Blue ice was the name given to methamphetamine of supposed ultra-high quality on the television show called Breaking Bad. In reality, regular old ‘tweeker’ meth is streeted to the gullible and addicted in several different colors, blue not being the mythical best quality. If quality can be used to describe the purity of something so poisonously dangerous. Color, in the making of meth, comes only from impurities (like the coating on pills reduced to form it), whereas pure meth is milky white, if it is refined to that degree of chemical purity.
Why is it important to know anything about this highly destructive drug? Because it is being brewed right here in downtown Lake Geneva. Six months ago a meth lab was busted that had been set up in a rental house fronting Broad Street, not far from where Kwik Trip now sits. On Monday the Lake Geneva Police Department busted a second meth lab, this one set up in one of the rental condominiums of the Cove. That’s right, the Cove, located on Center Street, right next to Sprecher’s Restaurant. How was this second meth lab discovered, virtually downtown, in only a few months? The usual drug and alcohol hours approached (between midnight and four a.m.) and a call came into the police at about three in the morning.
A woman was calling for assistance, suffering from severe burns. The Lake Geneva Police and fire department responded to the Mill Street Hotel. At about the same time a call came in to respond to the Cove, right next door, because of an ongoing fire. The police and fire responded to that location, as well. The woman was transported to St. Mary’s hospital in Milwaukee, and the fire was put out. In the meantime, officers at the fire scene found Patrick M. McBean of Lake Geneva. This meth lab was in the unit where the fire took place. McBean was arrested, tossed into the drunk tank, and then transported to Walworth County lock up awaiting charges for possession, paraphernalia, manufacturing drugs and bail jumping (he was on the run from the police while cooking the meth, which would only make sense to a meth addict).
One Lake Geneva firefighter, and one Cove security guard, were treated for smoke inhalation at Lakeland Medical Center, but were released in fairly good shape. Considering why is Wisconsin so popular for cooking methamphetamine? The substance that lays at the very foundation of the drug is called ephedrine (also used in cold medications). It’s illegal to sell in Illinois but legal in Wisconsin. Ephedrine can be sold by willing gas stations all over southeast Wisconsin. It costs about seven or eight dollars a bottle. Each bottle contains about 60 tabs, each tab with 25mg ephedrine HCL. This information is all over the Internet so the GSR is not revealing secret information to help out meth cooks. Usually, only two bottles can be sold legally at one time. But there are a lot of gas stations all over the southern part of the state that sell it. Is it time for Wisconsin to ban the sale of ephedrine? A couple dozen bottles of this drug can produce a pound of meth. Divided up into small cut packets, the average financial return on meth production is around five hundred dollars for every dollar spent on the ephedrine and other chemicals to cook it.
Would it be a good idea to ban ephedrine all together, as so many states have done, or should Wisconsin continue on the present course?