It’s a nightmare that most of us are trying to forget: the agglomeration of dangerous and pungent meth labs sprouting around our neighborhoods.
Such labs are mostly a thing of the past (though not entirely) thanks to “precursor laws” that allows the authorities to keep tabs on how much pseudoephedrine — the key ingredient in the drug — we’re buying.
But a terrifying story out of Walla Walla today demonstrates the dangers of such speed manufacturing: Two 19-year-old women and a woman in her late 20s were killed and a man injured when meth-making chemicals ignited and exploded.
But we know state and county budgets across the country are being slashed due to budget shortfalls. That could affect police and criminal justice-related budgets as well. And with many companies slashing jobs, hard economic times tend to bring a spike in drug use.
We also know the governor is considering a move that would close our local drug treatment facility for low income drug addicts. That means more drug use. And if the DEA is correct — that trafficking is down — more entrepreneurial efforts to produce meth may come to fill the void.
For now, we’ll brace for such an impact.