The Obama administration has delayed for weeks the release of a report that describes a “high and increasing” availability of methamphetamine mainly because of large-scale drug production in Mexico, reports the New York Times. The delayed release is an apparent effort to minimize diplomatic turbulence with the Mexican government. The report, the 2010 National Methamphetamine Threat Assessment by the National Drug Intelligence Center of the Justice Department, portrays drug cartels as easily able to circumvent the Mexican government's restrictions on the importing of chemicals used to manufacture meth, which has reached its highest purity and lowest price in the United States since 2005.
Completed in mid-May, the report – which in previous years has been distributed to state and local police forces and posted online without fanfare or controversy – has not yet been released, partly because of the increasingly delicate politics of the United States-Mexico border and drugs. At one point, copies of the report were printed and boxes of it were shipped to San Diego to be distributed to law enforcement officials at a meth conference. But White House officials raised concerns because that same week President Felipe Calderón of Mexico was coming to Washington for a state visit. The release of the report has since been repeatedly delayed.