As Nick noted the other day, CBS News has realized what other media outlets noticed months ago and what critics of the drug war (ahem) predicted last year: Although the state and federal crackdown on over-the-counter sales of pseudoephedrine seems to have reduced the number of domestic mom-and-pop meth labs, large-volume Mexican traffickers have taken up the slack, so the policy has had no discernible impact on the level of meth use:
Drug enforcement agents report the number of meth labs in the U.S. has plummeted.
"Yes, drastically down, in fact," says John Fernandes of the Drug Enforcement Administration. But, he adds, "Unfortunately there is an explosion of meth use."
The epidemic of meth use is still rampant because the drug is still plentiful on America's streets. Why?
"They just came across into Mexico to start production," said Fuillermo Gonzalez of the Tijuana Police Department.
This deadly drug is now a growth industry for Mexico's deadly drug cartels. They're replacing small U.S. kitchen labs with Mexican super labs....
By some estimates, as much at 80 percent of the meth on U.S. streets comes from Mexico.
Actually, that was the DEA's estimate before the crusade against off-the-shelf cold and allergy remedies, which makes you wonder if it was accurate then (in which case the current number is, let's say, 90 percent) or if all these numbers are pretty much pulled out of thin air.