Your have a cold, or maybe an allergy attack. Your eyes itch, you can’t breathe through your nose, you cough. You’re aren’t so ill as to need a doctor but you are miserable. You head to the store and pick up some over-the-counter cold medicine for a little relief of your symptoms. Your ability to purchase some of these products in South Carolina may be about to change.

A South Carolina senator has introduced S 447, “Stop Methamphetamine Production Act.” Among other things this would add products containing ephedrine, pseudoephedrine and phenylpropanolamine to the Schedule III controlled substance list. In other words, you would have to have a prescription from a doctor to purchase these products.

A lot of stores keep these products behind the counter and you are already required to sign and show identification to purchase some of them. If this bill becomes a reality, people legitimately needing them will have to make unnecessary visits to a doctor or just suffer. People wanting to visit their regular doctor aren’t always able to make an immediate appointment. Many of those on Medicaid will simply go to an emergency room. This is going to increase the wait time and cost for everyone. It’s ridiculous.

For once, I’d like to see something done to punish those causing the problems instead of innocent people. Some of these scumbags arrested for making methamaphetamine are out on bail awaiting trial for doing the same thing before. Maybe it’s time to deny bail to anyone arrested for manufacturing this stuff or at least make it so high it can’t easily be met, even if it’s a first offense.

Give the scumbags making and using this stuff something to think about. Anyone caught with it in their possession or testing positive for it as well. Stop any medicaid, welfare or food stamps benefits they are receiving and make them ineligible for those programs for at least five years. If those manufacturing the trash own anything at all, pass laws that the property will be seized. For once, punish the suppliers and users instead of law-abiding people.

Something to think about: Alcohol products can be bought legally. SOME people abuse it, drive drunk, kill innocent people – – but it’s still sold, no prescription required. I’m not against responsible drinking, I’m simply trying to make a point.

Manufacturing and use of methamphetamine is a serious problem, but penalizing the general population isn’t going to resolve it. Penalties for making and or using it need to be so harsh that knowing what is going to happen when an abuser is caught makes some people think twice before getting involved with it.

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