Another Fine Meth

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The requisite Newsweek cover story clues in anyone who hadn't noticed that crystal meth is the new heroin crack OxyContin—and Slate's Jack Shafer is quick to puncture the panic.

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  1. More proof of the dreaded liberal media.

  2. On a related topic, here’s a link to a story in today’s NY Times about a bunch of Indian-immigrant convenience store owners arrested for selling meth-making tools like Sudafed, aluminum foil and coffee filters. The DEA maintains that Indian immigrants who are still learning our language should know what it means if a customer says “I’m buying this because I want to finish up a cook;” truth is, I’m a native speaker but I never heard that phrase until I read it in the Times this morning.

    I can’t quite bring myself to think this idiot WOD will ever end, but I wonder if maybe stuff like this means it will–it was easy for a lot of people to not care when they could say to themselves, “Well, I never use drugs so this won’t affect me,” but now the WOD IS affecting everyday people. Can’t buy cold medicine without a prescription. Can’t buy aluminum foil or coffee filters without suspicion. When this meth epidemic runs its course and is replaced by the next deadly drug epidemic, I really, really hope it’s a drug that you can’t manufacture without using healthy things like fresh fruits and vegetables. Let the DEA and the Health Nazis have at each other, and with any luck they’ll both legislate each other into oblivion.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/04/national/04meth.html?

  3. Oh come now Jennifer, we all know that oranges have a great deal of vitamin C, and really should people be taking that without a doctors perscription? I’m sure I won’t feel safe till I am protected from the scourge of those dreaded citrus growers.

    I believe they just had a study debunking VC’s effects on the common cold, so I’m sure the DEA will be glad to step in to protect me.

  4. I tried to buy some Nightquill tablets the other week here in Iowa, and I had to have two forms of ID, sign a form, and it put me in a online database to track how many milligrams of the stuff I’ve bought this month. There’s a monthly limit on the amount one person can buy a month apparently. It took me about 30 minutes to get the cold medicine I wanted. I almost could’ve made an appointment with the clinic and seen a doctor in that amount of time.

  5. Yogi,

    Yes, but don’t you feel safer now that small-government conservatives are protecting you?

  6. Actually, Skeptikos, it IS a fact that women should avoid citrus products during a certain time of the month, because citric acid will make cramps worse than they already are. A few years ago, if someone suggested that this could be used to justify making citrus fruit and juices prescription-only, I would have rolled my eyes at the ludicrous attempt at humor. But nowadays? I could seriously see that happening. “Citrus fruits can make you suffer MISERABLE PAIN! To prevent you from suffering, we’re going to put you in jail.”

  7. Thank you Jennifer,

    I’ll have to use that sometime.

    I’ve been arguing for some time now that we must destroy all original copies of the founding documents of this country, after all, many of them are printed on that devil plant, Hemp.

  8. Still, being from the Midwest, we’ve been wondering how long it would take for meth to become chic in the east. The politicians and law enforcement types have been screaming about meth for a couple years. Living in Fargo, ND and Iowa City the last 6 years, I’ve come in contact with my share of meth users. I don’t have any numbers, but my perception is closer to the Newsweek article more than the Slate article (in regard to number of users, not the scare tactics).

    I know little about the drug, because, well, it doesn’t seem very appealling to me. In undergrad, I got scared after taking too many No-Doze studying for finals, so there’s no way I’d go for something this strong. Besides, my brain moves too fast the way it is, if I’m going to try to relax, I’m gonna use something to slow my brain down…

  9. I got scared after taking too many No-Doze studying for finals

    Just like the classic Saved by the Bell “drug” episode!

  10. I can’t quite bring myself to think this idiot WOD will ever end, but I wonder if maybe stuff like this means it will–it was easy for a lot of people to not care when they could say to themselves, “Well, I never use drugs so this won’t affect me,” but now the WOD IS affecting everyday people.

    Dream on Jennifer. Being inconvienence only gives the sheeple piece of mind. The long wait, getting groped, and having their bags pawed through, makes them feel safer whenever they fly or ride the subway.

  11. Flying on the subway, Warren, involves another type of drug altogether. 🙂

  12. Shouldn’t Mona be coming along to explain why REAL libertarians don’t mind the idea of cold medicine and oranges being prescription-only?

  13. Warren,

    In the Times article, it’s convenience store workers that are being arrested for selling cold medicine, coffee filters, and aluminum foil to informants(who it must be added, ask leading questions to try to entrap them).

  14. The majority of people are like balls in a pinball machine, dependent solely on that plunger, gravity and the various pins to determine their direction in life.
    Reasonoids are Mexican Jumping Beans.

    This is why the WOD will never end.

  15. Just like the classic Saved by the Bell “drug” episode!

    Jessie: “No time! No time! There’s never enough time!”
    Zack: “C’mon Jessie! You have to sing!”
    Jessie: “Sing? Sing? I’m so excited! I’m so excited! I’m so…scared!”

  16. probably the single most compelling line in television history.

  17. Warren,
    Did you say “sheeple piece”?
    You’re makin’ me horny!

  18. Ruthless, I would have to agree with you…I have always understood not trusting “wear it on their sleeves” “big-government” democrats. What I’ve never understood is libertarians who trust republicans, who seem to believe in the exact same “big-government” bull, but with religious undertones, but of course campaign as small-government folks.

    A politician is a politician. The WOD is something both paries support unconditionally.

  19. I just wanted to add to Yogi’s comment. I look at this story and think, “you fucking idiots, you’re only about 7 years late.” I lived in joplin, MO (in the buckle of the bible belt) and the cops there were at wits end. In 1999, in Twin Falls, Idaho (a bastion of very socially conservative Mormans) this peaceful small town was dealing with its meth epidemic.
    I’m never going to give them my name to get some cold medicine. I’ll suffer. I’ll find alternatives. I’ll drive miles before acquiece to this stupidity.

  20. AC Slater: Hey preppy, I need to talk to you… it’s Jessie. She’s on drugs.

  21. Yogi,

    Meth is popular in places where you can’t get coke.

  22. There are places where you can’t get coke? Jesus, no wonder they call it “fly-over country.”

  23. Dream on Jennifer. Being inconvienence only gives the sheeple piece of mind. The long wait, getting groped, and having their bags pawed through, makes them feel safer whenever they fly or ride the subway.

    Warren’s exactly right, unfortunately. I await the inevitable story telling us somthing like:

    Eve Holbrook, 35, who works at a law firm, submitted to be tracked in the government’s pseudo ephedrine data base and being lectured on the amount of cold medicine she was allowed to buy by the pharmacist without being asked and even though she didn’t have a cold and does not use Sudafed. “It gives me a sense of comfort,” she said.

  24. Hey, anything that can help the cops to keep us all off drugs is inherintly a good thing, I’m all for it.

    A few good ideas.

    1) Make all drugs, OTC drugs, vitamins etc. by prescription only.

    2) Eliminate money (cash) and require all purchases to be made electronically. That way the govenment could keep an eye on what we are all up to using data mining software.

    J

  25. Every time Jane, Janet, or Juanita make a post, a kitten dies.

  26. LOL, I remember that Saved by the Bell episode as well. Classic. Seriously, though, I think my brain would explode if I took uppers. Remember the smart guy in “Road Trip”, the pot-smoking science student? If I didn’t have my beer, whiskey, and pot to mellow me out, I’d be freakin’ out 24-7.

  27. I never watched Saved by the Bell. What drug did Jessie take to go back and forth between excitement and fear? Because I want to get some–I’m planning to watch a scary movie this weekend, and this sounds like just the right drug to enhance my experience.

  28. It wasn’t clear, Jennifer. All you need to know is that they were drugs, and drugs are bad, mmkay?

  29. You watched ‘Saved By The Bell’? And you remember individual episodes? And you are unashamed to say so publicly?

    You people give me the willies.

  30. It was clear, Randolph. They were….
    Caffiene pills!

  31. If David’s right about the caffeine then I’d say Jessie’s dealer gave her bad stuff. I’ve had eight espressos since this morning and I’m neither excited nor scared.

    You guys are all talking about me, aren’t you? Warren just insulted me! Skeptikos want to take my ornages away! I’ll bet you bastards all think I’m paranoid, don’t you? Don’t you?!?

  32. “Ornages.” You guys think I’m a lousy typist too, huh?

  33. Aside from parroting the usual rah-rah-War-On-Drugs propaganda, the Newsweek article actually did make one good point: If meth is really so destructive and widespread, why are the Feds still focused on pot?

  34. Juanita, why do you hate the kittens so?

  35. Why is Hit and Run all meth all the time these days? I am starting to think Reason is being published out of a double-wide trailor somewhere in rural West Virginia.

  36. Joe/Yogi:

    As a resident of Iowa City myself for 12 years, I guarantee you, however popular meth may be here, this town is NOT a place where you can’t get coke. Half the undergrads are white middle class and upper middle class kids from the Chicago suburbs, and they have LOTS of coke. I have no idea what the availability of coke is in the rest of the state, though, so Joe’s point may still be largely correct.

    Yogi: The monthly limit on pseudoephedrine is 700mg, and you have to be 18 years old to buy it. A family of 3 all with allergies and/or colds may easily exceed 700mg in a month. (Recommended dosage 30mg 3 to 4 times daily–90mg x 3 people x 30 days = 810mg.)

  37. tsiroth-

    In Iowa City, as most towns with big unniversities, you can get anything your heart desires. Walking around town, you can immediately tell which kids are natives Iowans and which are Chicago subburb kids. They come here to school because the town has a 19+ bar entry law. Then they wonder why they have a high underage drinking problem. But when busted, they just pay for the fines with their student loan/parents money, and everyone wins. The only problem is, as a grad student, you need to know which bars are the teen bars to avoid the random freshmen puking on your shoes. There’s really nothing more annoying than a 19 year old that can’t hold their liquor. What are they teaching these kids nowadays?

  38. “Walking around town, you can immediately tell which kids are natives Iowans and which are Chicago subburb kids.”

    The Chicago suburb kids are walking around in trucker hats, while the townies are wearing baseball caps at rakish angles.

  39. Joe: Heehee

    The Chicago suburb kids call everyone “Chief” for some reason.

    Yogi: I drove a taxi here on Friday & Saturday nights for 2 years. I’ve seen enough of drunken college kids to last me a lifetime. *shudder*

  40. Some musin’s…

    1) Given that Time/Newsweek are generally behind the curve, this could indicate that the meth craze has already passed it’s peak and is on the decline…

    2) Anyone besides me ever notice that Ann Coulter never shows her teeth when she smiles? Ya don’t suppose…

  41. Jim,

    A little late – I think musing #1 was the very first sentence in the linked piece from Shafer… But probably true, yes. 🙂

  42. … speaking of being behind the curve 🙂

  43. … speaking of being behind the curve 🙂

    Oops! In the words of Harlan Ellison, mea maxima goddam culpa…

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