This is what happens when everyone becomes a fan of Breaking Bad.
The Associated Press reported this morning that 2012 has already seen a large spike in the amount of meth lab busts across New York State. Last year around time, only 45 laboratories of that blue were raided by authorities; this year, we’re looking at 100 raids, with a solid 20 happening just this month.
For those who are unaware, methamphetamine is a Schedule II substance in the United States. It gets its name ‘crystal’ by the form it takes after being synthesized in one of these labs: the polymers crystallize, creating a sheet of glass (which happens to be another one of its street names). The drug is highly dangerous, addictive and is usually made in an RV of some sort. It also makes people look like this
However, what could explain this sudden jump in the production of crystal meth?
After watching all five seasons of Breaking Bad, I can safely say that it is not easy running one of those labs. The synthetic chemicals used create large fumes of smoke that are noticeable to anyone within a one mile radius. And ‘chemists’ have to wear large radioactive suits that nuclear physicists put on because those fumes are actually lethal if ingested.
Just the sheer risk of it all is incomprehensible in a recession; who has the resources needed to put this all together? I guess the payoff is worth it – however, I’m not so sure how much crystal meth is going for on the market these days. Maybe it’s not worth the risk; who knows.
But the rough economic times could explain the risky ventures: with not a lot of hope left in the legal job market, many people are forced to take up illicit jobs to help pay for the daily cost of being an American in the modern age. Hey, if it’s puts food on the table, why not cook up meth somewhere?
Or maybe it’s the sheer popularity of that show. On Thursday night, Stephen Colbert asked Vince Gilligan, the writer and creator of Breaking Bad, if he was worried that this would happen the other night; a case in which children see the show and think hey, cooking up crystal meth is glamorous and can make you rich a la Walter White. Needless to say, Gilligan didn’t rule the possibility out.
So that might be it: the show’s notoriety is leading to a spike in the meth lab production in New York State. If that’s the case, we still have another year left before we find out Walter White’s fate. Looks like 2013 might have the authorities a little busy.