High School Crank (a.k.a. Methamphetamine) Lab Course

Okay, so the idea of cooking methamphetamine’s in a high school class that is part anti-drug message is…well not very smart…alright it is pretty stupid. But this strikes me as just a tad hysterical.

Yep, that’s YOUR meth. Close your eyes. Can’t you just picture the kids in class that day…furiously taking notes…ready to stop by Walmart on the way home to pick up their bucket, their home cleaning products, and their pseudoephedrine.

No, I can’t imagine the entire class taking furious notes on this. Some of them? Sure. All of them, and then stopping on the way home to pick up quite a bit of pseudoephedrine cook up a batch of meth so they can get high? No, I don’t think so.

Still when it looks like Washington state, and areas such as Pierce and King Counties have serious problems with methamphetamines this demonstration is probably not a good move.

While Pierce County is near the top of the meth wave, King County doesn’t even crack the top 20. Through the first 10 months of 1999, King County asked the state Department of Ecology, which handles the meth lab wastes for all counties, to deal with 78 labs. In Pierce County, the number was 256.

And it seems even Grays Harbor County has its meth problems as well,

Over “about as far west as you can go and not get wet,” Grays Harbor County Undersheriff Rick Scott ranks meth as the drug of choice: “Our prosecutor would tell you that of the hundreds of possession cases filed every year, 90 percent are meth.

“Right now it’s just so commonplace and prevalent, and every time you turn around there’s a new recipe,” Scott adds. Larger amounts are traced to Mexican sources but small-volume cooks are attracted to the county’s remoteness. They move from motel to motel, campsite to campsite, cooking up small batches and leaving the toxic waste behind. An inmate work crew found two labs while cleaning ditches.

Because Grays Harbor has no specially trained lab team, it has to rely on the Washington State Patrol team — as does every county but King and Pierce. “It’s not uncommon for us to call and get put on the waiting list, depending on the size of the lab,” Scott says. ” . . . you just have to wait your turn.”

One of Scott’s officers has to guard the lab, often on overtime, to ensure that “some citizen doesn’t innocently wander into it.”

Hey, maybe the class is actually a training program to see if Gray’s Harbor County can have its own specially trained lab team of high school students.

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Steve Verdon
About Steve Verdon
Steve has a B.A. in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and attended graduate school at The George Washington University, leaving school shortly before staring work on his dissertation when his first child was born. He works in the energy industry and prior to that worked at the Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Division of Price Index and Number Research. He joined the staff at OTB in November 2004.


  1. Jack Tanner says:

    I can imagine someone calling the DEA.

  2. BK says:

    Nobody cooked meth in a high school classroom, you fool. They showed a video of the process.

    Go to the original report of this “story”:

    This is one complaint from one crank (pardon the pun). She doesn’t go to the elected officials with power to change things; she starts calling TV stations, seeking free transportation for her ego trip.

    “…Grays Harbor has no specially trained lab team…”
    You lifted this from a 1999 Seattle Post-Intelligencer story. It’s now 2005 and Grays Harbor does have a trained meth lab team.