State drug agents are asking Iowa retailers to keep a look-out for big purchases of matchbooks. Dale Woolery of the Governor’s Office for Drug Control says the red phosphorus strips used to strike a match are used by some to make meth. Woolery says there are dozens of recipes for making meth, but the two widely used recipes use anhydrous ammonia or red phosphorus. Most illegal labs in Iowa use the farm fertilizer. Red phosphorus — the strips from matchbooks — is heavily used in west coast meth labs. Still, authorities have discovered a few labs in Iowa using the red phosphorus, and the State’s Drug Czar is asking Iowans to report any huge sales of matchbooks or matchboxes. Removing the strike-plates from hundreds of matchbooks to get enough red phosphorus is tedious work, but Woolery says meth makers don’t seem to mind. Woolery says meth “cooks” will sit around and pop hundreds of cold pills out of their packaging to get the ephedrine needed to make the illegal drug. Woolery calls the recipe for methamphetamine that uses anhydrous the “Nazi” method. That’s because it originated in Nazi Germany, and it’s reported that Hitler used to the drug.
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