Modeled Behavior has an interesting post on the key ingredient in meth, which apparently exists in cold medicine. I’m sure RA Dickey is saying “ummm, wasn’t this covered three years ago in the first episode of Breaking Bad?” Well I don’t watch that show, so its new to me.
Anyway, in some states, there has been a call to make cold medicine a prescription medication to stop the flow to national (and apparently international purchasers). MB rightly points out that this is just going to create more regulation without doing much to stop the influx of meth into the United States, since we already purchase most of it from Mexico.
I do differ in one regard with his argument. I’m pretty sure that there would be greater benefits from eliminating production of meth in the US than most other drugs. Unlike, say, pot, I think the production of meth is actually quite hazardous. And the effects of production from meth labs can linger long after the criminal. So there may be some marginal benefit in driving the production outside of the United States even if it doesn’t drastically reduce consumption.