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Recently, the Kentucky State Senate approved a bill that sets limits on individual purchases of over-the-counter allergy medicine. Lawmakers are foolishly hoping that the new regulations will curb the production of methamphetamines by making it harder to procure some active ingredients that can be found in common cold medicine, most notably pseudoephedrine.
Originally, the legislation required a doctor’s prescription for nearly all cold medicine, but was later changed so that an individual may purchase up to 7.2 grams per month and 24 grams per year. It is obvious that Kentucky lawmakers are searching for any imaginable way to curb methamphetamine production, and they are willing to go to the extreme to appear proactive on the issue. Drug abuse is a serious problem and must be addressed, but this intrusive regulation simply is not the answer.
With the national unemployment level at 8.2% and many more families struggling to make ends meet, it is immoral to restrict access to cold medicine. How can a working class family afford to pay an extra $100 to see a doctor for something as trivial as seasonal allergies? In all reality, this person will have to take time off work—which they probably can’t afford to do—in order to tap their foot in a doctor’s waiting room before finally speaking to a physician for a matter of minutes to receive a prescription. It should be noted that Louisvillewas recently ranked the 3rd worst city in the country for seasonal allergies – this scenario would be the norm, not the exception.
Take a step back and examine this situation purely from a policy standpoint: state legislators are handing down an arbitrary limit to law abiding citizens regarding how much of an over-the-counter medicine they can purchase. While well intentioned, this policy comes nowhere near passing the smell test. In fact, the people ofKentuckyshould be very wary of any legislative body that is so presumptive as to brashly intrude into their personal lives without a second thought.
It is truly outrageous that legislation of this sort is being considered, much less passed, by any legislature in the United States. Kentucky maintains strongly conservative roots and the push for increased government intrusion into individuals’ healthcare should be igniting a fearsome public outcry. With Obamacare hearings beginning in the Supreme Court, this issue will only continue to gain airtime. One would think lawmakers would have learned after the huge pushback against big government in the 2010 elections, but it appears the folks in the Kentucky State Senate were not paying attention. As the saying goes, “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”