Among the amber waves of grain in middle America, drug manufacturers have established a literal network of methamphetamine (commonly called speed, crank, ice, tweek or chicken feed) factories. Barry McCaffrey, drug tsar for the previous administration called speed “the worst drug ever to hit America.” Not only do the users suffer, but so do innocent children—from the noxious chemicals left lying around as by-products, from the risk of fire and explosion in these so-called “factories,” and from abuse or neglect by adults who are under the influence from this cheap and readily-available drug.
The problem is particularly bad in the Midwest. Iowa, for example, discovered in the latest fiscal year, that 720 cases of child abuse were related to the drug labs. Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Illinois, Indiana and Minnesota are also coping with this serious problem.
The recipe and ingredients are relatively easy to obtain, and many struggling farmers have done so. The article in The Economist concludes that the heartland of America is now a dangerous place for children to grow up in.