Pubdate: Sun, 29 Aug 2004
Source: Dallas Morning News (TX)
Copyright: 2004 The Dallas Morning News
Author: Buford C. Terrell
Note: Author is Professor of law, South Texas College of Law, Houston


Re: "Methbusters - Simple laws restrict supply for labs," last Sunday's

You said: "State Rep. Leo Berman of Tyler is working with state and
federal agencies to craft a law to put cold medicines out of reach in
Texas, too." This should read "put cold medicines out of the reach of

Many of the new, so far untested, state laws limit sales of Sudafed
and other common cold remedies to licensed pharmacies and even to
behind-the-counter sales. If you live in a small town without a
pharmacy, would you want to have to drive to the nearest city every
time you get the sniffles - or wait until morning if your town is big
enough for a pharmacy, but not a 24-hour one?

These laws inconvenience millions of good citizens to make an
ineffective gesture toward solving a problem caused by bad drug laws.
The problem with methamphetamine labs is not that they manufacture
drugs, but that they manufacture illegal drugs. Amphetamines have been
manufactured by legal pharmaceutical companies since the 1930s, with
no environmental or health problems because those factories are well
regulated and inspected.

If we treated drug abuse like the medical problem it is, and not as a
criminal enterprise, then we would not face problems caused by those
ineffective drug laws.

Buford C. Terrell

Professor of law, South Texas College of Law, Houston
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