Thwarting The Supply Of Anhydrous Ammonia

Anhydrous ammonia is another key ingredient in meth manufacturing. In most farm states, authorities say there is a break-in at an anhydrous ammonia tank almost every night. About 82 tons (19,844 gallons) of it was stolen from one Kansas farmer alone. It takes only a few dozen gallons to make a big batch of meth.23

States are working to cut off the supply of anhydrous ammonia to meth makers. Iowa has a successful lock program for farmers to secure tanks against theft, and some companies are marketing a solution that dyes the colorless gas a pinkish hue. This dye leaves stains on the clothes and skin, and could help law enforcement track meth manufacturers. Other anhydrous ammonia companies are adding calcium nitrate to it, which in theory competes with lithium during the cooking process so that meth cannot be produced. As of 2006, an Oklahoma law states that any possession of anhydrous ammonia in unapproved containers is considered sufficient evidence of intent to manufacture meth.23

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