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Buy Sudafed and Go to Jail

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Well, it finally happened in my own community. That stupid Bush-era law that rations pseudoephedrine, the ingredient that makes Mucinex and Sudafed work to unstuff the nose, has finally landed someone in the slammer for 20 years. Tanna Nacole Jarrell is 31 years old and she will likely be in jail for 20 years — essentially wrecking her life. The judge said that she is a very very bad woman. Maybe so but what she is being charged with is perfectly absurd: “Jarrell was arrested by Opelika police after she purchased four boxes of medication containing pseudoephedrine at three locations within 12 days in December 2009.” And let’s just suppose that she was making Meth, thereby harming herself. What does jail actually accomplish here?

Jeffrey Tucker is Editorial Director of the American Institute for Economic Research. He is author of It's a Jetsons World: Private Miracles and Public Crimes and Bourbon for Breakfast: Living Outside the Statist Quo. Send him mail.

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