Desperate to stanch the flow of meth, several states instituted electronic tracking of the over-the-counter cold medicine used in meth production—but the plan backfired, an AP analysis finds. Tracking was supposed to prevent people from buying more than the legal limit of pseudoephedrine, but it's actually created a black market among people who buy the drug and sell it to meth makers for a giant profit.
Thousands of people are getting in on the market, the AP notes. “It's almost like a sub-criminal culture," says a drug officer. “You'll see them with a GPS unit set up in a van with a list of every single pharmacy or retail outlet. They'll spend the entire week going store to store." Meth-related busts are growing again, with a 34% rise in the US in 2009—and the surge was higher in states using the electronic tracking method.