And, the methamphetamine is being manufactured via a different process since Mexico has banned the sale of ephedrine and pseudoephedrince. The precursorsfrom which the Mexican meth is made have been banned in the United States since the 1980’s.
Seizures of methamphetamine at the Laredo customs district — the nation’s largest inland port — are on pace this fiscal year to surpass last year’s total by about 60 percent, reaching an expected total of about 1,650 pounds.
The statistic supports the theory that Mexican cartels are increasingly supplying the heavily addictive narcotic in the U.S., replacing domestic meth labs that were prevalent in rural areas only a few years ago. And analysts say that the ease with which meth can be produced in Mexico could help spark major changes in the bloody turf war between drug cartels.
Program directors in Laredo’s treatment centers have said the heavily addictive narcotic doesn’t appear to be staying in the area, as meth addicts aren’t filing in for treatment in greater numbers.
But researchers caution that demand is increasing away from the border and that Mexican gangs are becoming experts at cooking a cheap and highly potent version of the drug.
“The Mexicans have moved to an old recipe that existed in the ’70s and ’80s that is called P2P,” said Jane C. Maxwell, a senior research scientist at the Addiction Research Institute at the Center for Social Work Research at the University of Texas at Austin.
“It uses precursors that have been banned in the U.S. since the 1980s, but the Mexicans have taken up making it,” Maxwell said of ingredients — including a substance called propanone — used to make the drug. “They are making it in mass quantities, and they are damn good chemists.”
Methamphetamine manufacturing is like a cockroach. Snuff it out in one area and it springs up some place else.
Is there any wonder why the border with Mexico has to be secured?
While the amount of meth produced, shipped and used pales in comparison with the produced amounts of marijuana, cocaine and heroin — the leading cash generators for Mexican cartels — the street value of methamphetamine proves it has potential to continue being a significant revenue source for criminal groups. In 2011 a pound of meth was valued at $11,000 to $15,000 in Brownsville and $20,000 to $25,000 in San Antonio.
Because of that economic potential — and because it can be produced domestically and year-round — analysts are positing that meth could become responsible for a turning point in the wars between Mexican cartels.