Terrorists making stuff? It’s a lye!

In a recent post, Boing Boing: Patriot act makes it harder to get real Sudafed, there’s a point about the annoyance factor and lock down of cold medicine.

See, there’s a provision that was added to the Patriot Act that furthered the lock down of cold medicines. It wasn’t going to get passed any other way, so I guess the sponsors of that amendment attached it to something that should have been, but wasn’t going to be, voted down.

Okay, so cold medicine being locked down, because it can be used to meth is one thing, but, what about lye?

You see, lye is one ingedient in making soap. There are glycerin soaps, but if you’re going to make soap at home maybe you want to use lye. Well, you can’t get it at any store in town that we could find. We looked for it. We got lye once at a local grocery store in the form of a bottle of Red Devil cleaning supply. That’s another thing that lye is used for, getting drains unstuck and cleaning. (Or, you know, as part of your voodoo practice.)

Well, it turns out that lye is also used in making meth. Only, no one seems to care enough to stock it behind the counter. Stores just stopped stocking it at all.

As far as we can tell, it’s got to be a special order. Only that means buying a large quantity at once. Wait. Hold on. So, in order to stop people from making meth, the small containers in stores are gone and now it’s only available in bulk sizes? Um. Wouldn’t meth makers be more inclined to get it in bulk sizes anyway? And, aren’t I just a little uncomfortable with the large unused portion of poisonous power I’d end up having around the house?

No soap making for you, you terrorist drug fiends! If you’re going to make meth, you’re going to have to forego soap. Then we can profile you easier because you’ll be dirty and stinky … as well as drugged, I suppose.

So, no more craft sized amounts of lye are available in stores for similar reasons that cold medicines are behind counters under lockdown. Only the difference, I suppose, is that cold medicine is backed by large corporate interests and no one really cares about the lye.

Because, here’s the oddest thing. There’s lye for sale on eBay right now. And, really, how secure is that, really?

Meanwhile, it turns out that the manufacturer of Red Devil, the most common lye product in stores used by crafters, has simply discontinued the product.