Domestic production of methamphetamine in small toxic labs (STLs) results in significant community safety and health consequences. This paper examines the effects of state-level policies implemented in the middle of the last decade in reaction to a rapid increase in STL labs. These policies focused on controlling access to the methamphetamine precursor chemicals ephedrine and pseudoephedrine and the relationship of such policies with actual STL seizure rates. Data include (a) primary legal research on state laws/regulations in all 50 states in effect as of October 1, 2005; and (b) STL seizure counts for 2004–2006. Results from random effects cross-sectional time-series regression models showed that states with the greatest reduction in STL seizures had comprehensive policies involving quantity limits on methamphetamine precursor purchases, clerk intervention requirements (such as requiring buyer identification) and regulatory agency specification for monitoring compliance and tracking multiple purchases. Criminalizing purchasing violations was not related to STL reductions.
Journal of Drug Issues
McBride, Duane C.; Terry-McElrath, Yvonne; Chriqui, Jamie; O'Connor, Jean; VanderWaal, Curtis; and Mattson, Karen, "State Methamphetamine Precursor Policies and Changes in Small Toxic Lab Methamphetamine Production" (2011). Faculty Publications. 9.