Pubdate: Tue, 29 Jul 2008
Source: Barrie Advance, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Janis Ramsay
Bookmark: (Methamphetamine - Canada)


Police in Simcoe County haven't yet seen meth labs "take root" in the 
area as was predicted several years ago, according to an OPP officer.

Sgt. Tom McMenemy works with the OPP Drug Enforcement unit at the 
Orillia headquarters, and said cops thought the methamphetamine trend 
would've already come to the area.

"In a nutshell, it has hit hard in Western Canada. In Ontario, it's 
in Perth County and Stratford," said McMenemy.

Since 2000, the OPP's Clandestine Lab Investigation Response Team has 
been ready to pounce on the deadly chemical labs. Some OPP officers 
now carry hazardous material equipment, like chemical suits, in their 
vehicles to protect officers from exposure.

"We've been bracing for it for a long time. There are 30 officers 
trained for it, and in some parts of Ontario it's a major problem 
already, but we haven't seen chronic use in Simcoe County."

As far as meth labs are concerned, McMenemy has seen them in bushes, 
sheds, trailers, hotel rooms and houses.

"Everything low-end, all the way up to beautiful, big places."

He said in a home, meth could be manufactured in a bathtub or a bucket.

Typically, McMenemy is seeing meth in pill form and says that means 
it's been made in a large-scale lab. It also means that young people 
might be experimenting with it.

"We're not seeing the powdered crystal here, although there were some 
seizures in Gooderham in February 2007."

It can be a cheap drug, costing anywhere from $20 to $40 for a hit.

"Its effects last longer than coke or crack, and it is so intense 
that rates of addiction are quite high."
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