The next step in the federal war against methamphetamines may be an attempt to regulate international distribution of their key ingredients, says an official of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The challenge is to cut down the number of products containing pseudoephedrine from source countries like India, China, Germany, and the Czech Republic to “superlabs” in Mexico, John Horton of the drug czar’s office told a Criminal Justice Editors’ Group meeting at the Drug Enforcement Administration near Washington, D.C. Horton’s office plans to work with Congress on possible legislation to deal with the problem.
Most of the recently publicized government efforts to deal with meth have involved state restrictions on products containing pseudoephedrine that are used in small toxic meth production labs within U.S. borders. Such facilities account for only an estimated 35 percent of the nation’s meth, DEA agent Doug Coleman told the editors group. To get a handle on the other 65 percent, “Mexico needs to be a significant focus of our efforts,” Horton said. He noted that state cutbacks on meth ingredient availablility had led to reductions of about 50 percent in the number of meth labs found in Oklahoma and Oregon.