Thursday, September 28, 2006

Soapbox Rantings

Rain, a restless soul, and a plethora of sirens in the near distance push me from the comfort of my repose. For the second night in a row, I am faced with the dilemma: do I go back to sleep and feel like a groggy piece of crap in an hour and a half when my daughter opens her little life to the world, or do I stay awake and pump myself full of coffee like I did yesterday? The caffeine overdose resulted in a manic amount of posting on zefrank's site. I am not even sure I want to go back there today, I am so sick of seeing myself post. Sometimes, it's almost OCD-ish, pushing the reply button before I even know I'm doing it. Just gotta check to make sure the button still works, one more time, if it doesn't work, the house might burn down.....

Query of the hour:

Why don't I just start making crystal meth?

I'm already being treated like I'm cooking. The new and improved federal law doesn't go into effect until September 30, which mandates a personal monthly minimum of 9.2 grams. Some stupid web article estimates that to be "about three packages." Um, hello? The only packages I can find are .6 grams each (20 pills per pack, 30 mg per pill - or am I doing the math wrong?!). So I should be allowed to buy 15 packages per month, which averages out to one 20 pack every other day. Which is half the amount of Cold & Sinus meds my husband (who suffers from constant sinus problems and refuses to go to the doctor) consumes every thirty days.

I'm supposed to fill out and sign this little piece of paper every time I buy the shit. I admit to looking for the space where I sign over my next child, and peering behind the counter to be sure Rumplestiltskin isn't lurking there. I fail to see the ultimate logic in the endeavor. Unless there is going to be this mass, nation-wide computer program magically instituted on September 30, how is this law going to really work? All I have to do is make a rotation of the 15 to 20 or so pharmacies in my area. I haven't tried buying the stuff from Pennsylvania is ten minutes to the southeast. I could trip over the state line any time I wanted to and pop into a RiteAid to get our "fix" when I've tapped out my connections in my hometown. All these thoughts are racing through my mind and it really cheeses me off that my power as a consumer is so off-kilter over a drug that isn't illicit, isn't considered to be a "controlled" substance, nor is it a drug for which a prescription is required before purchase and use. But yet, this is a DEA matter, and I'm left feeling like some kind of drug addict cruising the streets for my next cold med high.

Sidebar: in the same article referenced above, the flaw -- the gaping hole -- in the law is acknowledged, but that doesn't seem to be much of a bother for our government. Surprise! Another poop law jumps out of the cake. Also, this article very clearly posited that the law leaves room for further interpretation, later on down the road. Which is good, later on down the road. But for right now, at is infancy, it makes it a truly bullshit law. Stoking the fire under my bloomers to full supernova efficiency, this article stated that it's still on the shoulders of pharmacists and pharmacy employees to essentially profile customers who wish to purchase pseudoephedrine products; that people who are noticeably shaky, uncommonly thin, and exhibit dental problems are prime suspects for the use and/or propagation of crystal meth. Well, guess what? My husband was in an accident recently and his top plate was cracked. He has a legitimate health problem that caused a dentifrice decline, his rather thin frame, and ironically, since he takes so much pseudoephedrine, he can appear shaky at times. I have encouraged him to quit taking so much, but as his wife I can only lead him to the water. And now, I feel like I'll be damned if someone else forces him to drink.

Oh yeah. And I wanna know where all the back door selling is going on. Sign me up.

Back to my original train of thought. Since this is a federal law, mandated by the government and currently under the umbrella of the DEA, the big question is -- if it can be proved that I have purchased more than my 9.2g monthly allotment, what is my crime? Moreover, what is my punishment? Would Dostoyevsky be able to wrap his head around the idea? Is it possible and reasonable to assume I could be considered a federal criminal of some kind even when I'm not manufacturing crystal meth? How would the law justify any sort of federal retribution against me in this case? Are they going to hang my picture up in the stores, am I going to be America's Most Wanted Housewife? Will I soon be demonized by John Walsh, my neighbors interviewed -- she was a nice lady, kept to herself, I can't believe she bought so much Advil Cold and Sinus, and right next door -- It all requires further net research, which pisses me off even more because I have already waded through so much poorly written and drawn-up law speak, enough to choke a horse, or a small horse -- maybe a pony.

The bitter irony yesterday at my local grocery store....I waited in line at their bloated little pharmacy, and the cashier recognized me from two days previous. She asked me casually, with nervous eyes,

"Is this for someone else in the family? What was your last name again?"

And I immediately felt my anger mount to a bubbling orchestra of expletive-laden responses, just tingling upon my tongue. Instead, I sighed, and said, "No. It's for me. Just like it was for me last time. But I don't see how that has anything to do with me buying this stuff today because the law doesn't go into effect for another two days, and it's not a law for me, it's a law FOR YOU."

"Um, I don't know what you mean by that."

"I mean, the law is about the sale of pseudoephedrine products. It is not about the purchase. Since my purchase is not an issue, you really don't need to know who I'm buying it for."

She shot a look up over the dais, at the pharmacist, who oversees all from above (asshole). He gives me this withered look before telling her quietly, "Just sell them to her." I paid in cash and said as loudly as I could over the several conversations in progress around me, the sound of the grocery business wafting about in the rafters, and the bad muzak from a speaker directly above, "Now I can put that new chemistry set to good use."

Fifteen minutes later, in the self serve check out lane where I scanned the last of my purchases -- a six pack of Guinness Extra Stout -- the check out girl took the driver's license I extended in her direction and just handed it back to me without a second glance. I was too tired, deflated, and defeated to level a scathing public indictment over that, but inside I was still seething. The automaton at the pharmacy counter wrote down my ID number and studied it like she was looking for Waldo, and then I can't even get the slag at the checkout to look at it (after she asked for it) when its procurement might prove I am not indeed of age. So don't remind me I haven't been 21 for a while. It's the principle of the thing, I tell you!

I was half hoping someone would stop me before I left. I really wanted to get into it with the security guard, who has to be at least 60 years old and looks about as imposing as my sister in her favorite Victoria Secret pajamas. If I played my cards right, I could position myself against the wind when he launched his pepper spray, and then laugh at him before I ran away.

I vow to rage against the dying of this light. If for no other reason than to get the stupid drug completely outlawed, because I personally think pseudoephedrine should be a controlled substance. But until it is, I should be able to buy it, with impunity, to my little pea pickin heart's content.


At 8:58 AM, Anonymous brokenpoetrygirl said...

yeah, but i can still kick yer husband's arse in my victoria's secret pj's any day

*sticking tongue out while trying to look all tough n badass-like*

heh;) great rant! love you!

At 5:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least you can buy the stuff. In Oregon, it's Rx only. I am stuffy right now.

At 8:35 AM, Blogger Ellabee said...

I didn't find out until after my rant that it is actually worse for folks like you! I had no idea there were some places where it was Rx. That really sucks.


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