The state’s drug czar says Iowa authorities may soon reach a troubling milestone. Marvin Van Haaften, the director of the state’s office of drug control policy, says Iowa authorities could discover more methamphetamine labs here this year than will be discovered in California. One-thousand-two-hundred-64 meth labs were found in Iowa last year. But the pace for this year’s picking up. By the end of April, officials had found 501 meth labs. Van Haaften says that’s a 16 percent increase for the year. At that rate, more than two-thousand meth labs could be busted up this year here, making Iowa the runner-up meth capital of the country. Missouri leads the nation in meth labs, with over 27-hundred busted last year. California is currently second and Iowa ranks third. Van Haaften, though, hopes a new additive that render a farm chemical useless in the meth-making process will help curb the tide here. Van Haaften says they hope the additive will completely eliminate the use of anhydrous ammonia in the making of meth. Van Haaften will ask legislators to toughen a new law that seeks to limit the amount of over-the-counter cold meds with pseudoephedrine that folks can buy in Iowa. Van Haaften says the limit is not enough. He wants all cold medications kept behind the pharmacy counter to make it harder for meth-makers to buy in bulk.
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