This is the sort of thing that makes my teeth ache, and is why I’m on blood pressure medication.
So, 22 State Attorneys General sent a letter to Urban Outfitters demanding they stop selling gag merchandise described as their ‘Prescription line’, which includes the terrifically dangerous items of
glasses, coasters, mugs, drink holders and related products that mimic prescription pill bottles and prescription pads.
Wow, they must be a public health hazard! They must be made of uranium or Chinese drywall! Oh, no:
As you may be aware, there is a national health crisis related to the abuse and diversion of prescription drugs. As Attorneys General, we have prosecuted and engaged in outreach to stop this epidemic. We are actively engaged in a campaign of environmental change to educate the public that abuse of prescription drugs is not safe simply because the medication originated from a doctor. By putting these highly recognizable labels on your products you are undermining our efforts.
They committed the sin of not getting their product in line with the ‘environmental modification’ these Defenders of Democracy intend.
It gets worse:
These products demean the thousands of deaths that occur each month in the United States from accidental overdoses.
What? A mug that looks like this
demeans the death of people who overdose on prescription drugs? Explain that one to me, I’m missing a step here.
Also, these 22 Stalwarts of Freedom get to pass judgement on what’s funny:
These products are not in any way fun or humorous but make light of this rampant problem.
So, if they’d been funny to these idiots these products would have been okay? It’s only because this particular juxtaposition of the daily normal as the absurd didn’t tickle their collective giggle-triggers that they have to be banned?
And the coercive power of The State that Knows What’s Good For You:
We invite you to pull these products from your shelves and join with us to fight prescription drug abuse.
Get it? Not only must they stop selling harmless nick-nacks, they are invited to join in this latest temperance movement.
I’m absolutely against prescription drug abuse, and agree that because it’s prescription does not equal safety (and quite often the opposite), but the straw man in the argument that selling prescription themed coasters is contributing to the problem is absurd. Doctors and patients are the root of the problem, not vendors of inanities.
I’m unsurprised Urban Outfitters quickly pulled this line of products, and it has nothing to do with agreeing with these 22 Bastions of Enlightenment but the reality that businesses are there to make money, not waves. Businesses seldom do the right thing constitutionally if that would cause them one iota of a problem, and I get that.
Good thing all the real problems have been sorted out.
An image of the letter,
and a link to the full .pdf.