Hoosier Grandmother Arrested for Buying Cold Medication

Last March, Sally Harpold, an Indiana grandmother of triplets, bought two boxes of cold medication in less than a week. Together, the two boxes contained 3.6 grams of pseudoephedrine, putting her in violation of the state's methamphetamine-fighting law, which forbids the purchase of more than three grams by one person in a seven-day period.

Police came to Harpold's home, arrested and handcuffed her, and booked her in a Vermillion County jail. No one believes Harpold was making meth or aiding anyone who was. But local authorities aren't apologizing for her arrest.

“I don’t want to go there again,” [Vermillion County Prosecutor Nina] Alexander told the Tribune-Star, recalling how the manufacture and abuse of methamphetamine ravaged the tiny county and its families.

While the law was written with the intent of stopping people from purchasing large quantities of drugs to make methamphetamine, the law does not say the purchase must be made with the intent to make meth.

“The law does not make this distinction,” Alexander said...

Just as with any law, the public has the responsibility to know what is legal and what is not, and ignorance of the law is no excuse, the prosecutor said.

“I’m simply enforcing the law as it was written,” Alexander said...

It is up to customers to pay attention to their purchase amounts, and to check medication labels, Alexander said.

“If you take these products, you ought to know what’s in them,” she said.

Harpold's photo was put on the front page of the local paper as part of an article about the arrest of 17 people in a "drug sweep." Alexander has generously allowed Harpold to enter a deferral program. If she commits no crimes in the next 30 days, her arrest will be wiped from her record. She'll still have to pay court costs and attorney fees.

I'll leave it to Vigo County Sheriff Jon Marvel to (unintentionally) put an exclamation point on the absurdity.

“Sometimes mistakes happen,” Marvel said. “It’s unfortunate. But for the good of everyone, the law was put into effect.

“I feel for her, but if she could go to one of the area hospitals and see a baby born to a meth-addicted mother …”

Because clearly the best way to prevent meth-addicted babies is to arrest women who buy cold medication for their grandchildren.

(Via William Grigg)

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  • MNG||

    These are infuriating laws. Everybody I know finds them annoying. Libertarians should run candidates that focus on such quality of life issues and ignore extolling the virtues of voluntary child labor contracts, or at least play that sort of thing down a bit.

  • ||

    Isn't there a law on the books that says you have to be a living, breathing human being (as opposed to zombie, robot, AI, or space alien) to be a prosecutor?

    When common sense eludes law enforcement, they always fall back on, "well we just enforce the law" as an excuse for their lack of judgement.

    When the cops told Ms. Alexander they were holding an elderly woman for buying 2 boxes of Sudafed, it should have been the easiest thing in the world to tell the cops to let her go, give the poor woman a call and apologize. Instead, she got booked.

    And please don't tell me the prosecutor didn't have the power to refuse to prosecute. They ALL have that power. Law and order politicians have been insisting for years that prosecutors can be trusted to do the right thing with the powers lawmakers have heaped upon them, but its setting the fox to watch the hen house.

  • Tomcat1066||

    Law enforcement continually argues that ignorance of the law is no excuse, but what about cops who throw law abiding people to the ground simply because they're lawfully carrying a firearm? They are ignorant of the law that permits it, but they get to be excused.

    It has always pissed me off. Make so many laws that no one can keep up with them, and then say everyone has a responsibility to know every freaking law...despite the fact that the lawmakers themselves don't understand WTF they're voting on.

    And in this case, it's even worse. It's just a grandmother buying cold medicine. For the love of God, use some common fucking sense!

  • Atanarjuat||

    Libertarians should run candidates that focus on such quality of life issues



    Yeah that will help, all we have to do is sit around and wait for Libertarians to sweep the elections. Or maybe the guys on your team could do something about the drug war.

  • Xeones||

    FUCK

  • WWJGD||

    Ooops, I think Drudge posted this story after I tipped em on it at the suggestion of a coworker. Either way, so proud to be a "Hoosier" today.

  • ||

    ...luckily she didn't have a gun or a dog (sarcastic assumption), she might be dead given police precedent...

  • Anonymous||

    When decongestants are outlawed, only outlaws will have decongestants.

    Look for the black market stuff to be cut with whatever it is they're killing coke heads with this year.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    "The law does not make this distinction," Alexander said...

    Let me fill you in on what the ellipsis replaces:

    "...and I am also too fucking stupid to make the distinction."

  • Rich||

    "... for the good of everyone, the law was put into effect."

    Especially good for folks attempting the ol' "grandmother of triplets" ploy.

  • ||

    an Indiana grandmother of triplets

    Minor quibble, but I don't see how her being a grandmother, or the fact that she has triplet grandchildren, is at all relevant.

  • Nipplemancer||

    tonio, i believe that gives an indication as to why she would need more than one box of sudafed in a week. it also makes her much more sympathetic in the eye of the public. effective.

  • Sally Harpold||

    I didn't go to the hospital to see the birth of a meth-addict's baby, but I did catch the VH-1 "Behind the Music" on Mackenzie Phillips, and now I think the sherrif kind of has a point.

  • @||

    I don't see how her being a grandmother, or the fact that she has triplet grandchildren, is at all relevant.

    You are right. Radley's techique is to have one foot in investigative journalism (via the work of others) and one in propaganda. Not that the story, as presented, is not infuriating. Radley's a master at it. He might have added that the grandmother has had a tough life, her husband died last year, and she needs a walker to get around. And if one of the grandkiddies has a lazy eye and a learning disability, even better.

  • Zuzu Bailey||

    Everytime someone is arrested for ignorance of a moronic law, another district attorney gets re-elected.

  • ||

    Just as with any law, the public has the responsibility to know what is legal and what is not, and ignorance of the law is no excuse, the prosecutor said.



    Unless you're a cop.

    How is that War on Drugs Sick People working out anyway?

  • wigometer||

    Id love to see the "ravaging" of Vermillion county rigorously fact checked. Oh, and I wonder how many meth addicted babies are born in area hospitals.

  • ||

    "This country is finished..." does anyone doubt George Carlin's prognosis? We could not be any stupider as a people if we tried. I used to want to try to turn back the tide of idiocy and bureaucracy and corruption, but now I want to encourage it.

    I want this country to turn into a full blown idiocracy at every level. I want every teen who has iphoned a nude picture of themselves to a friend or has ever hugged a friend in school to branded a sex offender and child abuser. I want every person who has ever bought cold medicine or every kid who has ever given a friend a tylenol to be thrown in the slammer as a drug criminal.

    I want the paramilitary police to routinely pick houses at random to burst into with no knock raids. I want to see more grandmothers, injured teens, disabled retards tazed within an inch of their lives. I want to see more family pets shot for barking at a cop.

    I want mandatory minimums for jaywalking and double parking. I want to pay more taxes that go directly into the pockets of bank executives and I want there to be an explicit penalty for trying to save/hoard money. I want it all.

    I'm done fighting or hoping for better. I don't just want to role over, I want to encourage every single stupid bureaucratic initiative anyone can think of. And I want more wars. I want more people to die stupidly for no good reason at all. The more the better. In fact, I'm going actively promote an attack on Iran. I want us to occupy as many other countries as we possibly can.

    And I want to pay more billions to Blackwater and the rest of them. The point is, there is no fighting any of this. It it as inexorable as a glacier. Things are working just exactly as they are intended to work. I used to think that we had gone off the rails, but now I realize that this is how things are supposed to be and how Americans want them. The more corrupt prosecutors the better. The more innocents executed the better. The more our jails/courts are clogged with people who have victimized no one the better. The more corrupt our politicians the better. The more all of us who are not millionaires get screwed the better.

  • youknowthatthing||

    holy fck..i've..never agreed with something so utterly, so completely.

  • Abdul||

    Id love to see the "ravaging" of Vermillion county rigorously fact checked. Oh, and I wonder how many meth addicted babies are born in area hospitals.

    I put in a call to the Sheriff, and he said "Well, just about every baby born in Vermillion County has no teeth. It's well known that meth makes your teeth fall out. You do the math."

  • Federal Dog||

    ""I don't want to go there again," [Vermillion County Prosecutor Nina] Alexander told the Tribune-Star, recalling how the manufacture and abuse of methamphetamine ravaged the tiny county and its families."

    Well, something's certainly ravaged whatever cognitive capacity this person might once have enjoyed.

  • ||

    """Make so many laws that no one can keep up with them,"""

    I'm starting to like the Moses approach. All law must be written on two stone tables. The government only gets two stone tables and once they fill it up, they can not add any laws without removing some.

  • Mango Punch||

    "And if one of the grandkiddies has a lazy eye and a learning disability, even better."

    Disagree, I think them being cute, bright kids whose futures would be lost if their grandmother is behind bars is much more sympathetic imagery.

  • ||

    If she commits no crimes in the next 30 days, her arrest will be wiped from her record.

    Most places, that's now how deferral works. The arrest stays on your "permanent record", but the charges are dismissed.

  • ||

    I live in NH - The Live Free or Die State. I too hope the Libertarians take over the country - it seems it's our only hope for survival.

  • ||

    I'm starting to like the Moses approach. All law must be written on two stone table[t]s.

    Any limit on tablet size?

  • Mango Punch||

    "I'm starting to like the Moses approach. All law must be written on two stone tables. The government only gets two stone tables and once they fill it up, they can not add any laws without removing some."

    I think they'd just use an Atomic Pen. One of the few things the government is good at is overcoming obstacles to its own expansion.

  • ||

    If someone's being foolishly prosecuted under an unjust law, highlighting sympathetic features of the victim to increase public displeasure with the situation is a perfectly legitimate tactic.

    RC - If it can't be carried down from Mount Sinai by a single person, it's too big. (Having gone up and down Mount Sinai several times myself, I believe that sets a very satisfactory limit.)

  • ||

    One of the few things the government is good at is overcoming obstacles to its own expansion.

  • ||

    Prosecutors should have some discression in these cases. It should be a crime if you actually use the stuff for to make methamfetamine.

  • ||

    methamfetamine

    Damn those Greeks and their addictive super-cheese!

  • Anonymous||

    dwcarkuff@stny.rr.com | September 28, 2009, 9:33am | #
    "This country is finished..." does anyone doubt George Carlin's prognosis? We could not be any stupider as a people if we tried.


    What's this "we" shit? Collectivism is what got us into this mess. Compulsory collectivism is what's keeping us there.

  • ||

    Prosecutors should actually use the stuff for to make methamfetamine.

  • Scott Pigeon||

    This is asinine.

  • ||

    "Law enforcement continually argues that ignorance of the law is no excuse, but what about cops who throw law abiding people to the ground simply because they're lawfully carrying a firearm? They are ignorant of the law that permits it, but they get to be excused."


    I think this very same thing and I wonder why THEIR ignorance of THEIR laws is an excuse for THEM? They are learning around here that open carry is legal now that they have had to pay out some settlements to those they harrassed for exercising their right to carry.

    Face it your not going to get people with much logic or cognitive abilities to be cops for what they get paid. You will get a lot of macho bullies though.

  • ||

    It's official: It's no longer too early to start shooting them.

  • ||

    ""Any limit on tablet size?""

    Yes, they can't be bigger than what a man can carry down a moutain without help. The font has to be big enough to read without help.

    """Face it your not going to get people with much logic or cognitive abilities to be cops for what they get paid. You will get a lot of macho bullies though."""

    Cops in Nassau county on Long Island make around $70,000 a year. More money doesn't help.

  • ||

    What? I can walk down to the store and pick up some pseudoephedrine-containing cold medicine right now. With no reporting or lists or restrictions at all.

    Oh, right, I'm in China. Repressive, communist China. Right.

  • ||

    """Prosecutors should have some discression in these cases."""

    She had a list of names that bought more than allowed. She got warrants for all on the list. It was more about pushing paper work and numbers than actually spending any time investigating to see if they were involved with meth.

    Stupid laws, passed by stupid lawmakers, elected by stupid people.

  • Invisible Finger||

    "The law does not make this distinction," Alexander said...

    Ah yes. The Eichmann defense strikes again.

  • ||

    TV, it doesn't matter if she was involved with meth. The law doesn't say anything about meth, just pseudoephedrine. She purchased more pseudoephedrine than the law allowed. She broke the law. Case closed. The fact that she's being allowed to participate in a deferral program is an example of our betters being merciful to a serf.

    Bastards.

  • ||

    Stupid laws, passed by stupid lawmakers, elected by stupid people.

    Also known as the Free Pony party.

    I have to wonder, has she voted for vermin who promised her to fix everything and give her lots of free stuff, or did she vote for someone who campaigned on expanding liberty and reducing the size and reach of government?

    If the former, then I say too fucking bad. Cry me a river. You got the gummint you deserve.

  • ||

    Will she be suing the retailer for overserving her?

  • BakedPenguin||

    I love the constant use of the failure of the Drug War to achieve its ostensible results as an excuse for its continuance

    (1. yes, I'm aware this goes for nearly every government program 2. yes, I know the first argument against the WoD is that it's none of the government's business what people do if they're not violating the rights of others. Having said that:)

    ...if she could go to one of the area hospitals and see a baby born to a meth-addicted mother...



    She might realize what this dickhead doesn't: drug laws don't fucking work.

  • ||

    ""Any limit on tablet size?""

    Yes, they can't be bigger than what a man can carry down a moutain without help. The font has to be big enough to read without help.


    I've never seen a Sudafed tablet too big for a man to carry down a mountain w/o help. If there were one, I'd bet it would have a lot more than 3.6 g of pseudoephedrine in it.

    (What's that? You say we're talking about tablets of *laws*? Oh.)

    Never mind.

  • ||

    Ah yes. The Eichmann defense strikes again.

    Followed, as the thunderclap follows the lightning flash, by the Godwin maneuver.

  • ||

    TrickyVic -- you are a bit off on LI cops pay:
    Last year, Nassau County police averaged $137,858 in total pay; Suffolk's earned $136,985. -- Newsday, 9/16/09

  • JB||

    I wish the law of nature would be enforced and this fuckbag Alexander removed from the community.

  • ||

    [The prosecutor] had a list of names that bought more than allowed. She got warrants for all on the list.

    Presumably, she got that list from the pharmacy, because the law also pressgangs the pharmacist into being a law enforcement flunky.

    Assuming Ma Kettle made these purchases from the same guy, why didn't he give her a heads-up?

  • ||

    So aggravating how prosecutors will say that ignorance of the law is no excuse. It certainly seems like that is true for this specific law, but that's part of why the law is so flawed.

    I remember, upon starting law school, in several of my classes being told that hey, guess what, ignorance of the law actually is a valid excuse. Sure, not murder, but it certainly shouldn't be permissible for someone purchasing cold medicine with no criminal intent or knowledge of the legality of the purchase to be criminally liable.

  • damnitall||

    "I feel for her, but if she could go to one of the area hospitals and see a baby born to a meth-addicted mother …"

    You feel for her? you waste tax payer dollars by arrsting a citizen taking care of three babies, embrass a family and offer no apology?

    Sounds like they are trying to rake in money through court cost.

    Thats just stupid.
    Its liek the law that dosn't allow you to deposit more that 3000$ in one day with out reporting it to HLS.

    So what do you do? Deposit 2999$ and drop the rest the next day.

    Stupid.

  • ||

    I remember, upon starting law school, in several of my classes being told that hey, guess what, ignorance of the law actually is a valid excuse.

    I'm perfectly willing to believe that this prosecutor has never seen the inside of a law school classroom.

  • ||

    This is a good example of why I want to see the print media dead. There should be a reporter standing out side this pricks house every morning. And when he walks by, "Excuse me, did you prosecute any parents trying to take care of thier children today?"
    This cocksucker need to be publicly mocked.
    And why isn't ignorance of the law not an excuse? The trial court doesn't have to be fucking omnipotent. That is why there are appeals courts, in case the trial court gets it law.
    I wish there was a superhero who would fuck dudes like this up. "Hey, cocksucker, I am enforcing my sense of justice just as arbitrarily as you are yours. An unfortunately for you, my sense of justice entails braking the legs of prosecutors with no humanity... sorry."

  • Bill||

    So what do you do? Deposit 2999$ and drop the rest the next day.

    The get charged with "structuring".

    Sure, not murder, but it certainly shouldn't be permissible for someone purchasing cold medicine with no criminal intent or knowledge of the legality of the purchase to be criminally liable.

    Wouldn't this be a strict liability offense, because there is no mens rea?

    With the number of laws on the books, how is it possible to be anything but ignorant of the law, or at least the vast majority of it.

  • Jimbo||

    At the risk of throwing gas on the topic of jury nullification, why would this lady accept the deferral?

    If it was me, I'd go for a trial by jury. I don't even think I would get a lawyer.

    Maybe I'm naive, but I think that out of 12 people you would get at least one who would vote to not convict you.

    Besides after watching a fine documentary "Breaking Bad" it seems that cooking meth cures cancer. Why does the prosecutor want granny to die of cancer?

  • BoscoH||

    I feel for her, but if she could go to one of the area hospitals and see a baby born to a meth-addicted mother …"

    When people ask me why I live in Southern California, I often tell them that when I've had a particularly bad week, I can drive a few miles and see the ocean and it makes everything better. I guess despotic prosecutors in Indiana get the same feeling of renewal when they see meth babies.

  • creech||

    Exactly, JW, if you can't show you've been a registered Libertarian for, oh, twenty years, then you deserve to get "good" government, good and hard!

  • ||

    President Bush signed the Patriot Act on March 9, 2006; this legislation included the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005

    Just a friendly reminder of how gawdawful that knee-jerk law was/is. From here.

  • ||

    """TrickyVic -- you are a bit off on LI cops pay:"""

    Wow, it's moved up some since I last heard.

    """Will she be suing the retailer for overserving her?""

    Can she? there is probably no law about how much they can sell, only how much you can buy.

    """She purchased more pseudoephedrine than the law allowed. She broke the law. Case closed. The fact that she's being allowed to participate in a deferral program is an example of our betters being merciful to a serf."""

    Uh, Yeah. As long as you exclude any reason and common sense, you might be right. I would be curious how you view Rosa Parks? Guessing from your post above, she was some criminal that should have just done what the law told her to.

  • ||

    The amounts that may be sold vary between the two types of vendors. Both are permitted to sell a maximum of 3.6 g daily of PSE to any one purchaser. When hydrochloride salt is sold, a correction factor of about 1.22 must be applied to determine the amount of pure (base) PSE allowed. When applicable, a regulated seller may sell 146 tablets daily of a product containing 30 mg of PSE, 73 tablets daily of a product containing 60 mg of PSE, and 36 tablets daily of a product containing 120 mg of PSE.11,13,14 Similarly, if a liquid contains 15 mg of PSE per 5 mL, the purchaser would be restricted to 1,464 mL daily.



    Everybody got it? Ignorance is no excuse!

  • Zeb||

    This is why I make other people buy me Sudafed.

    With the number of laws on the books, how is it possible to be anything but ignorant of the law, or at least the vast majority of it.

    This is the question that always comes to mind when I hear "ignorance of the law is no excuse". If criminal laws were limited to things that make sense, things like don't kill or hurt people and don't take other people's stuff, I could accept that.

  • Hittman||

    Minor quibble, but I don't see how her being a grandmother, or the fact that she has triplet grandchildren, is at all relevant.

    It's very relevant. It provides, in just a few short words, a description of the person and personality involved. If the description was "A convicted ex-con who was on parole after serving time for cooking meth" it would be an entirely different story.

  • Bill||

    This is the question that always comes to mind when I hear "ignorance of the law is no excuse". If criminal laws were limited to things that make sense, things like don't kill or hurt people and don't take other people's stuff, I could accept that.

    I agree, now that the reach of criminal law has expanded exponentially and includes many victimless, non-violent, strict liability laws it seems illogical, as well as patently unfair.

  • ||

    """ignorance of the law is no excuse".""

    When it comes to that statement, I point to those in the LEO community who say cops should be cops, not lawyers.

    Cops don't want to be educated in law.

  • ||

    The war on nasal congestion has gotten out of hand.

    Pseudoephedrine is safe and effective, and new formulations do not work.

    The purchase limits do not allow a person in a family with multiple children or teenagers or adults to purchase enough medication for the whole family.

    Methamphetamine made with sudafed is by most accounts inferior, and the laws merely create a cornered market for lab manufactured methamphetamine, in particular from Mexico.

    Allowing the government this much control over a safe and effective overthecounter medicine is ridiculous enough - but get this - even if your doctor PRESCRIBES a dose higher than the purchase limits, you can not purchase the appropriate amount.

  • ||

    This prosecutor is criminally incompetent if he thinks that being unjustly arrested and having your picture put in the newspaper is acceptable. Making the victim pay court costs too is just utter ridiculous!

  • ||

    I don't want a recipe, but does anyone know how much PSE would be used to make, say, a one-addict, one-day supply of meth? My quick search turned up nothing, and I'd rather avoid googling "meth recipe" from work.

  • Mad Max||

    'Assuming Ma Kettle made these purchases from the same guy, why didn't he give her a heads-up?'

    I would hyopothesize that the sales, and the reporting of the sales to the government, were done by different employees of the pharmacy.

    The actual sale may have been done by a clerk whose only responsibility was to ring up the purchase. The pharmacist him/herself would perhaps have been the one to review the previous week's transactions and report them to the authorities.

  • Mad Max||

    Plus, maybe the clerk got to hand the woman a pamphlet about side-effects.

  • ||

    I guess there are no real bad guys to catch in Vermillian County. What a bunch of dipshits.

  • ||

    Give her "THE CHAIR" the rocking chair.

  • ||

    ""Making the victim pay court costs too is just utter ridiculous!"""

    Note how they tie that to the deferrment program.

  • ||

    Being the government means never having to say, "ransom".

  • Judge Dredd||

    Cops don't want to be educated in law.

    I am the law.

  • Abdul||

    Chris,

    You may be mistaken about the "mistake of law" defense. It rarely applies, and when it does, it usually only mitigates a specific intent required by the law. For example, if you mistakenly believe that the law allows you to break into another's house in order to recover property that is rightfully yours, that may negate the specific intent for burglary (traditionally: breaking and entering the dwelling of another with intent to commit a felony therein). You could still be guilty of a lesser offense, like trespass.

    The only other times where "mistake of law" may apply is where an official tells you that something is legal, but turned out to be wrong, also known as administrative estoppel. For instance, you ask a police officer "Is it okay to drive this way down the street?" and he says yes, but then tickets you for driving the wrong way down a one way street. Similarly, if the city accidentally puts the "no parking" signs on the wrong side of the street, you can't get a ticket for obeying them.

    None of these defenses would have helped grandma. Jury nullification might have, but she probably thought she could easily do 30 days without trouble, so why roll the dice on a jury? BTW, in most states, the defense cannot argue for jury nullification in closing arguments, or ask for jury instructions mentioning the doctrine. The jury has to come up with it on their own.

  • ||

    What a magnificently stupid state.

  • ||

    "I'm simply enforcing the law as it was written." Sounds remarkably like the the excuse Nazi soldiers used. " I was just following orders. Maybe she should consider the ramifications of her actions, and use her brain.

  • Eliot Spitzer||

    So what do you do? Deposit 2999$ and drop the rest the next day.

    The get charged with "structuring".



    Unless you're connected, like me.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Uh, Yeah. As long as you exclude any reason and common sense, you might be right. I would be curious how you view Rosa Parks? Guessing from your post above, she was some criminal that should have just done what the law told her to.


    According to the law at the time, she was a criminal.

  • ||

    God I love these red state laws.

    War on Drugs!
    War on some other thing!
    Zero Tolerance!!!

    I find this article very amusing because their indoctrinated BS has came back to bite an obviously innocent on the bum.

  • ||

    God I love these red state laws.

    You do realize that Indiana voted for Barack Obama, yes?

  • Rabbit Scribe||

    ... if the city accidentally puts the "no parking" signs on the wrong side of the street, you can't get a ticket for obeying them.


    The Hell you can't. Here in Chicago, we recently privatized parking meters. The chuckleheads put dozens of the new meters under overpasses. There's no parking under overpasses by city ordinance. The city has taken the position that it's peoples' responsibility to know that, and cops are ticketing cars irrespective of whether or not the meter's been fed.

  • ||

    Exactly, JW, if you can't show you've been a registered Libertarian for, oh, twenty years, then you deserve to get "good" government, good and hard!

    Yeah, yeah. Are you saying that there shouldn't be any accountability for one's actions?

    This prosecutor is a fuckwit and a half, (and the law is an ass) but at some point, you have to say "You elected him/her/it or someone who pushed the same expansion of power agenda. You might want to start an introspective analysis as to who is at the root of this problem."

    Of course, granny could be a full fledged anarchist for all I know. However, I'm rapidly losing my ability to have any empathy for the messes the status quo-ers have gotten themselves into, by their constant electing and re-electing of power-abusing, gummint-expanding bozos.

  • Abdul||

    Rabbit Scribe,

    That's the type of case for which "administrative estoppel" would be a good defense. Maybe no-one's appealed it yet?

  • Henry Miller||

    "People are like lice-they get under your skin and bury themselves there. You can scratch and scratch until the blood comes, but you can't get permenently deloused. Everywhere I go people are making a mess of their lives. Everyone has his private tragedy. It's in the blood now-misfortune, ennui, grief, suicide. The atmosphere is saturated with disaster, frustration, futility. Scratch and scratch-until there is no skin left. However, the effect upon me is exhilirating. Instead of being discouraged, or depressed, I enjoy it. I am crying for more and more disasters, for bigger calamities, for grander failures. I want the whole world to be out of whack, I want everyone to scratch himself to death."

  • ||

    This woman has been criminalized because of other people's irresponsible actions. It is just sickening. She did nothing wrong.

  • Bruce||

    Tonio wrote

    "an Indiana grandmother of triplets

    Minor quibble, but I don't see how her being a grandmother, or the fact that she has triplet grandchildren, is at all relevant."

    Of course it's relevant! This isn't a Wikipedia article. The intent of the article is more than just informative, it is to publicly embarrass and chastise the prosecutor for arresting the "wrong" people using the power of the media.

  • Fred||

    She did nothing wrong.

    Perhaps not in any moral sense, but she did break the law, the law's the law, and it has to be enforced. We are all responsibly for knowing the laws and keeping in compliance.

    You need know what the PSE amount is within any meds you buy and stay under the limit.

    Anyone who sees what meth can do should support any anti meth laws.

  • ||

    "I feel for her, but if she could go to one of the area hospitals and see a baby born to a meth-addicted mother …"

    Ever live in rural Indiana? I have, it was a horrifying experience. I can guarantee you that the horror of seeing a baby born to a meth-addicted mother is nothing compared to the horror of the offspring of many consecutive generations of inbreeding that has led to the existence of such brain dead 'hoosiers' as the arresting officers and the prosecutor in this story. Forgive them, for they know not what they do... 'God Save me from nice little towns'... the horror, the horror...

  • T||

    We are all responsibly for knowing the laws and keeping in compliance.

    Then, TrollFred, you won't mind when you get arrested for some dumb bullshit you didn't even know was illegal. Right? You won't complain? Because I guarantee you it is not possible to know all the laws governing what you do on a daily basis.

    Anyone who sees what meth can do should support any anti meth laws.

    I've seen what meth does, and it's far less frightening than some jackass willing to imprison people for buying cold medicine.

  • TB||

    Put your money where your mouths are and contact the prosecutor:

    http://www.vermillionprosecutor.com/contact.htm

    (and check out the her pic- http://www.vermillionprosecutor.com/images/Pros1.gif - she may be frenimies with the grandmother from Bingo)

  • ||

    """According to the law at the time, she was a criminal. """

    I was referring to your opinion in the here and now.

    """God I love these red state laws."""

    The state is just trying to comply with the Meth act of 2005. That's from the days when the republicans held 2 of 3 branches of government. The dems probably jumped on board, else be branded pro-drug. I don't it would be fair to blame it on one team. Besides if it's evilness from the old empire, the new one can changed it. But they won't.

  • ||

    I don't think it would be fair to blame it on one team.

  • hmm||

    Fucking mothers tending sick children. We need to get more of them off the street.

    If ever there is a time I hope Karma exists it is times like these. Then again sometimes making your own Karma is worth the risk.

  • Paul||

    And we think that everything's gonna get easier when we 'medicalize' marijuana. I laugh. Meter on my bet's still runnin.

  • Paul||

    Next thing you know, someone's going to suggest that what your doctor prescribes is between the doctor and his patient.

  • Paul||

    I don't think it would be fair to blame it on one team.

    I blame it on team Republicrat.

  • ||

    Minor quibble, but I don't see how her being a grandmother, or the fact that she has triplet grandchildren, is at all relevant.

    "World to end, women and children hardest hurt"

    In our culture women elicit sympathy where men do not. Female sex is always emphasized in "somebody was victimized" stories.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Here in Chicago, we recently privatized parking meters. The chuckleheads put dozens of the new meters under overpasses. There's no parking under overpasses by city ordinance. The city has taken the position that it's peoples' responsibility to know that, and cops are ticketing cars irrespective of whether or not the meter's been fed.


    The law is the law.

  • ||

    What's your position on slavery? It was legal to own a slave once. The law is the law right? Arrest those underground railroad thieves!

  • Candy Lightner||

    Phil | September 28, 2009, 1:36pm | #
    What a magnificently stupid state.

    Hyperion | September 28, 2009, 4:06pm | #
    Ever live in rural Indiana? I have, it was a horrifying experience. I can guarantee you that the horror of seeing a baby born to a meth-addicted mother is nothing compared to the horror of the offspring of many consecutive generations of inbreeding that has led to the existence of such brain dead 'hoosiers' as the arresting officers and the prosecutor in this story. Forgive them, for they know not what they do... 'God Save me from nice little towns'... the horror, the horror...



    Indiana was the LAST state to repeal eugenics.

  • ||

    This is the result of the "if you're not doing anything wrong I don't see a problem with giving up my rights" attitude. Enjoy the quagmire, people.

  • Anonymous||

    I don't think it would be fair to blame it on one team.

    Not then, but what about anything that passes or stays unrepealed now? I think you can place the blame squarely on one "team", just like -- or more so than -- early in Clinton's and Bush's terms.

  • <a||

    Indiana was the LAST state to repeal eugenics.

    And rightfully so. Few states are as badly in need of it's benefits.

  • Bradley D. Thornton||

    Here's the key to the absurdity of arresting ole grandma: "the law does not say the purchase must be made with the intent to make meth."

    They're claiming that the law is the law, and make no apologies for busting the old lady.

    But here's the catch. When was the last time anyone was cited on the road or arrested for failing to disassemble their automobile when meeting a horse-drawn carriage on the road?

    Those laws are still on the books too!

    Bottom line, they wanted to bag the old lady, because they do have discretion, and don't have to bust someone if they don't want to.

    I'll bet her son or daughter p.o.'d the cops so this is how they decided to get even.

  • Mrs Snelly||

    So if you think that you or anyone in your family might get a cold this year and need more than one bottle of cold medicine, apparently you need to purchase a box every week for the entire summer. Or just tell your boss you would have called in sick, but instead you bought a box of sudafed for the second time this week so you in jail...

  • ||

    This is my mother that is listed in the story. I can tell you that she is a good person, is law-abiding, and has never broken a law in her life. I can also tell you that I am the mother of the triplets & they were listed in the story because the 2nd box of medicine was purchased for me because I was home sick with all 3 of the kids home sick also and I wasn't able to get out & get it myself. See, she purchased 1 box at the CVS in Rockville for herself and then purchased the 2nd box at the CVS in Clinton for me a couple of days later. She was just being a good mom and helping me out. And this purchase happened in March -- during cold & flu season -- and her arrest didn't happen until July. All they did was run a report and everyone's name that was tagged as having purchased too much was arrested. No investigation, no background checks, nothing - just arrested. They sent 7 cop cars to her house at 5:45 am, she was handcuffed and taken away. Nice use of taxpayers money! There were so many things done wrong in this arrest, by I can assure you none of them were done by my mom. And I just wonder...are people less of a criminal if they purchase 1 box every week, for 52 weeks out of the year, and then sell them to meth-makers...they would still be within the confines of the law and not purchasing over 3 grams in a week. And, did I mention that Nina put a reply in the Tribune-Star newspaper stating why she was correct in arresting my mom and why she would do it all again, the exact same way, if given the chance.

  • ||

    Yo, fuck Nina Alexander.

  • Thom||

    Isn't this kind of nonsense the reason we have juries? I can't imagine 12 people agreeing to put this woman away. I wouldn't even think it would be risky to take this to trial...

  • ||

    I actually work for a law firm and they offered to take this matter to trial for my mom. She was so humiliated and upset by what had happened that she just wanted to get it over with and thought the deferral would be the quickest route...she didn't want it to drag on for a year or 2 years until it could go to trial. She also would not have been able to tell her story and clear her name in the public eye if she had to wait for the trial to occur - and that was what was most important to her.

  • Tim||

    She was so humiliated and upset by what had happened that she just wanted to get it over with and thought the deferral would be the quickest route

    Sorry she is going through this. I think laws should be written to include intent, otherwise we get these grossly unfair situations that are also a wast of police and judicial resources.

  • ||

    Vermillion County Prosecutor Nina Alexander has proven that the law she defends was applied in an ignorant fashion. Prosecutors like this make the law profession a shameful one. This is an example of pure lack of common sense. I hope the public pushes to remove such a prosecutor who would rather waste taxpayer money on ridiculous cases. Get a life, Alexander and, for that matter, the State of Indiana. Just shameful.

  • ||

    Let me get this straight. President Obama got all involved and called the police STUPID for rightfully arresting his FRIEND Gates, so where is he now to defend this lady in Indiana?

  • Pseudodependent||

    You don't become a DA because you're intelligent. You're either elected or appointed to your position because you were not smart enough to be a successful lawyer or you have political aspirations. Top lawyers start at about $2mil annually coming out of law school. DA's apex at $45-350k depending on where they are in the country...i suspect closer to the 45k end in Indiana. Even a mediocre lawyer can quadruple that in private practice. You think she had much choice about where she got stationed coming out of school? Our best hope as a nation is that she has a sinus infection that eats a hole through her skull(trust me, it happens) and it makes national news as she recants and begs for pseudoephedrine to be available in sufficient dosage.

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  • sathi2000||

    Oh, RC's now a mind reader; he knows what Daschle and Geithner were thinking when they filled out their taxes several years ago.
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    Vermillion County Prosecutor Nina Alexander has proven that the law she defends was applied in an ignorant fashion. Prosecutors like this make the law profession a shameful one. This is an example of pure lack of common sense. I hope the public pushes to remove such a prosecutor who would rather waste taxpayer money on ridiculous cases. Get a life, Alexander and, for that matter, the State of Indiana. Just shameful.
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