Mexican cartels are pumping exceptionally cheap, high quality methamphetamine into the United States, Jim Salter of The Associated Press reports. Cartel meth—which is 90 per cent pure—now accounts for as much as 80 per cent of the meth sold in the U.S., according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
And from 2007 to 2011 the purity skyrocketed while the price tumbled from $290 per pure gram to less than $90, a combination that hooks people on the fast, intense and long-lasting high.
The meth is being made on an industrial scale in sophisticated factories using formulas developed by professional chemists and then smuggled into the U.S., where it flows through the same pipeline as cartels use to funnel marijuana and cocaine—meaning that increasingly large quantities are turning up in key American cities such as Denver, Dallas and Chicago.
Jack Riley, the agent in charge of the the DEA’s Chicago office, told The AP that the DEA is worried that the city’s 180,000 street gang members will begin meth trafficking and cause the rising murder rate to go even higher.
Salter notes that cocaine remains cartels’ most profitable drug—the RAND Corp. estimates the annual street value of coke to be about $30 billion, heroin about $20 billion and meth about $5 billion—but while Colombian-made cocaine gets progressively more expensive and less concentrated, tons of potent cartel meth is being made in Mexico.
A huge implication of all of this is that the ‘war on drugs’ has gotten even more insidious, especially if the U.S. government is colluding with cartels to bring drugs into America.
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