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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Electronic Tracking System Backfire

A number of people are getting involved in the methamphetamine business that do not or have not ever used methamphetamine, let alone cooked meth before. Ever since a cap was placed on how many packages of cold medicine pills can be purchased from a store, the price of cold medicine skyrocketed; the price hike isn't inside the store, but, rather on the street. Homeless people and even college students trying to make extra money have begun going from store to store, buying the legal limit and then they turn around and sell the pills to meth producers for exorbitant prices. In any given city there are hundreds of stores where medicine with pseudoephedrine can be purchased, packages of medicine that sell for $7 to $8 dollars inside pharmacies are sold on the street for $40 to $50 dollars.

It seems that the government's plan to curb methamphetamine production has back-fired creating a new black market business where people that have never been affiliated with this death dealing drug can find a place. "Where else can you make a 750 percent profit in 45 minutes?" asked Grellner, former president of the Missouri Narcotics Officers Association. The tracking systems "invite more people into the criminal activity because the black market price of the product becomes so much more profitable," said Jason Grellner, a detective in hard-hit Franklin County, Mo. Not every state electronically tracks cold medicine sales, but the ones that do have seen much higher meth related activity leading experts to believe that the plan has failed. Meth-related activity is on the rise again nationally, up 34 percent in 2009.

Three states that started tracking sales since 2008 have seen the highest amount of activity. Meth incidents rose a combined 67 percent in those states — 34 percent in Arkansas, 65 percent in Kentucky and 164 percent in Oklahoma. However, we cannot blame the spike solely on electronic tracking systems, the Mexican cartels have played a huge part in the increase of activity as well as people finding new ways to synthesize the drug.


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