I went to Wal-Mart last night to pick up some supplies for our trip to Guatemala. I also needed to get some medicine for Andy who has a cold brewing in his head. We really don't want to be sick for our trip.
I got 2 packs of daytime cold relief, a pack of nighttime cold relief, a bottle of Mucinex for myself (which I previously wrote about), and a bottle of children's decongestant for Kevin. The cashier got a message when the bottle of children's medicine scanned. She tried it again, read the message more completely, and then set the bottle to the side. She told me my total amount due. I asked what happened to the medicine. She said she couldn't sell it to me. "Why not?" "Because it's against federal law." "But it was on your shelf. What is illegal about it?" She replied that I can't buy more than 3 cold medicine products at one time. She handed me the bottle and said that I could go to another register and buy it there. I paid for my purchases and told her to keep the bottle of children's decongestant, wondering whether I had bought too many different kinds of medication or too many boxes total?
I found out on the Web today that there is a federal law against purchasing a certain amount of products containing pseudoephedrine at one time. This is supposed to curb the home-brewing of crystal methamphetamine. I also found this comment in an article in the Des Moines Register:
Congress in 1996 passed the Methamphetamine Control Act, requiring retailers to keep records and report on anyone buying a certain amount of pseudoephedrine. To avoid paperwork, many retailers set their own limits on the number of packages that can be purchased at a time. Some have cash registers programmed to notify clerks when the limit is passed.
I must've crossed Wal-Mart's threshold in the number of boxes of medications containing pseudoephedrine (Mucinex doesn't contain it.) I guess I should've just gotten a bigger box of the daytime cold relief instead of 2 smaller boxes and then I could've purchased the children's medication, too. And then I'd be able to make even more crystal meth.