Methamphetamine is the primary drug threat in California. Mexican organizations continue to dominate the production and distribution of high-quality meth, while a secondary trafficking group, composed primarily of Caucasians, operates small, unsophisticated laboratories.
Clandestine laboratories can be found in any location: high density residential neighborhoods, sparsely populated rural areas, remote desert locations in the southern portions of California, and the forested areas in northern California.
In recent years, there has been a decrease in the number of meth labs seized in California and an increase in the number of meth labs just south of the border in Mexico.
Rural areas in the Central Valley are the source of much of the meth produced in California and seized elsewhere.
Within California itself, Hispanics and Caucasians are the almost exclusive consumers of meth. Purity levels of meth have ranged from a low of ten percent to a high of 100 percent purity.
As the supply of pseudoephedrine from Canada has diminished after successful law enforcement operations, there has been a noticeable increase in pseudoephedrine and ephedrine seized that originated from China.
Restrictions on pseudoephedrine importation into Mexico, balance-of-power issues among rival Mexican cartels, and increased enforcement efforts by the current Mexican government have all significantly impacted methamphetamine manufacturing and the smuggling of finished product into the Los Angeles area.