Drugs > UK, USA,
Sometimes called crank,
ice, tina or crystal meth,
abuse has spread
from rural areas
of the West and South,
to the Midwest and the East.
Today meth abuse
exists around the globe
Updated: March 29, 2011
Global Drugs Survey GDS 2014
Corpus of news articles
Drugs > UK, USA, Mexico > methamphetamines
February 9, 2012
The New York Times
By DAMIEN CAVE
MEXICO CITY — Mexican authorities announced their largest
methamphetamine seizure ever late Wednesday: 15 tons, found in pure powder form
at a ranch outside Guadalajara. It was about 13 million doses worth $4 billion —
more than double the size of all meth seizures at the Mexican border in 2011.
But while the authorities proudly showed off the seizure to local reporters, the
sheer size of the find set off alarm among experts and officials from the United
States and the United Nations. It was a sign, they said, of just how organized,
efficient at manufacturing and brazen Mexico’s traffickers had become even after
expanded efforts to dismantle their industry.
“The big thing it shows is the sheer capacity that these superlabs have in
Mexico,” said Rusty Payne, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration.
“When we see one lab with the capability to produce such a mass tonnage of meth,
it begs a question: What else is out there?”
Methamphetamine is difficult to produce in large quantities. Unlike marijuana,
which can be grown almost anywhere, meth requires international connections to
suppliers of precursor chemicals, which are tightly regulated in the United
States and Mexico, as well as manufacturers with a degree of chemistry
The Sinaloa cartel is believed to be Mexico’s main producer, partly because it
has a reputation for being the world’s most multinational and sophisticated
cartel. And some experts say that the seizure, along with increased seizures of
meth, cocaine and marijuana at the Mexican border, suggests that Sinaloa is
producing more than ever before, despite five years of increased Mexican and
American efforts to defeat the Mexican cartels.
“Sinaloa has been hit hard in the past four to six months, but they are clearly
operating at a volume they were not able to do 5 or 10 years ago,” said David
Shirk, director of the Trans-Border Institute at the University of San Diego.
With methamphetamine, he added: “There is really not much competition. They are
probably the only ones with the organizational and logistical capacity to move
this kind of product.”
United Nations figures suggest that the supply of meth in the United States has
been growing, with seizures at the Mexican border increasing 87 percent in 2011.
At the same time, demand in the United States has been falling. According to the
2010 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, the number of Americans 12 and
older who said they had used methamphetamine in the past 12 months declined 46
percent from 2002 to 2010, to 954,000 from an estimated 1.8 million.
But just as Mexican and Colombian drug traffickers are increasingly focused on
the market in Europe, experts said that the meth not sent to the United States
might be heading to other parts of the world. Sinaloa’s tentacles have been
found on nearly every continent.
Over all, experts said, meth appears to be providing an increasingly important
revenue stream for the cartel, and the seizure this week is likely to have
little long-term impact.
“It’s important to keep the seizure in perspective,” said Eric Olson, a security
expert at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars. “It’s huge.
Eye-popping. But seizures, even huge ones, don’t generally change the demand for
the drug in the long run. If a seizure of this magnitude raises the street
price, consumption may go down for a time, but it is only a matter of time until
the market adjusts and the supply comes back up.”
Mexico Seizes Record Amount of
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