I was aware that a recent federal law has made it a pain in the ass to buy cold medicine containing the nasal decongestant pseudoephedrine, because the drug can be extracted and used as an ingredient in methamphetamines. What I was not aware of until a few days ago, though, was that the state of Oregon has passed its own law, making it completely illegal to buy pseudoephedrine at all without a prescription.
So, this morning I drove across the river into Vancouver, went to the first pharmacy I found, and bought two boxes of Sudafed.
As a result of the new laws about pseudoephedrine, most cold medicines that used to contain it have switched to phenylephrine. Unfortunately, phenylephrine is completely ineffective when ingested orally (it was approved by the FDA because it works in nasal sprays, but unlike pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine doesn't get absorbed into the bloodstream when ingested orally). So while I've been struggling to get over a nasty cold, I've been pretty pissed off at the Oregon legislature for making it illegal to buy an effective nasal decongestant. Signing your name and showing your driver's license to a pharmacist in order to buy a limited amount of cold medicine isn't enough of a deterrent to Oregon's meth dealers? Then give me some more hoops to jump through or something, but driving across state lines isn't something I wanted to do while I was sick with a cold!