Monday, November 23, 2009

'Did US law spur Mexican meth sales?'

Well, of course it did!

The title of this post is the headline to a Christian Science Monitor story (11/22) describing an outcome that was not only predictable but, at the time, predicted, at least on this blog. The article opens:
The goal was to curb production of methamphetamine by cutting off key ingredients. It worked: Domestic production of methamphetamine fell. But a blow to meth labs in the United States became, in turn, a boon to a group in Mexico.

La Familia started manufacturing meth a few years earlier in the western state of Michoacán. By 2006, the group had emerged as a major distributor.

No one claims that the emergence of La Familia was the direct result of the US law. But US production of meth has decreased dramatically since 2004, according to the National Drug Intelligence Center's National Methamphetamine Threat Asses­sment of 2008.

A global report from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime from 2008 also shows a 92 percent decline in the number of large-capacity labs in the US from 2001 to 2007. But in the same period, methamphetamine seized along the Mexican border dramatically increased. (There was a significant dip again in 2007, but seizure numbers are still higher than they were in 2001.)

Experts say that the expansion of meth networks operated by Mexican organizations is a major factor in the sustained meth supplies in the US today, even with new import restrictions on chemicals in Mexico.

Some are not surprised.

Count me among those unsurprised to learn that the gang La Familia Michoacana rose to power on a lucrative wave of meth smuggling thanks to restrictions on pseudoephedrine in the US market. Rather than focus on treating addicts, for some reason US policymakers thought it was a better idea to force them to buy their meth from gangsters instead of making it at home. Homemade meth was bad news, but rural meth cooks weren't beheading police officers or gunning down children as is happening now in Mexico. Sometimes better the devil you know.

I've been beating the drum about this unintended but painfully obvious outcome on this blog for years. Por ejemplo:


dirty harry said...

Just consider this another form of enterprise that moved south of the border with all those others that moved as a result of NAFTA. Whether it be legal or illegal, our government knows how to put the hurt on the business environment.

Anonymous said...

Good thing the good 'ol U.S. Government is around to blame.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

Actually, I'd personally blame Oklahoma, which launched the fad, once again proving that the only good thing to come out of that state is southbound IH-35

Anonymous said...

Now we just need troops on the border shooting anyone coming across.

But of course last time our guys shot a drug dealer coming into America, we put them in prison.

We shouldn't even call it a war on drugs! Its amazing the money we spend protecting foreign borders, but we do nothing about our own.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"Now we just need troops on the border shooting anyone coming across."

I tend to agree: They should line the Red River, facing north. ;)

ckikerintulia said...

Scott. You need to rename your blog. Call it "Anti-Okie animus!" :)

Anonymous said...

This is one of, if not the most, stupidist blog-posts ever.

Gritsforbreakfast said...


When someone looks down on your intelligence who uses the word "stupidist," twice in a row, no less, you know you've reached rock bottom.

Friggin' Okies ... ;)

Deb said...

Speaking of...did anyone else know private companies keep the records of sales of pseudophedrine -- that it's not Walgreens or CVS keeping logs, they 'pharm' it out so to speak...and if they are outright wrong (this time of year when I'm being told by the pharmacist I can't get my allergy medication b/c they show I've bought a certain amount in a certain time when clearly I haven't or I wouldn't have run out since I only take one pill a day) -- there's no one to appeal to/call/find out why your being denied. The pharmacies don't know who they contract with and corporate people won't call you back to tell you.

All this so we can help Mexican drug cartels grow stronger. Boy, I feel safer :p

Deb said...

And stupidist is as stupidist does :)

Anonymous said...

most stupid, if you prefer,
or moronic
or most appropriately, pedestrian.

Boomer Sooner.

Gritsforbreakfast said...

"Boomer Sooner."


Anonymous said...

The counterproductive impacts of repressive laws on drug use are evident everywhere. Such approaches cannot and never have worked to reduce drug use. Instead they make the exacerabate the drug problem several fold. Simply stated, there is no drug control at all when prohibition strategeis are used.

Such approaches to drug control turn a health problem into a criminal justice problem and make higher potency drugs more widely available to anyone of any age with cash.

When will learn that a lowder drug use society is achievable but it cannot be achieved through repressive prohibitionist stategies?

Anonymous said...

Anecdotally, a local (to my location)convicted drug (meth) distributor allegedly told arresting agents that NAFTA was the best thing that could have happened for his business.

Anonymous said...

It's not right either that they took a drug that was very helpful to many people to try to stop a few people from making meth.

Meth should be legal for people who want it... whether it's a grand idea for them to be taking it or not. And it certainly should be legal for cold and allergy sufferers to have it in amounts they need, without being treated like criminals.

Another burning down the barn method.


Anonymous said...


Cold and allergy sufferers should have access to the psuedoephedrine, I meant.

Sorry... Allergy based sinus headache is distracting.

Anonymous said...

When did the ACLU ever not blame the US?

Anonymous said...

This commentary appeared in The San Diego Union-Tribune on May 14, 2009.

Drug-related violence in Mexico has more than doubled over the past 18 months, with a sharp increase in crimes that can only be understood as atrocities. The gruesome executions posted on YouTube, the assassinations of police officials and politicians, the more than 200 decapitations in the past year, and the use of high-powered weapons such as assault rifles and grenade launchers may all seem wanton and senseless. After all, these are some of the same tactics used by al-Qaeda in Iraq.

But this violence actually has a purpose. It is a strategic campaign by the cartels to terrorize the Mexican public and sap support for the government's campaign to tamp down cartel activity.

Anonymous said...

This commentary appeared in Homeland Security Today on February 13, 2009.

Reprinted by The Rand Corporation

Mexican extremists have declared it their goal to recover the “lost territories”—land taken from Mexico after the Mexican-American War in 1848.

The plan calls for enlisting Mexicans residing in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in a campaign to terrorize and drive out the Anglo population, thereby ending decades of what the planners call Yankee discrimination and tyranny. The movement, which apparently draws on support from some of the warlords in Mexico, appears to have few adherents on the American side of the border, but it could be the forerunner of a large-scale uprising on US territory. As a consequence of the terrible economic situation caused by the violence, there are many unemployed, restless men who might be receptive to radicalization and recruitment.