America's Stupidest Drug Laws

'Reason' breaks down the most ridiculous laws the drug war has produced
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Suggested by Guvner
Posted Aug 23, 2012 3:32 PM CDT
Updated Aug 26, 2012 7:00 PM CDT
America's Stupidest Drug Laws
In Florida, the wrong prescription drug could potentially get you years in prison.   (Shutterstock)

What's more ridiculous than the war on drugs itself? The plethora of strange draconian laws that have cropped up to support it. Don't believe it? Well, Mike Riggs of the libertarian Reason Magazine has come up with a list of the five most ridiculous ones. Judge for yourself:

  • In Texas, you need state permission to buy chemistry equipment. Intended to clamp down on methamphetamines, this law restricts the sale of basic lab equipment like flasks, along with chemicals so common they occur naturally in fruit.

  • In California, dispensaries pay for raids on dispensaries. Last year, Vallejo voters passed a law taxing medical marijuana, without legalizing it. The taxes have been used to raid the facilities paying them.
  • In Florida, a handful of pills can land you three years in jail. Mandatory minimum sentencing laws in Florida are the nation's "most egregious." Four grams of opioid painkillers—just a couple pills—can get you three years in jail. And because the law counts both the active ingredient and any mixture containing it, a 12-ounce soda with 1 gram of cocaine in it counts as 12 ounces of cocaine.
Click to read the full list, which includes measures from Louisiana and New York. (Read more War on Drugs stories.)

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