Ellen Perlman was a GOVERNING staff writer and technology columnist.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
A proposed ordinance in Phoenix to make it tougher to buy pseudoephedrine, a major ingredient in meth, is going to "send a powerful message." So says Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard. To whom, I wonder?
Law-abiding citizens get messages. People who care about consequences get messages. Answering machines get messages.
Meth addicts riding a high -- they don't much get messages. People who have experienced the rush, the euphoria, from trying meth for the first time never stop looking to repeat it. They speak about meth as a family member, as someone they love, says Matt Farnsworth who has trailed addicts and produced two movies about people hooked on the drug. That includes more than half the folks in one Iowa town.
That doesn't mean the addicts and the drug makers won't notice obstacles at the pharmacy. And it makes sense for states and localities to make it as difficult as they know how for addicts and drug makers to get their hands on the ingredients they need to make the poison.
But as far as messages go, it's going to take a lot more to pull people back from this particular edge. Hiding the pseudoephedrine at the drugstore is more like holding onto the ankle of someone already hanging off the cliff.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.