Metrosexual Meth

A disturbing development in Colorado: the arrival of pharmaceutically pure crystal methamphetamine. Money quote:

Transparent, the size of a child's fist, it looks like a tiny ice carving or a statuette of glass. It is neither. In fact, it is 25 grams (a little less than one ounce) of nearly 100 percent pure crystallized methamphetamine hydrochloride, known on the streets of Asia as "Shabu." It was almost certainly manufactured in a clandestine laboratory in China, then shipped to the Philippines and on to Hawaii, and finally to Denver. Here it was purchased on the black market for $5,500 -- nearly five times the street value of an equivalent amount of cocaine and ten times that of low-grade, powdered crystal meth.

Shabu is so expensive because it is so pure -- and therefore so powerful. Most of the home-cooked speed in Denver is only 10 to 20 percent actual crystallized methamphetamine, adulterated with toxic by-products of the makeshift ingredients used in crude manufacturing processes. While any tweaker with a hot plate can whip together a batch of bathtub speed, Shabu requires a trained chemist working in a fully equipped laboratory with uncorrupted components. The result is pharmaceutical-grade meth -- 95-plus percent pure.

As much as the word can be applied to an illegal drug, Shabu is clean.

I guess I come off as a drug-legalizer on this blog. I am, when it comes to non-toxic soft drugs for adults. But there's still a need for legal controls on many toxic and dangerous substances, and the various risks, behavioral impact, and toxicity of the drug should all be rationally debated. Shabu, to my mind, is simply a form of poison. Very, very expensive poison. I've seen regular meth destroy people. What this stuff could do to people's minds and souls and bodies is terrifying.