CityLab: The Alchemy of Meth

Meth cooks practice late industrial alchemy—transforming base materials, like lithium batteries and camping fuel, into gold

Scouring the roads of Eastern Missouri for methamphetamine labs one day in 2013, Jason Pine came across a likely looking property: 20 vacuum cleaners hung from the trees in the yard; a truck, strangely filled to bursting with jewelry and Barbie dolls, decayed in the yellow grass. Nearby sat a beached speedboat, a riding mower, and a selection of gardening implements. Rusting mechanical bits formed patterns on the lawn.


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