Jeff Ackerman: Patriot Act takes on meth but hurts my cold | TheUnion.com
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Jeff Ackerman: Patriot Act takes on meth but hurts my cold

Unfortunately, the news came at a time when my head was filled with boogers. Sorry to be so blunt. I’ve had this head cold for a month, it seems, and I just want to unscrew my dome and drain it.

According to news sources, the new and revised Patriot Act – designed to protect us from terrorists and other nonpatriots – will also protect us from … cough, cough … Sudafed.

That’s right, cold sufferers, use Sudafed for anything but a cold and go to Guantanamo Bay.



“Starting 30 days after President Bush signs the law into effect, people seeking relief for a runny nose (people like me) will have to produce identification and sign a register to purchase the products containing pseudoephedrine,” read the story. “They will also face limits on the number of pills they can buy (I needed 10,000 pills just to kill the boogers). Purchasers will be restricted to 300 30-milligram pills in a month, or 120 in a single day. There is an exception for ‘single use’ packages. Such products must be stored out of the reach of customers.”

Why the new law? Blame the cranksters, or methheads. You know … the ones who are ripping our rural communities apart in their thirst for a methamphetamine high. It seems many of the “cooks” of the synthetic drug have been buying Sudafed by the shopping-cartload so they can extract the pseudoephedrine they need to finish the meth recipe. Most of the chemicals used to make methamphetamine can also be used to kill boogers and clean the front of a brick building. And you wonder why a crankster has dental problems?




Why couldn’t they have chosen something other than Sudafed (like liver, or broccoli, for example)? It’s the cold season, for crying out loud, and now I need a note from home to buy cold medicine?

“Can I help you?” the lady at the counter will ask.

“Yeb,” I’ll say, trying my best to speak with a nose full of boogers. “I’d like sub of does Sudafeb pills for my code.”

“Some what?” she’ll ask.

“Sudafeb!” I’ll stammer, one sleeve under my nostrils. “I need sub Sudafeb!”

“Will you be making crank?” she may ask.

“Some what?” I’ll ask.

And we’ll go back and forth like that for the next 30 minutes until I finally surrender and go searching for some cotton balls to stick up my nose, cursing the crankheads up and down the pharmacy aisles.

Coincidentally, there was a special on the A&E channel Sunday night called, “A County In Crisis,” detailing the battle a small county in Missouri has been waging against methamphetamine use. It could just as easily have been Nevada County, or any rural county in America.

“You’re more likely to find some meth in someone’s pockets than you are chewing gum,” a local Franklin County resident was quoted in the A&E special.

The drug has the county in a death grip of lost parents, lost children and lost hope.

One fellow lost his eyesight after the batch of meth he was cooking at home blew up in his face. The ammonium nitrate he was using was also used as a component in the bomb that blew up the federal building in Oklahoma. Think about that next time you wonder what your neighbor is cooking that smells like dirty socks.

Perhaps the Sudafed ban was included in the Patriot Act bill after someone realized that meth is probably the No. 1 homeland security threat to America.

According to the program, one ounce of homemade meth generates 10 pounds of hazardous waste. You need to start wondering where that waste is going, next time you read about a meth lab bust here.

And then think about Wolf Creek, or the drains under your house.

It might also be a good idea to stay away from large trucks on the highway. One trucker featured on the program said he got hooked on meth when he realized he could stay up all night, driving longer and faster. What a wonderful notion. Our national highways filled with cranksters driving thousands of tons of steel at 75 miles per hour.

According to the story, the bill also authorizes $585 million for law enforcement, training and research on treatment, with a new provision that creates a penalty of up to 20 years in prison for people who sell or cook meth at home where a child lives – even if the child is not present at the time.

None of that will stop the flow of meth from Mexico, where most of the “legitimate” stuff originates and flows through our porous borders. But we wouldn’t want to upset our neighbors to the South, would we?

Sorry to sound so cranky. It’s just that I have a cold and the cranksters have made it way more difficult than it needs to be for me to score some cold pills.

It’s just a good thing they haven’t figure out a way to make meth with Oreo cookies.

Jeff Ackerman is the publisher of The Union. His column appears on Tuesdays. Contact him at 477-4299, jeffa@theunion.com, or 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley 95945.


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