A pseudo war on drugs

I’m sick as a dog this week which is why I haven’t been posting much.  I’m propped up with pseudoephedrine at the moment which is successfully suppressing the symptoms but has my body sending me weird signals.  My lungs feel really dry which is better than full of phlegm but it feels unnatural.  Tsunamis of phlegm are just waiting to overwhelm my lungs the moment the drug effects recede.

Feeling like crap is bad enough but these days even buying decent cold and flu medication can be a challenge.  Part of trade treaties between Australia and the US mean our government is compelled to follow most of America’s fucked-up “War on Drugs” policies.  It isn’t quite as insane here as it is in the land of the free but it has its moments.

One of the fun effects is when a chemist treats you like a criminal for buying a legal product.  Apparently the pseudoephedrine in the cold pills can be used to make actual ephedrine i.e. speed.  I can see why this might make you suspicious of someone who buys 20 packets but why the fuck would it make you hassle someone buying a single packet?

To their credit, the chemists tend not to “profile”.  You don’t have to look like a greasy biker to get hassled.  You can be wearing a suit and tie (as I do for work) and still be given the 3rd degree.

Suspicious Chemist: “Why do you want these pills?”

ME: (snorking back a litre of snot) “Because I have a cold.”

SC: (pointing to pills that don’t contain pseudoephedrine) “Why don’t you get these ones.”

ME: “Because they don’t work.  I feel like crap and I’d like some pills that actually suppress the symptoms a little and make me feel better for a while.”

SC: “We have to be careful because these pills can be used to manufacture illegal drugs.”

ME: “Why do you even sell them if they’re so dangerous?”

Apparently this was a bad question as the chemist started getting really belligerent with me at this point.

SC: “I’ll have to see a photo ID before I can sell them to you.”

ME: “Are you saying you won’t sell me a single package of a legal, non-prescription product without seeing my ID?”

SC: “That’s the rules.”

ME: “Are you saying there’s a law that makes you do that?”

At this point he indicates a sign on the wall labelled “pseudo watch” that says they’re doing their part to stop illegal drug manufacturing by monitoring sales of products containing pseudoephedrine.  This makes me laugh because “pseudo watch” sounds to me like they’re only sort-of watching.  And me giggling apparently convinces the chemist that I’m high.

The upshot of which is that it seems we now live in a world where some tiny minded dweeb can jerk you around as much as they like with no justification.  “The rules” have become more important than the actual law.  Let alone treating people decently.  Life is really looking rosy for all the little Hitlers of the world.

And this wasn’t even in an airport.

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15 Comments

Filed under General Angriness

15 responses to “A pseudo war on drugs

  1. Hey…don’t knock it. I’m all for those minimum wage workers pestering people for Psuedo products. You would be too if the house next door to you suddenly EXPLODED because the crack heads inside didn’t properly ventilate their production. ;p

  2. Ahh, Mr. Angry, you make me laugh even when snorking up litres of snot. Feel better soon.

  3. nomoregoatsoup

    Did you remember to ask how those pills can be used to manufacture illegal drugs?

    If you could post instructions, I’d really be much obliged.

  4. I feel your pain.

    I have some rather severe seasonal allergies . . . nothing else works . . .

    But here in the US they’ve come up with a limitation on the number of pills I can get . . . I’m allowed to go to the chemist and get fifteen pills at a time, no more than once a month. Since they only work for 24 hours, I get to choose the days during allergy season I want to be miserable and the days I want to feel good – which in turn means the days I’m going to be a mucus draining asshole or the days I’m going to be pleasant.

  5. I’m not the kind of person to argue much, but I’ve seen the effects of speed first hand on minors…I’m sorry you were delayed, but perhaps the 4-5 minutes he spent annoying you was in his mind assuring that you don’t ruin a life.

  6. CinnKitty: exploding meth labs are natural selection in action

    moonbeam: snot snorking has its humourous aspects

    goatsoup: yeah, that would make things much easier for me

    Rick: and it doesn’t help that suffering from an allergy or an extreme cold makes you look like a junkie freak

    Sir Skeleton: ah yes, apart from the fact that harrassing individuals buying single packages does nothing to protect children. Not really a valid argument.

  7. Vladimir

    How did the story end? Did you show him a photo ID?

    CV Rick: why don’t you co-operate with somebody who doesn’t have any allergy? Just one more person could buy you extra 15 pills – and you’re set for an entire month instead of half. Or why not to make some stockpile of those drugs off-season?

  8. Vladimir,

    I didn’t worry about it until allergy season hit . . . because it’s never been a problem in the past. This year I was blindsided with the new regulations. (I actually wrote a rant about it here

    Next year I’ll stockpile. Meanwhile I’m standing outside the store like an underage drinker trying to convince someone to buy pseudoephedrine for me.

  9. E0157H7

    The beauty of living in the US during The War On Drugs™ is that it is incredibly easy to just get good prescription drugs to abuse. While people with colds are being asked if they make meth, others are eating synthetic opiates and “diet pills” like skittles. It’s mostly more of the illusion of something being done, an overreaction to ease minds. It’s a variation on the old theory that those who appear to be the most upright and moral are the most twisted in the dark.

  10. Maybe they think you’re a potential terrorist and you’re going to use the ingredients to make a bomb, you mix it with fertilizer or something…

  11. shadowshian

    hmm common adverse drug reaction central nervous system stimulation, sleeplessness, nervousness, excitability, dizziness and anxiety. rare averse drug reactions hallucinations, arrhythmias, hypertension, seizures and ischemic colitis. sounds like fun drug. here pharmacists dont really ask anything when it comes to overthe counter stuff and even in prescription drugs main thing they tell you are likeliest side-effects even then they dont ask your ID unless its SII (Social Insurance Institution) card then you get a discount from the prescription meds. got to love finnish health care.

  12. Vlad: I gave him my ID because I wanted the drugs. I’ve found about 1 in 3 acts like a jerk in this way

    Rick: You paint quite a picture

    E0157H7: Yeah, I rate it the same as airport security which is security theatre as opposed to actual security. It’s all a show.

    Michelle: yeah, they roll that excuse out regularly.

    shadow: sounds very… enlightened.

  13. Bizarro

    You may put those acting classes to your benefit, but do not impersonate Mr. Boring.

  14. Musinex is great if you’ve got congestion in the lungs. The only active ingredient is Guaifenesin 400mg. It is an expectorant and that works on the head too. I’m allergic to every damn thing that grows in Texas, and this really helps.

  15. There was also a wicked cold going around Taiwan. Especially if you work with kids like I do. I’ve been nursing a cold for almost two weeks. It’s getting better and I’m feeling better, but it’s really annoying. I didn’t take any time off and used some cough syrup for the day that it was really bad. The rest of the time, I drank lemon or herb tea, had a scarf on in 30 degree weather and put vicks on my chest.

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