Oregon to Outlaw Claritin

Ok, not exactly outlaw it …

Oregon prescription policy may set meth law precedent (USAT)

Oregonians who want over-the-counter cold medicine soon may need a doctor’s permission to buy it.

Trying to stem the abuse of methamphetamine, the Oregon Senate will likely vote next week on a bill that would make the state the nation’s first to require a prescription for popular cold medicines, which are used to create the illegal drug.

The bill, approved Wednesday on a 55-4 vote by the state House of Representatives, would classify any product containing pseudoephedrine a pharmaceutical requiring a prescription for purchase. Gov. Ted Kulongoski supports it.

Pseudoephedrine, a primary ingredient in the illegal, highly addictive stimulant methamphetamine, is a key ingredient in medicines such as Sudafed and Claritin.

While I’m completely against legalizing illicit drugs, to punish law abiding citizens because the DEA and local law enforcement can’t or won’t do their jobs seems like a solution that’s worse than the problem.

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Leopold Stotch
About Leopold Stotch
“Dr. Leopold Stotch” was the pseudonym of political science professor then at a major research university inside the beltway. He has a PhD in International Relations. He contributed 165 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and February 2006.


  1. joe says:

    Claritin-D. Not regular claritin.

  2. McGehee says:

    My sinuses are about ready to climb out of my face and embark on a vigilante mission against meth producers.

  3. Bill Bacon says:

    Right…this would allow Claritin, but forbid Claritin-D, Sudafed, or just about any OTC decongestant, including sinus headache medicines sold under Tylenol and Advil brand names.

  4. John Thacker says:

    In New York they’ve already gone and taken regular Sudafed to a behind the counter drug. That’s pure pseudoephedrine. I’m not sure I really understand going further and taking any drug that contains it off the market, though I suppose meth makers may not mind having the Claritin come along for the ride.

    As a side note, pseudoephredrine has been banned in Japan for years. Something to remember if you’re traveling there.