18. February 2006 · Comments Off on Meth – The Evil Drug War Mis/Dis Information Goes On · Categories: Drug Prohibition

I’ve just watched PBS’s Frontline: The Meth Epidemic. And, while I have to admit, I know far less about methamphetamine, its history, and the culture – both open and illicit, which surrounds it, than most of the other legally proscribed drugs I have studied, I likely know far more than the producers of this show.

And I intend to learn much more. As I have said many times before, I rely upon regular doses of pseudoephedrine (which I get on prescription) just to be functional. With a hat tip to Pastor Martin Niemöller: First they came for the meth-heads… then they came for me.

And in that is my first criticism of this program: They seem to think ALL methamphetamine requires ephedrine or pseudoephedrine as a precursor. And that is hardly true. By my current understanding, there are at least three different varieties of methamphetamine: d-meth, i-meth, and n-meth. Because of earlier crackdowns on the precursor agents, the variety most prevalent now is d-meth, which is “cooked” from ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. Other varieties, popular two decades or more ago, were formulated from other precursors, which illicit labs currently find difficult to obtain.

But, as might be expected, the pharmacological effects of each is not the same. While the deleterious effects of abuse of any drug can’t be denied, and those of any sort of methamphetamine are particularly severe, the effects of d-meth are far worse than even its chemical cousins.

But why is d-meth the most prevalent form on the street? Because of drug prohibition, and its crackdown on the precursors of earlier, less harmful, types. On prohibition, not the drug itself, you can also blame the environmental effects of clandestine drug labs, which is currently being berated on the tele. In a (reasonably regulated) free market, the drugs would be manufactured in environmentally safe professional labs.

And, of course, should they manage to eliminate all the ephedrine and pseudoephedrine – much to the suffering of myself, and others like me, the clandestine producers will just switch to a new formula.

Further, I would posit that, were it not for prohibition, “meth” would hardly be a concern, as most users would sooner use cocaine. In fact, it’s the evil war on cocaine that has made meth “a problem” in the first place.

More to come.

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