Drug Laws Lead to Absurd Results

Federal drug laws can sometimes lead to paradoxical results. Consider the following story from the Drug Law Blog:

The United States Gets Tough on Methamphetamine By Locking Up All Its Cold Medicine, Forcing Tweakers To Import Speed From Mexico Instead and Messing Up the Formula For Nyquil. In March, President Bush signed the renewal of the Patriot Act, which included the Combat Methamphetamine Act. As a result of that piece of legislation, drugs like Sudafed that contain pseudoephedrine, which can be used to make methamphetamine, had to be put behind the counter of pharmacies. The result is that domestic meth production has indeed fallen, but much of the slack has been taken up by skyrocketing the production of meth south of the border. Not only that: they changed the formula in Nyquil to take out the pseudoephedrine so they wouldn't have to put it behind the counter! As the blog, The Consumerist noted: "Nyquil has ditched the decongestant pseudoephedrine in favor of phenylephrine and doxylamine succinate. Neither apparently works as effectively as the pseudoephedrine, either on a sick person's nose or in the crusty coffee machine carafe of the apocryphal neighborhood meth cooker."


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