Sunday, March 18, 2007

NC Senators vote to give sheriffs access to pharmacy records

In today's newspaper, an Associated Press article reports that North Carolina Senators approved a bill to allow the county sheriffs to review pharmacy records while investigating illegal use or sale of prescription drugs. Sheriffs could share the information with other law offices and federal SBI agents. I have sent an email to every state senator, representative and to the governor on my thoughts on this bill. I also wrote a letter to the News & Observer.

I am beginning to wonder if we have a single public official who realizes what their job really is.

Anyway, here is a close variation of the letters that I sent to our public officials.

"From my understanding of Senate Bill 4 (= H745), it appears that a sheriff or any other federal or SBI agent may review pharmacy records without anyone appearing before a judge or magistrate to determine that a search warrant is justified. I understand your desire to catch those illegally obtaining and selling drugs. But no one should be privy to such information without a search warrant. Medical records include information that is considered the most private personal information by most citizens.

When broad sweeps are done of reviewing pharmacy records without probable cause and a judge or magistrate has not authorized these searches, then everyone who is innocent has been stepped on. It does not matter that the authorities do not share the information with anyone except other law enforcement officials. It is wrong that anyone should be able to get this information without just cause.

I shall be sending this letter to the newspaper and to all of my representatives. I ask that you consider the consequences of this bill when it crosses your desk."

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