The Missouri Highway Patrol is testing a new scanning device that can detect the presence of meth with only the click of a button, says the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader. To law enforcement, it could be the future of crime-fighting technology. To meth dealers and manufacturers, this might signal the turning point in the war against one of the country’s greatest drug scourges.
Before police can begin widespread use of the scanner, it has to overcome several hurdles. The company needs to confirm its reliability while securing enough investment to bring the device to market. The scanner models will cost between $2,000-$5,500, but the price could drop after several years. Civil libertarians and defense attorneys are raising concerns about the device’s use in the prosecution of drug offenses, although no prosecutors yet have submitted evidence derived from the scanner. The meth scanner will likely debut in the coming months. It created by a small company called CDEX Inc. in Tucson. It is a small hand-held device that emits ultraviolet light to scan clothes, skin, or other surfaces to detect traces of meth as small as one microgram.