Each season has been much better than the one that preceded it, and if that keeps up the end of season five is poised to be something else. "You see that with the upper level people in an organization," Weisheit says. The cartel with the most grotesque methods is probably Los Zetas, which once dumped 49 bodies off a highway in Cadereyta, killed six people  — cutting out the hearts of three of them and carving "Z"s into the other three— in Cancun, and has recruited members by holding up buses, forcing passengers off, and them making them perform "gladiator fights" to the death, with the one survivor joining the ranks of Los Zetas. "When Walt measures the purity in the lab, he’s figuring out how much of the expensive and tightly controlled precursor chemicals became saleable product and how much went to waste," Lindsay Beyerstein at In These Times has argued. One way to get around that is by using "smurfs," or individual Sudafed buyers who each get a small amount to avoid suspicion and then sell them to the manufacturer. "You're not fighting over turf or meth that much, and there's not much cash trading hands as typically people are bartering — "you get this and I'll get that," or "I'll split up and you'll all get some," or " if you get these ingredients I'll teach you how to cook." They robbed a warehouse in "A No-Rough-Stuff Type Deal" to get some, and in the fifth season they robbed a train to get it. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. "They're using wire transfer companies like Western Union, Moneygram, Coinstar — that's increasingly popular," she says. So, is there? You can cancel anytime. But that proved too risky, and the cartels have moved to using U.S.-based superlabs. Review our, Methamphetamine: Its History, Pharmacology and Treatment. There are "functional" addicts, especially working mothers, who rely upon strong stimulants like meth to juggle their sundry responsibilities. The main risks to the public at large come with explosions and the ensuing environmental impact, and the costs to children in households where this kind of meth production/use is happening. Are super labs real? Note: This post contains spoilers for those not caught up on Breaking Bad. In the fourth season, Walt and Skyler buy the car wash — A1A, based on the real-life Octopus car wash in Albuquerque — where Walt used to work in order to launder Walt's copious earnings from the drug trade. Meth experts usually draw a distinction between two types of meth markets. They're doing it through mining, construction equipment, quarter horses and gambling, casinos and a variety of different businesses.". Since the start of the show in 2008, viewers and the media have been intrigued by Breaking Bad’s portrayal of the chemistry of meth manufacturing. One of the things that annoys me about "Breaking Bad" is its occasional depiction of meth users as largely disconnected from society and utterly desperate. The scale of that production is getting smaller and smaller as precursors get harder to come by. The escaping methylamine hydrate fumes would potentially poison or even kill Todd, Jesse and Walt, who were near the tank car, essentially ending their plan. ", Purity matters — but maybe less so to cartels, One of the most convincing critiques of the show I've read came from The New Inquiry's Malcolm Harris, who argued that the show's obsession with highly pure method — supposedly Walt's calling card, and the thing that got Gus interested in buying his wares — doesn't square with the real world, in which meth is almost always "stepped on," or diluted. Researchers at Indiana University and at the Universities of Colorado and Kentucky have found that, "The long hours and tedious work in oil fields, agriculture, construction, ancillary health care and fast food restaurants may be more tolerable on methamphetamine. During the course of the series, methylamine is not synthesized by either Walter White or Jesse Pinkman, and thus the search for methylamine for use as a methamphetamine precursor is a large plot point throughout the series. Experts on the meth market say that superlabs are actually pretty common, at least among manufacturers associated with Mexican cartels. Rows of methylamine barrels in the superlab. Slate relies on advertising to support our journalism. However, buying a whole bunch of chemicals in bulk would probably attract unwanted attention.

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