Arizona’s efforts to eradicate meth production, largely through local ordinances restricting sales of drugs containing pseudoephedrine, have proved successful. The number of labs seized plummeted from more than 200 in 2002 to fewer than a dozen in 2007 as manufacturers moved operations to Mexico. The Arizona Republic reports that those efforts didn’t do much to curb demand, and with Mexican authorities continuing their own push to limit the availability of pseudoephedrine, experts expect lab seizures to start climbing again.
“The small labs are beginning to come back,” Attorney General Terry Goddard said. “I see it come across my desk almost every day.” With the labs come increased costs for the state and local agencies that cope with the drug’s fallout. Lt. Steve Bailey of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office said that although still in homes, labs are large and elaborate. Meth is harder to make than anything else. It creates more waste, you need more people, more time, more resources, but to most of those (dealers), it’s worth it. “At $17,000 per pound – that’s the retail price in Phoenix – they’re doubling their money at least,” Bailey said.