Analysis by Richard Cowan

What I have called the Iron Law of Drug Prohibition is simply that “the more intense the law enforcement, the more potent the drugs will become.”
From National Review Magazine, December 5, 1986

Thus, if the economics of contraband are inescapable, the emergence of methamphetamines as a social and public health problem was inevitable, so long as cannabis prohibition continues.
Meth is also a consequence of the politics of prohibition. Cannabis prohibition is the “meat and potatoes” of the Drug War, and the prohibitionist propaganda machine has focused primarily on cannabis.
Marijuana Bigger Problem Than Meth? DEAland And The Bush Administration Have a Very Serious Walters Problem. We Couldn’t Make This Up!
In fact, meth is the drug that the prohibitionists always wanted cannabis to be. Consequently, when meth became more widely used, “drug education” was utterly useless in trying to warn its already alienated users about its very real dangers.
And Now, How The Narks Created “Ice” In Hawaii. Government Study Says The Suppression of Pakalolo Increases Use of Meth. Why Didn’t Someone Warn Them This Would Happen? — He Asked Sarcastically.

Recently, NORML received the following email, under the subject “Use my story of it will help”:
“In 6th grade my class was shown a film in wich “little billy” after smoking a marijuana cig thought he was superman and tried to fly out a window. A few years later I smoked some weed and soon realized the film was a joke. If I was lied to about marijuana they must be lying about other drugs as well. Or so I thought. I am now in my 4th month of a methadone maintenance program after 5 years of a miserable addiction to pain pills and heroin. Why was I lied to? I blame only myself for my problem but I can’t help thinking that if I had been told the truth about marijuana maybe I would have believed what I was taught about opiates.
Due to my addiction and treatment I am currently broke (methadone costs 95 bucks a week) but I am doing well. Soon I will be out of debt and will be a regular NORML donor. Thanks for everything you do.”

I have heard similar stories many times over the years, but this fellow was lucky in that opiates do far less damage than meth. Indeed, after five years on meth, it is unlikely that he would have been able to write such a cogent message, if he were still alive.

Measuring a “drug problem”

Last year an article in the New York Times by Fox Butterfield reported that in 2003, 8,000 meth labs were seized in the US.

In 2003, 3,300 children were found in them, and 48 children were burned or injured and one was killed when the meth lab caught on fire or exploded.

Tennessee has the worst methamphetamine problem in the Southeast, and in just that state, 697 children were removed from their parents’ custody over an 18 month period because they were living in a “home” with a meth lab.

One method of making meth combines red phosphorous (which can produce deadly phosphine gas) with pseudoephedrine and iodine. Another recipe involves cooking anhydrous ammonia, a liquid fertilizer, (which can produce ammonia gas, also deadly) with pseudoephedrine and lithium from batteries. Great stuff. It is also highly explosive and the Times says that one out of every five labs is discovered because of an explosion. In North Dakota in 2002, a meth lab explosion set off a fire which destroyed a hotel. Oops!

If meth is the drug that the narks always wanted marijuana to be, meth labs are what they always wanted marijuana grow ops to be. In fact, connoisseurs of prohibitionist propaganda will notice that the narks have taken to calling grow-ops “labs.” It sounds so much more sinister than “garden.”

Actually, meth is much easier and faster to produce than cannabis. Anyone with a rudimentary kitchen and the basic ingredients can cook up some meth in a day or so, if they don’t kill themselves in the process.

In keeping with the Iron Law of Prohibition, meth production and consumption is most common in rural areas because that is where cannabis is often the hardest to get.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, 80 percent of the methamphetamine sold in the United States is produced in so-called ‘super labs’ in Mexico or California run by organized crime syndicates which cook up vast quantities.

MarijuanaNews has reported on the US prohibitionist party line about Canada being a major source of cannabis, when it provides only about 2% of the market.
Would BC Have Less Bud if It Had More Prisoners? Lying to Canadians To Support the Cannabis Prohibition.

At the same time that the Drug Czar was hyperventilating (and hyperlying) about Canadian cannabis, he was largely ignoring the fact that Canada was until recently a major source of pseudoephedrine for DEAland meth labs.

Consider this from the US DOJ:
“Recent reporting indicates that Canadian companies are a major source of supply for pseudoephedrine destined for U.S. laboratories because of minimal chemical controls in Canada. On March 7, 2002, search warrants were served on two residences, one in Paramount and the other in Lynwood, California. Four hundred containers of 25,000 count pseudoephedrine jars, or “pickle jars,” (approximately 10,000,000 tablets) and $1,502,000 USC were seized. The pseudoephedrine is believed to have originated in Canada.”

But in April of 2002, what was John Walters saying? He was focusing on cannabis, naturally!
The Drug Czar Harvests BC Bud Propaganda Campaign At Canadian Border. The Jails Are Full, But He Likes That.
Hyper-Lying: Walters Takes War Propaganda to A New Level: “Marijuana is two-thirds of the addiction problem in America today.”

If Canada was a major source of a key meth precursor, it should not be a surprise to anyone, except the Canadian narks, that Canada has also developed a serious meth problem.

On February 15th the Maple Ridge Times, in a Vancouver exurb, carried an article, “Feds Failing In Meth Fight” in which Randy Kamp, the local (Conservative) member of Parliament complains, “In November, I asked the Minister of Justice if he had any programs or plans in place to combat the growing use of this insidious narcotic. He indicated that he did not and said that this was a matter for Health Canada.”

One might have more confidence in Kamp if he understood that meth is not a “narcotic” but the opposite – a stimulant, but then facts have never been a part of the Drug War.

And of course, he is calling for more stringent sentences for meth dealers.

His press release says, “Members of the RCMP in my riding have expressed frustration with the light sentences handed out to producers and distributors of crystal meth. Clearly the federal government has a role to play in beefing up our laws so that drug pushers who prey on our children receive serious deterrents, including serious jail time… More and more Canadians are calling for mandatory minimum sentences for these criminals. I agree with those sentiments.”

The meth laws are “off-topic” for MarijuanaNews, but I must note that the Conservatives are also calling for mandatory minimums for marijuana grow-ops, or “labs”, if one prefers.
Prominent Dutch Anti-Prohibitionist Agues That Cannabis Reformers Should Not Advocate Intensifying the War on Users of Other Drugs As An Alternative to Cannabis Prohibition.

The Justice Minister’s phony decrim bill includes increased penalties (but not mandatory minimums) for growing.
D’oh! Canada? Proposed Marijuana “Modernization” Equals The Sum of All Their Ignorance. The Intellectual and Moral Bankruptcy of Canadian Cannabis Prohibition. Analysis by Richard

Nonetheless, he says meth is a problem for Health Canada. (The wonderful folks who have screwed up the medical cannabis program for years, and who are still lying to Canadian children about cannabis.)
“Teens See Marijuana As Less Harmful Than Cigarettes.” Oh, The Horror! Is Health Canada Dangerous to the Health of Canada’s Teens?

Canada’s courts and prisons are already overloaded. Its “drug education” programs lack credibility.
The Royal Canadian Marijuana Police and DARE: Selling a Big-Time Fraud in Small Town Canada.

The narks oppose even the government’s phony decrim proposal.
Documenting The Role of Politicized Canadian Police In Maintaining Cannabis Prohibition. Canadian Narks Versus Canadian Freedom. Following the DEA Party Line. The Battle for Canada

And no one is prepared to face the reality that the meth problem is simply one more manifestation of the counterproductive nature of marijuana prohibition. Any effective drugs policy must begin with the legalization of cannabis and its separation from the markets for other drugs.

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