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April 07, 2007

The Nanny State Strikes Again

There are times when words fail even the editorial staff:

First, the state said you must make a special trip to the pharmacy counter to buy certain cold medicines. That was to curb production of methamphetamine.

Now, a St. Louis legislator wants you to do the same thing to buy an even more common household item — baking soda — because it's used to make crack cocaine.

Sales of cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed, are strictly regulated in Missouri. Customers must show a photo ID when they buy the medicine. Pharmacists must log the names and addresses of buyers, including how much they buy. People under 18 may not buy the medicines.

The sponsor of the baking soda bill, Rep. Talibdin El-Amin, D-St. Louis, said the same approach was needed for baking soda because crack cocaine is often produced by dissolving powdered cocaine in a mixture of water and baking soda.

We are struggling to come up with an appropriate slogan to oppose this ill-advised legislation... something along the lines of, "Muffins don't kill people. People kill people."

Posted by Cassandra at April 7, 2007 09:01 AM

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Well, given that one third of the ingredient list is vital to life and falls free from the sky, making it difficult at best to regulate, and another third is already illegal, what other choice do they have?

I mean really, doesn't this ridiculous proposal pretty starkly define how the millions (billions?) of dollars spent annually trying to regulate the trafficking of a powdered substance that is vanishingly rare in comparison to the vast quantities of common baking soda are being wasted? If it is the case, as it surely must be to warrant the government regulation of a common household cooking product, that cocaine is so commonly available that the only way to prevent the production of crack is by regulating household chemicals (is bleach next?), then surely the money spent on the presumed restriction of the supply of cocaine is being wasted.

Posted by: HogarthKramer at April 7, 2007 11:33 AM

LOLOLOL Barley and hops are next - you know, because of the minors.

Posted by: c.a. Marks at April 7, 2007 11:39 AM

It's still not as bad as banning CO2 emissions, or...air.

Posted by: Joatmoaf at April 7, 2007 12:01 PM

So... what does he expect to stop folks from just stealing it?

And how will he tell the difference between my mom-- who uses it on EVERYTHING-- and the crook that probably won't buy half as much, because he doesn't care if his fridge is clean smelling?

Posted by: Foxfier at April 7, 2007 12:06 PM

I clean with baking soda - I use it instead of Comet b/c it's less toxic, just as I use vinegar a lot.


Posted by: Cassandra at April 7, 2007 12:10 PM

Don't be so sure water won't be regulated soon. CO2 emissions are being regulated now, so soon you'll only be allowed to breathe out if you do it into a CO2 capture machine.

Posted by: Major Mike at April 7, 2007 02:52 PM

Yeah, that Dihydrogen monoxide is nasty stuff!

Somebody send this link to Rep. El-Amin:


I'm sure that he (she?) will get on it right away.

Posted by: Eric Blair at April 7, 2007 04:24 PM

They can have my baking soda when they pry it out of my cold, dead hands.

Posted by: Grandma Moses at April 7, 2007 05:14 PM

I wonder if cocaine would keep my freezer smelling fresh?

Posted by: Pile On® at April 7, 2007 05:32 PM

Does this person even have a clue as to the myriad of uses for baking soda?? Baking, cleaning, odor control. I'm sure I'm missing some, too (ignoring it's use in the production of illegal drugs). What legitimate use, besides dealing with symptoms of colds and allergies, do you use pseudophedrine? Trying to compare cold medicines to baking soda to control the illegal drug trade is ludicrous!

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at April 7, 2007 05:45 PM

Once more some politician, desperate to be seen as Tough on Crime, fighting the War on Drugs, or otherwise involved in a campaign worthy of capitalisation, has gone completly over the top.

Posted by: Suricou Raven at April 7, 2007 07:07 PM

Pile On,
I have it good authority that it doesn't. Every time you sniff your freezer for odors.....well, you get the picture.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at April 7, 2007 09:14 PM

Baking soda kills people like spoons made Rosie O'Donnel FAT.

Posted by: Rich at April 8, 2007 09:08 AM

Things go better with Coke, Pile Juan. I use baking soda to make Ms. Edna Lewis' baking powder.
I have been patrolling my house with my water pistol loaded with vinegar, JIC some jackbooted storm trooper wants to raid my kitchen.

Posted by: Cricket at April 8, 2007 09:11 AM

Miss Ladybug, I am not for drugs, but I choose not to use them. Since my children are being raised by me and not the state, they have also made a moral decision (not an ethically equivalent one) to not use drugs.

HOWEVER, I get Benadryl for my one child who suffers horribly from allergies. I use homeopathics and vitamins to get the worst of the symptoms under control, but every now and then
the poor lad breaks into uncontrollable fits of sneezing to where he feels faint. So, I give him one Benadryl (he is five feet eight and weighs 140 pounds and is 13 years old) and within fifteen minutes the sneezing has stopped and his nose and eyes aren't running.

Unlike some parents who give their children meds to control their behavior...

One last snark: I wonder how Hollywood is going to take this latest attack on their ability to control their bulimia?

Posted by: Cricket at April 8, 2007 09:18 AM

Benadryl is kinda funny. It works for my allergies with no adverse affects. However, I had a friend in college who would take Benadryl and be pretty much worthless for a while after - all she would feel like doing is sleep. Funny how different people reaction to a particular med.

I do think we have become too quick to medicate. I think there's pretty much a medication for just about anything that ails you. Antibiotics are to readily prescribed sometimes, and we are now getting drug-resistant strains of viruses and bacteria. I try not to run to the doctor at the drop of a hat - the body needs to be given a chance to take care of itself.

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at April 8, 2007 11:20 AM

That was part of the reason it was considered a narcotic...it had a soporific effect on some people. The dosage needed is a bit higher than what is in the OTC name brand but some people have a lower tolerance than others.

I had been given compazine IV for a migraine...my reaction was to look for the nits I just KNEW were invading my space...I was nearly out of my mind. I had to be given benadryl to counter the compazine, as I was told that that was an allergic reaction.

I do remember being scraped up off the bed and escorted to my car to wait for the Engineer to drive me home. Headache? All gone. I have had a total of three or four migraines in my life
and only two were bad enough that I needed
meds. The other two went away with cool cloths and dark rooms and total quiet.

But Benadryl, in a pharaceutical grade with a clinical dose is seriously wicked stuff.

Posted by: Cricket at April 8, 2007 12:46 PM

Anyone opposed to this legislation hates children. As for a slogan, how about:

"Drug prohibition: will slowly erode your civil rights, increase crime due to profit incentives, and take away your cold medicines and baking soda, too. For the children."

Posted by: Mrs. Tingle at April 9, 2007 04:41 PM

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