Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Don’t get sick in Union, Missouri. Not if you need Sudafed in a hurry.

Union is the second city in the nation to require a prescription for sales of medicine containing pseudoephedrine. This is an active ingredient in Sudafed, a drug that good-hearted and responsible people might take to relieve nasal congestion.

However, pseudoephedrine can also be used to make methamphetamine, a very popular and very strong (and very illegal) psychoactive drug.

The reasoning seems to be that if something used in a good thing can also be used in a bad thing, you can’t trust people to use the good thing without erecting blocks to said usage.

If applied consistently, such a regulatory principle would mean you’d have to get a prescription for 80 percent of the stuff in your home. Did you know that if you gargle with detergent, it can be injurious to your health? No wonder you need a doctor’s prescription.

Over at the Show-Me Institute’s blog, Sarah Brodsky notes that when sufferers have no good alternative to Sudafed, they must call in sick, “find time to go to the doctor’s office . . . or go to work unmedicated.” She adds that unmedicated allergy sufferers aren’t exactly at their best.

But hey. The important thing is politicians pretending to do good by making it harder for us to do good for ourselves. Right?

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. I enjoyed this report on pseudoephedrine regulation in Missouri, but I need to point out that I did not write the post linked to above. It is by my colleague, Chaya Kristen Chopra.

  2. Ray Kroeger says:

    I disagree with the logic. I think pseudoephedrine should be discontinued. Meth is such a terrible drug and pseudoephedrine is not all that useful. There are many other medications that do the same thing ie provide a small amount of relief.

  3. Joseph Fiacco says:

    Paulo Jacobs:
    I read your column frequently.
    Please note: I live in Bend, Oregon.In regard to Sudafed the surrounding states require a signature to purchase it for congestion. A prescription is required to purchase Sudafed throughout the entire state of Oregon. This is costly and inconvenient especially since I am a senior living on a small pension. This was ordered by the Governor here. My understanding is most of the metamphetamine comes in from Mexico so it solves nothing. Thankyou for your column. Joe Fiacco

  4. voxoreason says:

    I read about this when a mother bought a bottle of this stuff for her son, then found she needed to buy another bottle (same product except for the age of user, like children’s aspirin vs adult) for her grandfather. She bought both within a week, triggering the “law,” so they arrested her!

    It does seem like the police might have made a quick review of the situation and used a bit of common sense.

  5. Andrew Terhune says:

    Why not just make meth legal? Would solve a lot of problems and help take the crime and money out of the drug trade. If people want to abuse drugs in the privacy of their own homes, who am I to stop them?

  6. Mike Roberts says:

    Ray Kroeger – I am glad that you do not suffer serious allergies, but I suffer from occasional sinus induced migraines. If I take two Sudafed tablets at the first signs, I can be rid of the problem in less than an hour. Otherwise, I am non-functional for half a day or longer. I have found nothing else that works, but I am certainly open to your suggestions.

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