Iowa has passed some of the strictest anti-methamphetamine laws in the country for a reason. The state’s rural communities have been devastated by the recent meth epidemic, which is driving up crime and domestic abuse rates around the country (and leaving hundreds of users with a grotesque condition called “meth mouth“).
“The problem is that you can get everything to start a meth lab at Wal Mart,” Florida law enforcement official Sgt. Scott Behringer says. The even bigger problem is that Wal-Mart fought to ‘roll back’ tough laws in states like Iowa that make products with meth ingredients (such as Sudafed) more difficult to buy.
And when the Bush administration released its federal anti-meth plan last week, even conservatives couldn’t believe it. “If this is a cohesive national policy, it is embarrassing,” said Rep. Mark Souder (R-IN), chairman of the House subcommittee that handles national drug policy. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) says the White House is “listening more to Wal-Mart than to the economic and social problems” that meth causes.