Cold Medicine Abuse
When Sally Harpold walked into the local pharmacy to purchase cold medicine back in March, she never imagined that she would be arrested for a Class-C misdemeanor. But that is exactly what happened 4 months after purchasing Zyrtec-D and Mucinex-D cold medicines for her family.

How is it illegal to purchase cold medicine?

Indiana law 35-48-4-14.7 restricts the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrine (PSE) products to no more than 3.0 grams within any 7-day period. You read right, it is ILLEGAL to buy a specific amount of cold medicine in 80% of this country. 41 states in the U.S. have this law or something very similar in the books. Unfortunately for Sally, that’s exactly what happened when she went to purchase cold medicine for her sick daughter and husband. The “crime” carries a sentence of up to 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. Scary thought huh?

Cold Medicine Abuse Law

Is cold medicine abuse running rampant in the U.S.?

This law was written to prevent methamphetamine abuse. Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in meth, which can come from common allergy and cold medicines found in any local pharmacy. To combat the rampant rise of meth use – particularly in the Midwest, laws like these were passed. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), most of this country’s meth does not come from garage laboratories in the Midwest, but from “superlabs” in California and Mexico. These labs smuggle pseudoephedrine from Mexico and Canada and use it to manufacture street methempamphetamine, which they then distribute all over the country. Allergy and cold and medicines have nothing to do with it. Once again a small bandage attempting to cover up a BIG boo boo.

Who suffers the most from this little bandage? Innocent citizens like Sally Harpold, who only wanted to help out her sick family. So beware when purchasing cold medicines this cold and flu season. You’ll never know when a police officer will knock on your door to arrest you… for being sick.


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