tired of dealing with them.
Of course, I've been having some fun at their expense, but I don't think I want to let the embedded links stay in the comments any longer than necessary.
This is the last step before requiring the application of technical security issues.
I only pray it works.