Friday, April 06, 2007

What We Need Now: A Baking Soda Registry

[Posted by reader_iam]

What was I just saying?

A Missouri lawmaker wants to regulate and monitor baking-soda purchases.
First, the state said you must make a special trip to the pharmacy counter to buy certain cold medicines. That was to curb production of methamphetamine.

Now, a St. Louis legislator wants you to do the same thing to buy an even more common household item — baking soda — because it's used to make crack cocaine.

Sales of cold medications containing pseudoephedrine, such as Sudafed, are strictly regulated in Missouri. Customers must show a photo ID when they buy the medicine. Pharmacists must log the names and addresses of buyers, including how much they buy. People under 18 may not buy the medicines.

The sponsor of the baking soda bill, Rep. Talibdin El-Amin, D-St. Louis, said the same approach was needed for baking soda because crack cocaine is often produced by dissolving powdered cocaine in a mixture of water and baking soda.
Think this is going solve the problem? Want to have to go up to a counter with a photo ID and provide your name, address and whatever else in order to buy one of the most common household products? Need yet one more reason to stand in line?

You'd think this wouldn't have a shot of passing, on the grounds of impracticality and unenforceablity alone. But who knows? I suppose if you required some sort of special strip on the boxes, and had cameras installed at every outlet that might potentially sell baking soda, and could staff up enough to review the videos, you might be able to make sure that no one sells the stuff illegally. (Although it's not my point, I am idly wondering how much that would jack up the price of Arm & Hammer.)

Where does it stop?

Hat tip.

Update, 4/8: Thanks to Dr. Sanity for including this post in this week's Carnival of the Insanities.

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