Speed. Meth. Glass. On the street, methamphetamine has many names. What started as a fad among motorcycle gangs in the 1970s has become big business, largely due to the efforts of two Mexican drug runners who began smuggling ephedrine – the same chemical used to make over- the-counter cold remedies – into California by the ton.
Hundreds of illegal meth labs are now operating in the western United States, and the effects are sweeping the nation. From coast to coast, meth abuse is on the rise, but who’s responsible? Is the government doing enough to crack down on this latest drug craze?
In a reporting partnership with The Oregonian, FRONTLINE investigates America’s addiction to meth and exposes the inherent conflict between the illegal drug trade and the legitimate three-billion-dollar cold remedy business.