Quite a few older Grits posts in the archives sometimes get comments, and this one came in yesterday here from an anonymous Okie that I thought was worth responding to:
The meth law in Oklahoma has closed down the "mom and pop" meth labs here. Children were being exposed to the noxious chemicals these labs produced, and the toxic waste that was being dumped on our backroads and in our rivers and streams has been halted. The restrictions on the sale of "pseudo" were directly responsible for these changes. Now instead of a thousand amatuer chemists, law enforcement can focus on the Mexican "superlabs." oh, and by the way, whining about the inconvenience of having to show ID to buy items containing this chemical sort of makes you look like an asshole (or a pissed-off tweaker that can't get his supply of "pseudo")Here was my response:
If you think more addicts, more property crime and more violence means the law "works," then more power to you. Meth labs were bad - are they worse than organized crime? How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? US drug policy is chasing its own tail. This law didn't improve things, at best it just shifted profits and enviro hazards to Mexico, at worst caused your addicts who used to cook at home to rob your house to buy the drugs from the Mexican cartels.Michael at Corrections Sentencing has echoed that NIMBY-ish response, but with cartel feuding piling up bodies on the border, problems that he didn't want in his backyard are worsening problems in Texans'. (Michael, don't think I won't be looking for ways during the next legislative session Texas can dump some of our problems on Wisconsin! ;) )
This is a silly law - further evidence that the best thing ever to come out of Oklahoma is still I-35. ;)
What do y'all think? Was a reduction in environmental hazards of meth labs (or, rather, shifting the problem to so-called superlabs in California and Mexico), worth the consequences of enriching drug cartels, higher addiction rates, increasing overdoses from higher potency, and boosting property crime and violence associated with addicts getting money to purchase from the cartels?
Y'all know what I think, but I'm curious about readers' opinion: Was it worth it?
UPDATE: Michael at Corrections Sentencing responds here.