Well, What Did You Expect?
I have noted in the past that attempts to reduce the consumers’ ability to purchase pseudoephedrine would likely have little impact on the manufacture of methamphetamines (see here as well). Further, that if anything it might increase the production. Now, via Radley Balko, we have this story about…wait for it, large scale production of methamphetamine in Mexico. How large scale? How about 187 pounds. Yeah, the politicians have made it harder to buy pseudoephedrine for legitimate purposes and cleaned up the methamphetamine problem….oh, sorry my mistake.
After years of raiding “redneck labs” and arresting local methamphetamine cooks, drug squads in Georgia appeared to be gaining the upper hand on the makeshift operations in 2004, when the number of busts declined sharply from a peak of more than 800 the previous year.
But the glow of success quickly faded as international drug cartels distributing a purer form of the drug known as “ice” rushed in to fill the void.
“The labs start to decline and you’re happy,” said Phil Price, special agent in charge of regional drug enforcement for the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. “But the imported meth has really hit us hard. … It’s cheaper now to buy it on the streets.”
And the idiot politicians made methamphetamine’s cheaper too. Apparently our pols fell asleep during economics class.
Price said the shift has made the drug so abundant that distributors now commonly “front” up to 2 pounds of ice to street dealers on credit. It also has turned the Atlanta area into a distribution hub for the East Coast, he said.
“Unfortunately, I think we’re going to go through what Miami went through with cocaine,” he said.
Yep, really important to keep mom from buying three bottles of a medicine containing pseudoephedrine so that we could turn Atlanta into the east coast distribution hub for methamphetamines.
Congress entered the fray by passing the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act in March as part of the renewal of the anti-terror Patriot Act, placing restrictions on retail pseudoephedrine purchases across the nation.
And they didn’t do a damned thing in the end. Now the drug is more prevelant, cheaper, and being made by much more serious criminal organizations. I tell ya’ with politicians like this who needs enemies.
At the moment, federal drug enforcement officials say most of the meth smuggled into the United States is produced in Mexico, using chemicals diverted by the ton from pharmaceutical companies in Asia.
For those of you who wanted me to go talk to a meth addict after my initial posts on that, please, read that quote again. They are diverting the products, that is pseudoephedrine, by the ton. So no more going out and buying hundreds of bottles of Sudafed and making a modest batch, nope now we have and industrial size production operation that is cranking (no pun intended) out the drug in quantities so that street dealers can be fronted two pounds on credit.
But even though the inmate population is down to 150, Wilson is bracing for the next wave of meth crime, convinced that the Mexican gangs that are plaguing counties to the south are even now reversing Sherman’s march on Atlanta during the Civil War.
“What we believe is going to happen is that we’ve become so strict on the purchase of pseudoephedrine … that we will see a lot more Mexican meth,” he said. “They’ll make it by hundreds of pounds. I know it’s coming.”
I’d laugh it wasn’t so damn pathetic.