Debating my position to the bill sponsor, Rep. Dave Schatz (R), Sullivan, sitting left.
HB 685: Reclassifies all methamphetamine precursor drugs from Schedule IV and V controlled substances to Schedule III requiring a prescription and references the provisions as the Meth Lab Elimination Act

Today the house voted to reclassify certain drugs as schedule IV and V controlled substances. The drugs at issue contained pseudoephedrine and are used in the manufacturing of the highly addictive and dangerous drug crystal meth. Currently Missouri’s meth production puts our state as one of the worst in the nation. The idea is that if meth dealers have to have a prescription to buy the pseudoephedrine based drugs then the amount of meth labs will decrease. I voted NO on this bill. Once again I had to ask: “What is the proper role of government?”

I believe that the Founders were right when they said that the proper role of government is to protect our rights and although I would never condone the use of illegal substances, I do not believe that government should involve itself in the habits of its' citizens. As it stands, you can buy cold and flu drugs over the counter at your convenience but if this bill were to pass, you would have to first get a prescription from a doctor. One ther question I feel is important to ask when considering legislation is, "Does this bill give people more freedom or less freedom?" 

Already there are many people who do not have medical insurance and having to fight through the red tape it often takes to get a prescription written and filled could make a $10 box of tablets cost as much as $50, $100 or even higher. This bill would punish the law abiding citizens who just want to buy cold and flu medicine for themselves and their families all for the crimes of the few and that is bad government policy. I heard one person say that if taking the freedom away from the people to freely buy medicine would possibly curb the meth production in Missouri, then we should gladly tolerate the inconvenience. When I heard this I thought of the wise words of Benjamin Franklin when he said, “People willing to trade their freedom for security deserve neither and will lose both.”

We have freedom and with that freedom and we should have security in our freedom and it would be a moral transgression if government were to deprive the people of a freedom based on the crimes of a few. There are laws against meth production, possession and use and the best thing our state can do is to help our police and sheriff departments in the fulfilling the execution of those laws. HB 658 failed to be perfected and printed by only 2 votes. The bill is dead but no doubt will return next session.