Friday, August 24, 2007

A pseudo war on drugs

I'm sick as a dog this week which is why I haven't been posting much. I'm propped up with pseudoephedrine at the moment which is successfully suppressing the symptoms but has my body sending me weird signals. My lungs feel really dry which is better than full of phlegm but it feels unnatural. Tsunamis of phlegm are just waiting to overwhelm my lungs the moment the drug effects recede.

Feeling like crap is bad enough but these days even buying decent cold and flu medication can be a challenge. Part of trade treaties between Australia and the US mean our government is compelled to follow most of America's fucked-up "War on Drugs" policies. It isn't quite as insane here as it is in the land of the free but it has its moments.

One of the fun effects is when a chemist treats you like a criminal for buying a legal product. Apparently the pseudoephedrine in the cold pills can be used to make actual ephedrine i.e. speed. I can see why this might make you suspicious of someone who buys 20 packets but why the fuck would it make you hassle someone buying a single packet?

To their credit, the chemists tend not to "profile". You don't have to look like a greasy biker to get hassled. You can be wearing a suit and tie (as I do for work) and still be given the 3rd degree.

Suspicious Chemist: "Why do you want these pills?"

ME: (snorking back a litre of snot) "Because I have a cold."

SC: (pointing to pills that don't contain pseudoephedrine) "Why don't you get these ones."

ME: "Because they don't work. I feel like crap and I'd like some pills that actually suppress the symptoms a little and make me feel better for a while."

SC: "We have to be careful because these pills can be used to manufacture illegal drugs."

ME: "Why do you even sell them if they're so dangerous?"

Apparently this was a bad question as the chemist started getting really belligerent with me at this point.

SC: "I'll have to see a photo ID before I can sell them to you."

ME: "Are you saying you won't sell me a single package of a legal, non-prescription product without seeing my ID?"

SC: "That's the rules."

ME: "Are you saying there's a law that makes you do that?"

At this point he indicates a sign on the wall labelled "pseudo watch" that says they're doing their part to stop illegal drug manufacturing by monitoring sales of products containing pseudoephedrine. This makes me laugh because "pseudo watch" sounds to me like they're only sort-of watching. And me giggling apparently convinces the chemist that I'm high.

The upshot of which is that it seems we now live in a world where some tiny minded dweeb can jerk you around as much as they like with no justification. "The rules" have become more important than the actual law. Let alone treating people decently. Life is really looking rosy for all the little Hitlers of the world.

And this wasn't even in an airport.

No comments: