Lake Stevens Journal - Your hometown newspaper since 1960


By Pam Stevens
Managing Editor 

Frustration over prescription laws seems endless


March 12, 2013

I called my eye doctor’s office last week to request a copy of my prescription. Unfortunately my dog decided that my glasses looked like a great chew toy and bent the rims a bit so I decided I would try ordering some eyeglasses online.

However, I was told that because my prescription was over two years old, by three months, I would have to come in and get an eye exam.

I explained that my prescription is fine and I just needed to replace my puppy chewed glasses and that they no longer make the frames I now have.

The receptionist was so nice and patient with me and explained that Washington state law says that stores in Washington cannot fill an eyeglass prescription that is over two years old.

What? This had to be a joke!

The receptionist felt so bad but knew I wouldn’t be able to use the prescription and she could not give it to me. I would either have to make an appointment for an eye exam or keep wearing my chewed up glasses.

I would have loved to make an eye exam appointment but it just wasn’t in the cards at the time with a busy schedule and not having two hours to spare in the next couple of days.

My point in all of this is that I am frustrated by what I consider “silly” laws every time I turn around.

What if someone doesn’t have insurance and can’t afford to get a new prescription every two years? Or if they lost their glasses and need to get a new pair right away but their prescription expired two weeks ago?

It seems that legislators waste time on arguing and voting for laws that are of little importance in the whole scheme of things. Is there really nothing better to do during their few months in Olympia than to worry about eyeglass prescriptions?

Some other “silly” laws in Washington State include:

• It’s illegal for a candidate to buy anyone a drink on Election Day.

• It’s illegal to sleep in an outhouse without the owner’s permission.

• It’s illegal to sell to minors comics that might incite them to violence or depraved or immoral acts.

• Wash. doesn’t allow fake Wrestling.

• Under the law of the state of Washington, any restroom with pay toilets has to have an equal number of free toilets. This law came to pass after the speaker of the state House of Representatives raced to an all-pay facility without a dime.

I understand that most of these laws have been in effect for decades but legislature, and Congress for that matter, needs to focus on what’s really important -- education, jobs, safety and budget cuts, whether it’s 2013 or 1913.

If they really have all of this spare time to make “silly” laws, then why don’t they use that time cleaning up these outdated laws instead of coming up with new ones!


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