Tag Archives | methamphetamine

What Americans Spend on Illegal Drugs

Number of Chronic Users of Cocaine, Heroin, and Meth (based on NSDUH) (RAND/ONDCP)

Number of Chronic Users of Cocaine, Heroin, and Meth (based on NSDUH) (RAND/ONDCP)

The RAND Corporation has prepared a facts and figures filled report for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) entitled “What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs: 2000-2010.” Make of it what you will (RAND and ONDCP aren’t exactly the most trusted institutions), but there’s plenty of interesting and thought-provoking information. You can find a PDF with the entire report here; this excerpt is from the executive summary:

A sense of scale is a prerequisite to thinking sensibly about illicit drug markets. For example, knowing whether a country consumes tens, hundreds, or thousands of metric tons (MTs) of a prohibited substance is critical for understanding the impact of a three-MT seizure at a border crossing. But decisionmakers need more than a sense of scale; they also need figures with enough precision to be able to determine whether the markets have become larger or smaller over time.

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Florida Drug Ring Relied on Voodoo Priest for Strategic Advice

PIC: Thom Quine (CC)

PIC: Thom Quine (CC)

The Polk County, Florida Sheriffs Department arrested 13 (!!!) people suspected of being involved in a methamphetamine operation. The crew was taking their advice from a voodoo priest. Mistakes were made. Oh, Florida. Don’t ever change.

Via the UPI:

As part of Operation Hoodoo Voodoo, 44 pounds of meth — worth about $2 million — was seized when ring leader Luis Villafuerte-Rojas was arrested at a truck stop in Polk City.

The operation’s supervisor, Javier Flores, remains on the loose.

Flores and another ring leader, Ma-Conception Lopez, reportedly consulted with the Voodoo priest after investigators took $200,000 in cash in February.

“They wanted to know if it was OK to continue,” said sheriff’s spokeswoman Donna Woods.. “The priest advised them everything’s OK. Just lay low for a couple of weeks. It’s not the police. It’s someone inside the organization…As a matter of fact, it was the police.”

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Crystal Myths: Methamphetamine & Misinformation

Photo: Jlcoving (CC)

[disinfo ed.'s note: this original essay was first published by disinformation on January 16, 2002. Some links may have expired.]

War generally brings with it a civilian incendiary known as propaganda. This tool may best be described as a clever combination of fact, exaggeration, and imagination designed to stir the emotions of the masses and America’s War on Drugs is no exception to this blight.

Myth #1: Speed Kills

This slogan, borrowed from the Department of Transportation, was introduced following the 1968 “Summer of Love” in Haight-Ashbury and is perpetuated to this day. In reality, the only correlation between meth and death is the two words happen to rhyme. A closer look at the raw data from which government agencies like the Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration derive their “statistics” reveals the truth.

According to the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), an office of the US Department of Health, there were 1,206 “mentions” of drug deaths attributable to amphetamines in 40 metropolitan areas in 1999.… Read the rest

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Cross-Dressing Priest Who Led Meth-Dealing Gang Arrested In Connecticut

A reminder never to take religious authorities too seriously when they admonish you to behave properly. Via the Daily Mail:

A Connecticut priest at the center of a meth drug-dealing gang has been suspended over allegations he had sex in his rectory. Monsignor Kevin Wallin was relieved of his duties in May last year after complaints were made by staff at his residence in Bridgeport.

The priest also faces charges of helping run a cross-country methamphetamine distribution ring. According to his indictment he was selling around $9,000 of meth a week at one stage.

Msgr Wallin, 61, is alleged to have bought an ‘adult entertainment store’ which investigators believe helped him launder thousands of dollars in weekly profits. Rectory staff are believed to have notified the local diocese after the priest allegedly ‘dressed as a woman and engaged in ‘sex acts.’






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Meth Has Flu-Fighting Properties

Via LiveScience:

Here’s some good news: Meth may cause you to lose every tooth in your head, pick your skin to pieces and turn your brain into a slushy grey mess, but at least you won’t have to worry about the flu. Probably. Scientists at the National Health Research Institutes in Taiwan have determined that crystal meth may have flu-fighting properties

They took cultures of human lung epithelial cells, exposed them to different concentrations of meth and then infected them with an H1N1 strain of human influenza A. By 30 to 48 hours after infection, the meth-treated cells had a much lower concentration of the virus than the control group, the researchers reported. What’s more, this reduction occurred in a dose-dependent manner, meaning the more meth, the less the virus reproduced.

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Top DEA Agent Won’t Admit Heroin More Harmful Than Marijuana

There’s some reefer madness going on at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. Eric W. Dolan reports for The Raw Story:

During a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing on Wednesday, Drug Enforcement Administrator Michele Leonhart repeatedly refused to admit that anything was more addictive or harmful than marijuana.

Democratic Rep. Jared Polis of Colorado pressed Leonhart on whether illegal drugs like methamphetamine and crack, as well as legal prescription drugs, caused greater harm to public health compared to marijuana. But within a three minute time-span, Leonhart dodged his questions eleven times.

“Is crack worse for a person than marijuana?”…

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The Walmart Meth Lab

Photo: Remi0o (CC)Only in America folks! Xeni Jardin recounts this nutty Walmart meth cooking story at BoingBoing:

Apparently, corporate profits just aren’t enough for some global megabusinesses these days: a Walmart store in South St. Louis County, Missouri was emptied by police when an “active methamphetamine production laboratory” was discovered inside.

Now, it’s entirely possible that the “lab” consisted of an empty plastic bottle and some chemicals, but still, you guys: some tweeker was cooking crystal inside a freakin’ Walmart…

UPDATE: It gets weirder. This local news report further clarifies that a woman detained for shoplifting at the Walmart “began to make meth in the loss prevention office.”

Now that is baller. You’re busted for shoplifting, placed in what amounts to a holding cell inside the store, and how do you kill time? Makin’ ice!…

[continues at BoingBoing]






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Is North Korea Addicted To Meth?

meth-in-ruili-yunnanCould between a quarter and half of the North Korean population be meth users? SINO-NK reports:

Though the North Korean government would never admit to outsiders that there is a drug problem in the country, the Daily NK has filed many reports over the past several years suggesting that “bingdu” (meth) is available practically at epidemic levels inside the DPRK. Articles claim, among other things, that commodity prices rise and fall depending on the harshness of ongoing crackdowns on bingdu; that middle schoolers in Hamhung, South Hamgyong Province, were caught producing bingdu; that teenagers give it as a birthday gift to peers; and, most recently, that Kim Jong-Un had ordered a crackdown on bingdu producers, sellers, and users.

Quotes from defectors and sources who spoke to the Daily NK report that anywhere from ¼ to ½ of the population in North Korea are using the drug. And as reported by Isaac Stone Fish in Newsweek, bingdu is often taken as a replacement for medicine in the DPRK.

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Woman Arrested For Attempting Meth Lab Inside Wal-Mart

methIf Wal-Mart has supplanted plazas, main streets, and town squares as the communal gathering place in locales across the country, and meth culture has become the predominant culture in some areas, it stands to reason that a logical weekend activity would be cooking up some meth at Wal-Mart. KJRH in Oklahoma reports:

Tulsa Police say a woman tried to make a meth lab inside a south Tulsa Walmart.

According to police, Alisha Halfmoon, 45, began taking items used to make meth off of shelves at the Walmart located at 81st and Lewis in south Tulsa. She then began trying to make the drug while still inside the store.

When officers took the items outside the store, some spilled. One officer suffered a minor burn to his hand. No customers were injured.






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The Cocaine Supply Chain

National Geographic investigates popular “recreational” drugs in its upcoming Drugs, Inc. series, starting this Sunday, July 11 with a look at coke, then continuing on to marijuana, heroin and meth:

The supply chain of cocaine stretches around our world, bringing vast wealth to a few … and misery to millions. Follow its trail through the eyes of peasant farmers producing cocaine paste, a trafficker tied to Mexican cartels and a 28-year-old crack dealer in Miami’s poorest neighborhood. And literally see the true nature of cocaine addiction via revolutionary brain photography in a leading lab in Brookhaven, N.Y.

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