TALLAHASSEE, Florida – There is scarcely a person alive in the United States who has never heard of Crystal Meth, or Methamphetamine, or Meth, as it’s known by those with street cred. Thanks to shows like Breaking Bad, it’s also known by people who don’t use it but may be considering it. The Internet is awash with jokes and memes about the drug that give us all a giggle and help our feeling of superiority. The knowledge non-users tend to have about it revolves around the danger of addiction and the health issues that arise from it. Only slightly less well known is the danger of exploding manufacturing labs.
The process of making meth is a chemically intense scientific process that requires many explosive substances, as well as heat sources. In the hands of a novice, inexperience and explosives have a predictable outcome. Thanks to an enterprising manufacturing company in Florida, that danger may become a thing of the past. Re-Agent Light Industries Corp. in Brooksville, FL did what businesses do. They saw a market need and struck out to fill it.
They manufacture an affordable solution, dubbed Heisenberg-2100, that virtually eliminates the threat of lab explosions while being affordable enough for the meth hobbyist. It’s a fully self-contained unit that can be controlled by a smartphone and can be paid off with the proceeds from its first use (leaving enough profit for a healthy Taco Bell run). The company offers Net 60 purchase terms which give the prospective purchaser 60 days to sell the product before making the first payment. We asked the company what prompted the move into the DIY pharmaceuticals realm, and got an answer from Vice President of Marketing, Bob Mundee.
The state of Florida has seen more than its fair share of lab explosions, and every one of them was caused by user error. It’s a dangerous world out there, and meth is a dangerous game. The problem was, most of these labs were in residential neighborhoods. It’s not right to jeopardize the lives of your neighbors with your illicit business venture.
He went on to say that meth was here to stay, and we, as the non-meth-using community needed to embrace it. He has a point. It’s a huge business because people want to spend more time awake and intensely focused, and they don’t want to visit a doctor to do it.
Federal and state law enforcement are less happy about the idea. They seem to think that more readily available equipment will only worsen the meth problem in this country, and in the state. The FBI and DEA are flabbergasted that it will take months of deliberation and countless hours of committee hearings to pass laws banning the sale or manufacture of the units. As it turns out, the units can also be used to make common soap, so they aren’t technically illegal. DEA spokesperson Maya Petersen gave us this comment.
We wish we could just wave a magic wand and, BOOM! Illegal… If that were the case, we could make dirt illegal because anyone can grow marijuana. We have to specifically seek ways to regulate this kind of device out of existence, because of the threat meth poses to public health. While we know these people also need soap, meth is a much bigger threat.
Mr. Mundee is not convinced the government is on the right track. Neither is most of the general public. For the first time in recent US history, the majority of the population favors safer manufacturing of illegal drugs. Many see it as a step toward decriminalization. Mundee agrees. He also said,
It’s a shame to lose so may young people to explosions, not to mention the cleanup effort after the fact. We’re losing our young manufacturers faster than they’re losing their teeth.
One thing is certain. With safer labs come safer neighborhoods, and safety is what we’re all about.