Criminal Defense Attorney Analysis of Internet Pharmacy, Prescription, and Drug Law

Ryan Haight Act: Legislative History and Justification

I dicussed this internet pharmacy quote yesterday, but I wanted to emphasize it today in a seperate article.  Dianne Feinstein, the Ryan Haight Bill sponsor in the Senate, was quoted in the Wall Street Journal yesterday regarding why the Ryan Haight Act was needed:

Regulators say the new law is intended in part to strengthen the federal government’s ability to enforce existing statutes and make clear how they apply to the Internet. “This is really making explicit what has been implicit,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat and the bill’s lead sponsor in the Senate. “We’ve tried to close this loophole by essentially addressing this problem of controlled substances being sold without any medical oversight or prescription.

In other words, here you have the Bill’s sponsor expressly admitting that prior to the Ryan Haight Act, the law was incredibly unclear with regards to whether internet pharmacy online consultations (i.e. consultations without a physical face-to-face examination) were illegal.  How a prosecutor can say with a stragiht face that those indicted pre-Ryan Haight Act knew beyond a reasonable doubt that what they were doing was illegal is amazing, when the very lawmakers responsible for regulating online pharmacy prescriptions find that the law, at best, only “implicitly” makes online consultations illegal.

I plan to dig some more into the legislative history to find more interesting and relevant quotes.

My previous discussions of the Ryan Haight Act:

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