April 23, 2006

California Cough Syrup

This month a new law passed in California so that certain over the counter cough syrups will be regulated in order to easier arrest methamphetamine producers who use that ingredient in their homemade brews. Now everyone buying cough syrups with a certain ingredient has to show their California i.d. or they are not allowed to purchase it. I had not heard about this law when I stopped by the drug store to pick up some cough syrup for Pixie last week.

She was having a really tough day with her cough so I ran out to Rite Aid to get her relief in cherry syrup form. I picked up a few generic brands of cough syrup and opened to box as I was on my way to the cashier. Pixie was sobbing and coughing in my arms so I wanted to get her some medicine as soon as possible. I handed the cashier the empty box to scan. She asked me to swipe my driver’s license - explaining the new law. Fine, I swiped my license but because it had a bend in the magnetic stripe the card reader didn't recognize it. The cashier told me that if my i.d. didn't scan properly then I couldn't buy the medicine.

"Isn't the law just that you need an i.d. to buy this drug I asked?"
"Yes, but the machine can't read your license."
"Can't you enter my information manually?"
"Well, I've already opened the box so what do you want me to do?"
"I'm going to get my manager."

As she walked off, I opened the seal on the medicine and tipped a big dose down Pixie's throat. There was no way I was walking out of the store without a medicated baby. The manager came over and said that I couldn't buy the medicine because their scanner couldn't read my id. I was holding the open medicine and Pixie was happily chewing on the gooey medicine dispenser.

"Look," I said, "I've already opened the box and given this stuff to my sick baby so what do you suggest?"
"You can't buy it."
I was getting mad now. "I have my money, I have my id, I'm holding my sick baby who has already taken the medicine and you're telling me I can't buy this over the counter medicine?"
"No, you can’t."
At this point, a woman who was waiting impatiently in line behind me piped up "You can use my i.d." I looked at the cashier. She looked at her manager who looked at me and Pixie with sticky red medicine running down her chin. "Fine" she snapped. I thanked the i.d. donor, and pranced out gloating over my little victory of motherhood.

I really feel sorry for cashiers in California this coming month trying to explain to mothers of sick babies that because of meth users their little babies may be denied cough syrup. And what about illegal immigrants? If they don't have an i.d. they can't buy over the counter medicine for their babies? It's totally ridiculous law. Mother’s of California unite and get this one revoked.


bill said...

don't blame california. i encountered a similar law in indiana last year. [sniffle,sniffle]

Jared said...

Utah's not my favorite state, but at least I can buy cough syrup with ease. Maybe that is why they sell drugs in the park one block away from our home...