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Today’s map

Thursday, Feb 28, 2013 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From the DEA, we have a map of all calendar year 2012 “meth clandestine laboratory incidents,” including labs, dumpsites, etc. Click the pic for the national map…

Looks like Indiana and Missouri are out-doing us again.



  1. - Leave a Light on George - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 10:57 am:

    Just shows how bad Illinois economy really is.

  2. - Chicago Cynic - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 10:57 am:

    Wow - Missouri is blowing the whole country away in Meth labs. Go Missouri!

  3. - Old Shepherd - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 10:58 am:

    …and I bet Wisconsin’s numbers would be higher if you included clandestine cheese labs.

  4. - Nearly Normal - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:05 am:

    I think this is one list that Illinois does NOT want to be number one!

  5. - TCB - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:06 am:

    Scott Walker: as tough on drug dealers as he is on teachers.

  6. - Six Degrees of Separation - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:07 am:

    Maybe IL’s labs are just bigger.

  7. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    Wow, I thought there would be more reports from out west. That’s where it all started. Production from Mexico must have put them out of business.

    Obviously, we have lots of rural Midwestern/Border State go-getters. Perhaps legal marijuana cultivation would be a more benign channel for their energies.

  8. - Kasich Walker, Jr. - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:13 am:

    I wonder why coastal states have significantly lower numbers than the Central US.

  9. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:15 am:

    This might explain why it takes so long to get your food at Wisconsin restaurants. They just never seem to be in a hurry up there. Now we know why.

  10. - so... - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:19 am:

    ==I wonder why coastal states have significantly lower numbers than the Central US.==

    Meth production requires sparsely populated areas. Apparently the smell is quite distinctive and difficult to hide. So that kinda rules out most of New England. The Southern states actually do have a fair amount of meth production. And on the west coast, like someone before said, Mexican competition is probably a big factor.

    So that leaves mid-American rural states.

  11. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:22 am:

    “meth clandestine laboratory incidents,”

    Perhaps our folks are just more careful? What do they mean by incidents?

  12. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:23 am:

    –Meth production requires sparsely populated areas. Apparently the smell is quite distinctive and difficult to hide. So that kinda rules out most of New England.–

    Plenty of sparsely populated areas in New England. Upstate New York, too.

  13. - Pot calling kettle - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:27 am:

    It looks like the top states are “small government” states either by choice (MO, TN, IN, KY) or by budget (IL).

  14. - carbaby - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:30 am:

    I am really surprised that Texas does not have more. Maybe they have cracked down since the 80’s and 90’s. Meth was always known to me as the poor man’s cocaine. People from Texas that I knew back then were in the army at Ft. Hood and crystal meth use was more common than cocaine because it was cheap.

  15. - Major Frank Burns - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:32 am:

    I’m sorry, but Arkansas has to be lying.

  16. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    Major, I thought Mississippi at “5″ seemed out of whack.

  17. - so... - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:37 am:

    ==Plenty of sparsely populated areas in New England. Upstate New York, too.==

    Indeed. You’ll notice that New York’s number is fairly high compared to the surrounding states.

    Sparsely populated areas certainly isn’t the only factor, but it’s a big one.

  18. - titan - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    Wisconsin folks are happy with just Culvers, beer, cheese and sausage.

  19. - so... - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:44 am:

    ==Plenty of sparsely populated areas in New England. Upstate New York, too.==

    Another major factor is that the biggest abusers of meth have historically been lower-class whites, and states like Missouri and Tennessee have those in spades.

  20. - How Ironic - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:47 am:

    Clearly the 67% income tax hike has only aided in the flight of these small ‘job creaters’ from Illinois to the surrounding States.

  21. - LisleMike - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:48 am:

    I spend time as a leader to the Native American Reservations in South Dakota each summer with various Chicago Churches. In the 10 years I have done this, I find each year more “incidents” on the reservation than the previous year regarding this subject. It goes unreported because the reservations use tribal law enforcement and they are undermanned to deal with issues of meth. It is heartbreaking. I would bet the numbers in WI, MN and certainly the Dakotas would be higher if data was shared from the reservations…

  22. - wishbone - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:04 pm:

    Time for the rest of us to quit worrying what these idiots put in their bodies as long as they don’t DUI or operate heavy machinery. Prohibition doesn’t work, and only creates worse problems.

  23. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    Chicago gangs run heroin instead.

  24. - Judgment Day - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:25 pm:

    Meth production is also very highly chemical oriented. Lot of it is agricultural chemicals. Downright dangerous stuff to play with.

    Not something you tend to play with in urban/suburban areas, as it’s easier to detect (you can smell it). Also, LE has made it considerably more difficult to purchase the necessary ingredients (say, something like anhydrous ammonia) in smaller containers, so meth production tends to stay in less populated farming oriented areas.

  25. - Anna - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:29 pm:

    A possibility for higher numbers is one of the requirements for meth is anhyrdous pneumonia - which is used in corn production. So, states with higher corn production would see higher meth labs because of ingredient availability.

  26. - Cincinnatus - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:38 pm:

    Maybe it’s not Breaking so Bad for Illinois?

  27. - Jimbo - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:51 pm:

    Anhydrous pneumonia. You have to have be seriously damn ill to be involved in meth production. lol at auto-correct.

  28. - Mouthy - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:51 pm:

    “God told me that Indiana was born to to produce Meth” one 87 year old farmer/Chemist was overheard to say. “Yes, but Missouri Methers have natural ways to avoid the authorities” boasted a three toothed backwoodsman with the terrible cough.

  29. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:52 pm:

    Anna @ 12:29 said anhyrdous penumonia is used in meth production. I laughed so hard I almost lost my lunch. Is that a disease where you cough because you have no water?

    Anhydrous Ammonia not pneumonia.

  30. - mokenavince - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:53 pm:

    I figured Indiana would lead the pack. The Hoosiers have to try a little harder.Kentucky
    is probably using its whole pop corn crop.
    You know in believe Dogpatch was in Missouri,
    Little Abner would be proud.

  31. - jerry 101 - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:53 pm:

    Man, just because Illinois is lower than Missouri or Indiana, it’s still not much to write home about - we’re #5. Maybe we just have better enforcement than some of those suspiciously low states (here’s looking at you, Wisconsin and (most) Appalachia states).

    But it does seem to really be clustered in our part of the country - states with over 500 incidents are: Oklahoma, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Aside from Oklahoma, it seems like all those states have one thing in particular in common - close to the Ohio River and the Mississippi. Is there a hidden meth highway going up and down the Mississippi and Ohio?

    Or is southern Illinois just the National Meth Production Capital?

  32. - Jimbo - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:55 pm:

    DD, I kind of assumed she was off in the spelling of Ammonia, and autocorrect did its thing. Although, stimulants cause dehydration and lower your immune system’s ability to fight off things like pnemonia, so maybe there’s more to it.

  33. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 12:56 pm:

    === wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    Obviously, we have lots of rural Midwestern/Border State go-getters. Perhaps legal marijuana cultivation would be a more benign channel for their energies ===

    Why not just legalize the meth? We could better control quality and get the labs out of trailer parks and into the industrial parks where they belong. Then those guys could have a dental plan n stuff.

  34. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:10 pm:

    DD, meth is legal with a prescription. It’s called Desoxyn.

    From a lifetime of experience and observation, I don’t equate illegal meth use with marijuana use, just like I don’t equate having a couple of beers or wines with pounding moonshine all day.

    I also don’t equate marijuana use with prescription drug abuse, which is a very serious problem.

  35. - the Patriot - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:10 pm:

    Hey, we hit the top 5 in something!

  36. - the Patriot - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:10 pm:

    Hey, we hit the top 5 in something!

  37. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:20 pm:


    I don’t equate having a little snuff with destroying my teeth/health with hourly use of meth. That’s what you appear to be saying when you try to minimize the effects of alcohol if you just have a few beers. I knoe folks who say they aren’t alcoholics cause they just drink beer.

    When I consider the entire world of illegal drug production and use I see folks who suggest that legalizing pot will have an imapct of crime. Frankly, unless you legalize all of them the criminals will just move to another illicit substance/activity. Why would someone change their drug of choice if another one is legalized. The logic is just too mushy to take seriously.

  38. - Anna - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:31 pm:

    @ Dupage Dan too funny - didn’t notice it until you posted. I hate autocorrect!!

  39. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:36 pm:

    DD, society and politics is all about drawing lines. But, as always, I defer to you on mushy logic.

  40. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 1:57 pm:

    I called it when I saw it, word. Thanks for noticing!

  41. - eddie - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:09 pm:

    Maybe we just don’t report them.

  42. - Mason born - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:46 pm:

    I had actually heard that some of the decrease with the Meth was caused by Cheaper “more sophisticated” drugs like prescription and heroin. That combined with teens thinking that meth makes you look like well a meth addict have created a boom in heroin use among teens. Note apparently there is a way to use heroin that doesn’t involve needles. Got all this from STL News.

    So question if the move is from meth to heroin is that an improvement??

  43. - Chevy owner/Ford County - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:52 pm:

    Comic Kathleen Madigan, who is from Missouri, has a hilarious bit she does about meth labs being the biggest industry in her home state…. Guess this sort of bears that out….

  44. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 2:54 pm:

    –So question if the move is from meth to heroin is that an improvement??–

    I’ve lived in Cook for a while. The heroin market has been robust for some time.

    Folks from all over the suburbs and Midwest get off the Ike at Austin and cop in the open air markets around Columbus Park. That’s been going on for years (obviously, not a high priority of the city or federales).

    I don’t know from meth, except what I read, sporadically. Is there some decrease?

  45. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 3:09 pm:

    Newspapers have been reporting on the “alarming trend” of suburban teenagers using heroin for more than 30 years. At some point it stops being a trend and is just the new normal.

    In other words, MB, I don’t think you’d see a jump in heroin use recently. And meth is pretty harsh (or so I’m told) and has other marketing problems beyond the fact that it’s become associated with poor whites, which is the opposite of glamorous. I think meth lost quite a bit of its appeal, especially among kids.

    But the meth epidemic is why you need to show ID to buy cough medicine.

  46. - Boone Logan Square - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 3:48 pm:

    When’s the ISRA going to discuss their fears of visiting the drug-ravaged corn belt?

  47. - Belle - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 3:58 pm:

    Isn’t Illinois supportive of small business growth?

  48. - the Patriot - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 4:03 pm:

    I don’t know if I should be proud law enforcement is doing a good job, or that meth producers in IL are smarter than those in 4 other states who just screw up and get caught more?

  49. - Quicknote - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 4:34 pm:

    Don’t quote me on this, but wasn’t Lisa Madigan one of the first AGs to go after meth production? I seem to recall she was one of the first to make it a priority.

  50. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 5:27 pm:

    Should we re-name it the “Show Me the Meth” State, or just the “Show Meth” State!!! Yikes–looks like the problem is out of control THERE!!! Not to mention, what’s goin’ on for real behind the scenes in the all-Conservative Hoosier State, too?!

  51. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 5:32 pm:

    DD, I’m glad you’re on the case with your impeccable logic.

    I hope it doesn’t deter you from your mission of the Mysterious Disappearing Italians. Because, as you’ve told us, they’ll all be gone in a few years.

    I get it, for some reason, you have irrational “Reefer Madness,” yet you dig “Asleep at the Wheel” (”Am I High?”, said Ray).

    You also think “Ronnies” at the Thompson Center serves a good steak (they do keep the Loop clear of stray cats and dogs).

    So your judgement is in question.

    But get out of your waiting-to-retire-state-pension mindset and deal with the issues in front of you as they are, not as you wish they would be.

    Lot of money in weed. It’s Kentucky’s biggest cash crop, (illegally).

    Anheuser-Busch of is a pillar of society in St. Louis. They were legal, then they weren’t, now they are again.

    Can you imagine if we stopped subsidizing corn — for ethanol, for sweeteners — and let the market run?

    The chemical companies would plotz. Because they’re the one’s running the corn and beans in Illinois right now, not the farmers.

  52. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 7:59 pm:

    This is perhaps off-topic a bit on the thread, but the RedEye deserves a huge shout out for their great work in tracking every homicide in Chicago, year after year, and breaking down the patterns.

    Just the facts, m’aam, but it’s brilliant, needed and well done. Thank you, RedEye.

    Here we go, from RedEye:

    –What is the most common type of homicide?
    In 2012, the majority of homicide victims are young black men killed by gunfire on the South Side. Gunshot homicides comprised about 86 percent of the 515 homicides last year. Nearly 77 percent of the victims last year were black. About 63 percent of the victims were between the ages of 13 and 29, RedEye data shows.

    How often are homicide cases solved?
    The percentage of cases the police department says it has solved is a constantly changing number. This year, charges have been filed in about 20 percent of cases, according to RedEye data of Wednesday afternoon. From year to year, it appears that Chicago Police typically have a 24 percent clearance rate.==

    Chicago, we have a young black male homicide problem.

    Not a citywide crime problem, but a young black male homicide problem on the South Side. These young men are killing each other and refusing to cooperate with authorities.

    The ones who have a chance, need to get out of town.

    That’s enough. It requires serious intervention, just as big as Iraq or Afghanistan (and with a lot bigger upside) and new thinking, on all fronts. The problem is severe, but it’s isolated, and needs to be attacked aggressively.

    These young men don’t think life is worth living in the United States. That’s heartbreaking, it’s a disgrace to our country, and it’s on our watch. Time to step up.

    Personally, I’d pay my last dime to see every at- risk kid out in the country digging a hole one day, and filling it up the next. They need good work, fulfilling work, something to be proud of.

    There’s plenty to be done. How hard can it be to put our heads together and give gangbangers a chance at productive manual labor, like the CCC days?

  53. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 9:01 pm:

    Two excellent posts, word. I’m still thinking about the first one, but the second one makes a great deal of sense. Spending a tiny bit of the War on Drugs cash on employment programs just might stem, if not turn, the tide. Anything would be better than the bupkis that is being done right now.

  54. - Emily Booth - Thursday, Feb 28, 13 @ 9:56 pm:

    I think all we can do is support people by raising the min wage, giving them access to child care and health care and give their kids a good education so they can get the h*ll out. There’s just too much poverty on the west and south side. Too much.

  55. - dupage dan - Friday, Mar 1, 13 @ 8:48 am:

    Wow, word, you really went on a rampage there - looks like you’ve been keeping alot of anger inside of you - not good for your cardiac health. Didn’t realize I meant that much to you that you kept up on so much of my previous postings.

    Reefer madness? I don’t think so. I do believe that there are far more interesting things to do in the world than addle your brain with chemical substances. The health of a society has alot to do with how folks treat themselves and those around them. Like you said - societies make choices. Rich has said that we shouldn’t punish those who use drugs responsibly - that we should punish the behavior rather than ban the substance. But where do you stop? Is pot okay? Do you legalize it just because you can reap benefits from taxing it? With that logic, one can point to many “vices” and say we should legalize them. Howsabout prostitution? Is that a vice you would allow to be legalized? I know some feminists who believe that it is certainly NOT a victimless activity. How do you balance those things?

    Dissing Ronnie’s is fightin words - word.

    BTW - thank you for the history lesson re beer. Hey, tell me, when was it illegal?

    I like the bit on corn subsidies, tho. The whole ethanol thing was a scam from the beginning. No way that you can make ethanol economically as a fuel using current technology. The beauty of it is that the politicians either didn’t know that it was worthless or didn’t care. Just the kind of folks we want making decisions that effect young persons when it comes deciding whether or not to keep certain substances illegal or making them legal. Your concern re prescription drug abuse is laudable. Just how do you propose we deal with that problem since you appear to believe prohibition doesn’t work?

    Once again, you have attacked the poster rather than the gist of the comment.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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