Law enforcement agencies across Tennessee are trumpeting a 41 percent drop in meth lab busts over last year, but their excitement is tempered by a cheaper, stronger version of the drug coming into the state from the same Mexican drug cartels that bring heroin and cocaine, says the Tennessean. Other meth-heavy states such as Missouri and Oklahoma have seen similar trends this year.
Stronger enforcement and new legislation regulating the sale of key ingredient pseudoephedrine are getting credit for the drop, but the DEA’s Mike Stanfill said it is also tied to vast quantities of meth coming in from Mexico over the past year. Stanfill said dealers who once had to collect enough pseudoephedrine to cook meth themselves now find it easier to buy the drug from outside sources. Mexican cartels are making larger batches of meth using an alternative to pseudoephedrine that is illegal in the United States, according to the DEA.