This is just bizarre. I swear, every time I think I'm on the verge of understanding what motivates these people, they find increasingly strange ways to waste our money:
Cooking methamphetamine takes only a few hours and requires simple household ingredients, like striker plates from matchbooks, the guts of lithium batteries, drain cleaner.
"It's pretty gross," said Matt Leland, who works in career services at the University of Northern Colorado and who recently helped cook the drug in a lab. "If someone was truly interested in manufacturing meth, it would not be that hard."
The Drug Enforcement Administration invited Leland and other citizens - such as software engineers, a teacher, a pastor and a school principal - to make methamphetamine last week in a lab at Metropolitan State College of Denver. [Denver Post]
Ok. We understand that DEA is teaching private citizens how to manufacture meth, but why? Why the hell would they do that?
The class was held as part of the DEA's first Citizens Academy in order to give the public a close-up view of what the agency does to keep drugs off the street.
That's interesting, and I'm eager to attend, but it doesn't answer the question because cooking meth isn’t part of DEA's job at all. Their job is, of course, to stop people from cooking meth, which has now become the precise opposite of what they're doing.
The whole thing is mindlessly indulgent when you consider that no one really needs a chemistry lesson to infer that the constant explosions at their crazy neighbor's house might explain why he has so many strange visitors.
If you're gonna teach meth-cooking, teach it to immigrant store clerks before you arrest them for naively selling household items to undercover narcs.
A deputy U.S. marshal based in Charleston is suing the makers of the popular cold remedy Zicam over his lost sense of smell, which he says has put him in danger of being unknowingly exposed to methamphetamine labs.Come to think of it, I too am deeply concerned about being exposed to highly-toxic meth labs. Who shall I sue? Perhaps the shortsighted legislators who've created a black market and ensured the continued illicit production of methamphetamine in our communities.
As a federal law enforcement officer, he said his duties sometimes expose him to methamphetamine labs, which are considered dangerous to be in contact with. [Charleston Daily Observer]
And before we get too excited about this cool drug that prevents cops from smelling things, note that Zicam's manufacturer says this is nonsense. They claim that allegations of smelling-loss occur because Zicam is a cold medicine popular among people with horrible pre-existing respiratory problems.
Sounds plausible enough, but good luck explaining "correlation is not causation" to a drug warrior.
The Mendocino National Forest Law Enforcement team has received a national Director's Award from the President's Office of National Drug Control Policy for its outstanding service to the nation in combating marijuana trafficking on the national forest last year.
"More marijuana was taken by this team than any other group within the Forest Service in 2006," the citation from Director Walters reads. "In honor and appreciation to the individuals whose outstanding accomplishments greatly enhanced the results of the National Marijuana Eradication Initiative your remarkable efforts have helped protect America from crime, drugs and violence," the award continues.
That's simply not true. I don't recall hearing about a marijuana shortage last autumn. There's no evidence that this activity has prevented anyone from using marijuana, just as there's no evidence that stopping people from using marijuana would be beneficial even if it were possible. What we've got here are a bunch of well-meaning, highly-trained public servants whose talents are being wasted on a glorified easter-egg hunt. The only reason we don't send boyscouts to do this is that they can't be trusted.
Now to be fair, the task does involve rappelling from helicopters, which can get a bit dicey. But that's not the danger that tends be emphasized here. More typically, we're told that grow sites are booby-trapped (which is actually to thwart thieves), and that 22-caliber rifles are commonly found (which are to shoot rodents and other pests). In short, the real heroes of the forest are fire-fighters, which we could have more of if we ended drug prohibition.
Still, while I vehemently deny that there's any significant danger associated with marijuana eradication in national forests, I am prepared to acknowledge that there's a certain amount of skill involved in actually locating the plants. I've spent a considerable amount of time hiking myself, and despite my best efforts, I've never discovered a massive secret marijuana garden.