To the People

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Friday, February 06, 2009

I'll Never Look at a Ukulele the Same Again


A few things to note from the recent Microgram Bulletins:

1) It's always worth a chuckle to see what people are stuffing drugs inside of for the purposes of smuggling. Teddy bears are always popular, antiques often show up. I've also seen shoes, chairs, blinds, you name it. Just as the editors are sure to point out that a particular drug combination is the first submission to Microgram, they also point out if the vessel used to smuggle the drug is a new to them as well. This one made me laugh, and not just because they don't know how to spell ukulele correctly:

These were the first submissions of cocaine smuggled in a ukelele or a jewelry box to the Southeast Laboratory
Guitar, no. Banjo, probably not. Ukulele, yes.

2) This entry is interesting if you've been following the flavored meth hype of the past few years.

The DEA Western Laboratory (San Francisco, California) recently received a ziplock plastic bag containing a mixture of translucent crystals and tiny purple specks that had a distinct grape candy-like odor, purported to be “flavored methamphetamine” (see Photo 1). The exhibit was acquired by DEA Special Agents in Everett, Washington. Analysis of the exhibit (total net mass 26.7 grams) by FTIR, GC/MS, GC/IRD, and HPLC confirmed 1.1% methamphetamine (salt form undetermined), diluted with dimethylsulfone and sucrose; the sample appeared to be mostly dimethylsulfone, based on the FTIR spectrum. It is possible that the tiny purple specks in the exhibit were bits of a grape flavored candy or lollipop, but this was not formally determined. This is the first such submission to the Western Laboratory.
Microgram adds this Editor's note at the bottom of the entry:

[Editor’s Notes: “Flavored methamphetamine” (most notably “strawberry meth”) has received extensive and often alarmist coverage in the mass media over the past two years. However, this is the first confirmed sample of “flavored methamphetamine” submitted to a DEA laboratory, and is also the first such report by any laboratory to Microgram. A small number of exhibits with unusual colors have been submitted to the South Central Laboratory (Dallas, Texas) over the past two years; however, none of the latter samples had any noticeable fruit or candy-like odors.
Interesting if nothing else. What I'm confused about is how they can say it is the "first confirmed sample of flavored methamphetamine" when they could only confirm the odor, not the flavor. Most likely, as Microgram suggests, it is merely grape flavored candy mixed with the meth which I'm assuming would give it a grape taste if smoked, but does an odor automatically confirm a taste?

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