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Is it illegal to have two over-the-counter (Tylenol and Ibuprofen) pills in the same jar?

A cop at the Washington County Sheriff's Office in Bartlesville Oklahoma USA one time took a jar from me with everything there was in it because "it's illegal to have pills in anything other than their original container."

Was the cop right? If so, did he really have to take everything else I had in the jar with the pills?

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat.
    – feetwet
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 1:07

1 Answer 1

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There is commonly a law like RCW 69.50.309 which says that

A person to whom or for whose use any controlled substance has been prescribed, sold, or dispensed by a practitioner, and the owner of any animal for which such controlled substance has been prescribed, sold, or dispensed may lawfully possess it only in the container in which it was delivered to him or her by the person selling or dispensing the same.

A controlled substance is "a drug, substance, or immediate precursor included in Schedules I through V as set forth in federal or state laws, or federal or commission rules". Schedule V includes some opiates with low potential for abuse and dependency. It does not include prescription antibiotics, and does not include Ibuprofen and other OTC NSAIDs. The cop may be right about keeping your narcotics in the original container, but wrong about anything less. I can't presently locate the Oklahoma analog of this law. After diligent searching, I even suspect that Oklahoma does not have such an "original container" law. It would count as a "counterfeit substance" if it is a controlled substance and is in a container with labeling that is not that of the original distributor, but if the contain is completely blank, it is not legally a "counterfeit substance". And again, that only applies to controlled substances.

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    I did not have any pills other than Ibuprofen and Tylenol (as stated in the question). The rest of the things in the jar were just personal stuff that had nothing to do with the law
    – Alex Doe
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 1:27
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    In summary: Cop was wrong and unjustified in confiscation.
    – BobE
    Commented Feb 19, 2019 at 4:19
  • For clarification, when this answer says, "The cop may be right about keeping your narcotics in the original container, but wrong about anything less," does it mean that the cop would have been correct if, instead of OTC medicines, the OP would have put narcotics in the same jar? In other words, such laws don't apply to OTC medicines, right?
    – The Editor
    Commented Apr 1, 2022 at 14:56

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