Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Why are glass vials in convenience stores?

Iowa’s tough on meth stance is moving the meth problem in the right direction. With one law, one single law, the Legislature and the Governor changed the law enforcement dynamic in the fight against meth. As reported by the Cedar Rapids Gazette.

Iowa's tough law restricting access to a common cold medicine used in making methamphetamine reduced the number of clandestine labs seized in October to a monthly low of 10, the state's drug czar said Tuesday.

Marvin Van Haaften, Iowa's drug policy coordinator, said the law restricting pseudoephedrine sales caused much of the illegal drug-making to shift eastward but he is hopeful that trend will end in January when a statute modeled on Iowa's law takes effect in Illinois.

The only problem, meth is still available in the form of ice, a professionally manufactured version that comes across our borders by way of Mexican organized crime syndicates.

While the number of labs uncovered in Iowa -- 52 this fiscal year -- is down dramatically, the number of meth users seeking treatment is not, Van Haaften told an Iowa State Association of Counties meeting.

The good news is that the drop in lab seizures, which totaled 1,472 in Iowa in 2004, means law enforcement officers can shift their focus from labor-intensive lab cleanups to stopping the flow of drugs from Mexico and southwest U.S. states into Iowa, he said.

If getting the cold meds behind the counters worked, why not look at stopping some of the convenience store trinkets that are packaged in head shop friendly materials. Haven’t you ever wondered why convenience stores sell flowers in little glass vases and incense in glass tubes?

This year in the Iowa General Assembly, take a look at the stores and suppliers selling the meth/crack cocaine paraphernalia disguised as harmless gifts. I know the convenience store types will put up a fight, telling anyone who’ll listen that it’s inconveniencing the customer who needs that vial of incense or the sweet smelling flower. But really, if grandma’s that desperate for a flower and some patchouli, she can road trip to the big city.

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