Sometime ago, Iowa passed a law that made it harder for people to acquire pseudoephedrine in an attempt to prevent people from distracting themselves from their boring Iowa lives with meth.
The other day, the QC Times ran this article that proudly declared Iowa meth labs are down by 75%. Let us side aside that this does not mean Iowans are using less meth. Nor does it mean that this is a permanent change. But I’m more interested in how they concluded this astonishing figure.
It’s not like you can find meth labs in the yellow pages. They are illegal and like all illegal activity, significant time and energy is taken to keep the operations hidden. Surprisingly, police merely compared the 286 labs they knew about in May-July of last year and the 70 that they are sure about today. They can only find 70, thus only 70 exist. How dumb is that?
It seems far more likely that the reason there are fewer known labs is because existing labs went deeper underground until they can perfect a way to get around the law. When they do, don’t be surprised if they charge a higher rate for their goods to compensate for lost business; it’s not like they’ll have a lot of competition.