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Oklahoma meth makers flout laws

BY JULIE BISBEE Modified: April 5, 2010 at 6:26 am •  Published: April 5, 2010
ople are limited to about 9 grams, or roughly six boxes, of the decongestant in a 30-day period, said Mark Woodward, spokesman for the bureau.

Following the law, lab numbers dropped, Woodward said.

But today, those numbers are creeping back up as more people turn to the "one pot” or "shake and bake” method that requires much less equipment to make. Labs are often contained in a single 20-ounce soda bottle, Woodward said.

The ingredients for a "one pot” lab can be found at discount stores for under $25. Users can cook enough for one hit within a few hours. While labs are increasing, they produce less. Users are often cooking enough for themselves and a few friends. The labs are highly flammable. In 2009, Tulsa police reported 16 fires associated with methamphetamine labs, said Jason Willingham, the department’s spokesman.

Tulsa police said they first saw the "one pot” cooking method in 2008.

"Before, we were going into homes or hotel rooms and we’d see this process sitting there and we wouldn’t know what we were looking at,” Willingham said.

Training crews
Law enforcement has started training utility crews, repairmen and state Department of Human Services caseworkers on the signs of the "one pot” meth lab.

Some in the law enforcement community say meth will continue to be a problem until pseudoephedrine becomes a prescription drug.

The Senate is expected to take up a bill that would create a registry banning meth offender buys. "This is a problem that’s honestly not being seen in a lot of places,” Willingham said. "Until that happens we’ll be known as the meth capital of the world.”