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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mega Meth bust 

The Clarion Content stumbled across this story earlier in the week in the San Jose Mercury News. It details a huge drug sting by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). The reasons we wanted to highlight it were two-fold. One it demonstrates that despite relaxing restrictions on marijuana the Obama administration is actively pursuing the enforcement of drug policy when it comes to other nefarious narcotics. Duly noted.

Secondly, we feel that it sadly points out the likelihood of the inherent failure of said enforcement policies. The DEA can bust meth lab after meth lab, dealer after dealer, but if there is still massive profit in selling these (illegal) narcotics production merely shifts elsewhere. In this case, aggressive battling against domestic Mom-n-Pop meth labs has pushed production south of the United States border with Mexico. (Much as aggressive coca spraying pushed coke labs from Columbia to Bolivia, note a similar thing is on-going in the valleys of Central Asia involving the production of opium.)

This was a huge meth bust, the Mercury News reports that, "Nationwide, more than 300 people were arrested in an operation that demonstrates (the "La Familia") Mexican cartel's vast reach north of the border. Arrests of alleged members...took place in 38 cities, from Boston to Seattle and Tampa to St. Paul and in (total) 19 states...authorities seized 156 pounds of methamphetamine, 22 weapons and about $111,000 (in California alone)."

Sadly, this will constitute no more than a tiny blip on the radar of global drug production. The former head of the DEA says that Mexican meth super labs can produce 100 lbs of product in as little as eight hours. The only way to fight that is by curbing demand, and concomitantly reducing the profitability of pursuing the life of an illegal narcotics dealer. People do it for the money.

Read the whole San Jose Mercury News story here.

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