Project: Reader Reaction: Reader opinion split on meth ordinance

A recent Project: Reader Reaction question asked if Clovis city commissioners should approve an ordinance that will put some cold and allergy medicine behind counters and require buyers to provide a name, address and driver’s license prior to purchase in efforts to curb production of methamphetamine.

Some responses:

“This is one more case of privacy invasion and misuse of authority. It is no one’s business if I purchase these medications and in what quantity.

“My question back is: What is going to happen to this information collected? Will it remain with the retailer to keep on file, adding to the record keeping, and serve no real purpose? Will the district attorney’s office collect this information daily/weekly and enter it into a data base for tracking? If so, does that mean the DA’s office is so over-staffed that they can dedicate someone to this task or will they expand their staffing (and increase cost to the taxpayer) to keep track of this information?

“Finally, what will be the threshold where they launch an investigation and possibly harass private citizens who only have a higher than “normal” need for these legal, over-the-counter medications?”

– Bruce Ford

“I for one don’t mind, if it helps curb the drug problem in town. I think there are people living here that want to believe that Clovis has no drug problem, so they are going to disagree with the reasoning that the commissioners are (considering) doing it for. Plus the only others that don’t agree with doing this are the ones making, buying and selling the drug … anyone else shouldn’t mind signing for drugs legally.”

– Steve Gershon

“I just don’t think that is the proper approach to the problem. That is putting too much burden on merchants and the public where a great percentage of the purchases are completely innocent and above board.”

– Bill Lee

“If these ingredients are necessary for the production of methamphetamine, I think it is a very good idea. In my opinion, everyone should be anxious to do whatever is required to stop the production of these horrible drugs. If this is invading one’s privacy, it is for a good cause.”

– Mac McDonald

“If the Volstead Act, which tried to eradicate alcohol use and abuse in this country, taught our society anything, it should have been that eliminating or restricting production and consumption of a particular substance is doomed to failure. The list of substances that can and are abused, in order for a part of society to self-medicate themselves against the anguish that their lives have become, are enormous. If we legislate the purchase of OTC cold medicines by requiring a specific criteria of identification, we place a burden on the retailer to again become an agent of the government. This role of tax collector, morals keeper and private intelligence gatherer is far too large already for companies. It is cost prohibitive and ultimately not their responsibility.

“We already have access restrictions to tobacco, alcohol, spray paint, glue, and the list continues to grow. Has the problem of substance abuse been eradicated through these efforts? No. Before you argue about how much worse it could be without current practices, I would submit to you that our efforts must go in another direction, not further restrictions on the majority of law-abiding citizens. If I could be assured that these measures under consideration by the city would save even one person from the grief caused by meth use, I would be supportive of their effort. I know better.”

– Raymond Atchley

“Another infringement upon our rights? The basic concept behind this is great, but does this mean as a law-abiding citizen my name will go on a list of possible meth dealers, or at the very least someone to keep an eye on? … Normally this wouldn’t bother me, for I already have to show my driver’s license for alcohol or cigarettes. … But those items don’t put me on a list of possible drug dealers or manufacturers. I don’t have the solution to this problem, but there must be a better way.”

– Michael Williams

“Going through all the security methods just to get a cold pill will be an irritant, but it is necessary to stop the meth labs. The problem will be that the abusers can go to any other town around here to buy what they want. Is Portales going to do the same thing? Shouldn’t the entire state of New Mexico do the same thing? Of course there is always Texas. As much as I would support the locking up of cold medications, it isn’t going to be practical when there are so many other places they can go.

“Maybe we need stronger sentences for drug abusers. They don’t just hurt themselves, they affect their families, friends and the community they live in.”

– Ardyth Elms

“I like it. Yeah, it will be a little bit of a hassle to buy these products when you don’t feel good. But consider how bad you would feel if … a child were to become involved with meth. And our tax dollars can certainly find a better use than dismantling a meth lab.”

– Frank Dalton

“I’m all for it. If it helps cut down on the meth labs, then I say, ‘Go for it.’ All law-abiding citizens have nothing to hide and will be willing to show their name, address and any form of picture identification to purchase any cold medicine. It’s the same as if you were in an accident and you have to show proof of insurance, name, address and driver’s license.”
– Gerald Majewski

“The City Commission can pass all the ordinances it wants on trying to control the production of meth. Those that produce meth will just go across the state line and buy what they need in Texas. Until the state lawmakers make the present laws (stronger) and give the local law-enforcement agencies more support, meth will be produced.”

– Charles Hemphill

“Seems to be a good approach to the No. 1 illegal substance problem (methamphetamine), if properly researched for legal and medical aspects.”

– Harold Burris

“This appears to be another of those well-intentioned plans that will inconvenience the innocent consumer and merely redirect the production and supply of drugs. I encourage the City Commission and DA Matt Chandler to look carefully at all the research and evidence surrounding other communities that have enacted similar plans. Do they really work, or are they merely a very public way of appearing to do something about a serious problem?”

– Carol Singletary

“The inconvenience of having to ask for these items and perhaps give my name to purchase larger quantities seems a small price to pay for the safety of the community. I am in 100 percent agreement with the (proposed) ordinance.”

– Cathy Olona

“I think it is our responsibility to do whatever we can to curb illegal drug production in any way we can. It shouldn’t be a major problem. Vendors are supposed to check for names, ages and other information required by state and federal agencies for such things as cigarettes, liquor, prescription drugs etc. Why is this issue so hard to make a decision on?

“It would be nice to see our elected officials act on common-sense issues decisively. Why is so much public opinion required? We have given our public officials the authority to act on our behalf on issues of public safety. This to me is a no-brainer.”

– Jim Sitterly