Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Monday, August 22, 2005

Not the best Fella'...

Henry Hill, everyone's favorite ex-goodfella-turned-rat-turned-author, was found guilty of attempted possession of methamphetamine. He was arrested last August when a search of his luggage found tubes which contained residual traces of meth and cocaine.

I found this news interesting since I think that it highlights a growing problem that is being "swept under the rug," the continuing spread of methamphetamine. It's gotten to the point now where even the guy who inspired GoodFellas is peddling the stuff!

The growing use of meth also has a direct impact on increased crime, in many different forms. Not only can you run into crimes such as people stealing the components they need to make their meth, but you also run into: check-fraud, credit card fraud, identity theft, mail theft, robbery, assault, muggings, and more.

There are many problems that people in government and law enforcement encounter when trying to combat the meth problem. For one thing, it is not rocket science to manufacture meth. Once one person has the knowledge, it is easy for them to spread that knowledge to others, which means that it is tough to prevent the spread of meth labs. On top of that, meth labs don't have to be inside a house, they can be in a vehicle, making them mobile (if need be). You can imagine the problems that a mobile meth lab creates: on top of the fact that it is harder to track down than a house or other stationary lab, it can be moved if there is suspicion of being found. On top of that, if a vehicle-lab gets into an accident, it presents a serious health risk, as the chemicals in the lab can leak out, or the lab could potentially explode. In addition to these problems, it doesn't cost a fortune to piece together a meth lab. With a low "start-up" cost, people can start making illegal money quickly with a meth lab, often an appealing aspect in the poor and rural areas where meth originally caught on. The BBC did a small piece which mentions some of this.

I've read about "super labs" located just over the boarder in Tijuana, and I have little reason to suspect that those rumors are not true. Along with the pervasive spread of home and mobile meth labs, law enforcement officials also have to deal with smuggled in meth from these labs. With people jumping fences and driving over the boarder trying to smuggle in these drugs, there is also the problem of "drug tunnels."

On top of all of this, there's the lingering "War on Drugs" which produced some results, but arguably did not really come to any satisfying conclusion. Could that campaign have left a bad taste in the mouths of politicians who are in charge of allocating money to the efforts to combat drugs in the US?

Without more efforts to stop meth, whether it's anti-drug programs in schools, or money for agencies combating it, meth use will continue to spread which will lead to the spread of increased crime.

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