In recent years, the manufacture and production of methamphetamine in small homemade labs has declined significantly. Changes at both the state and federal level have restricted the supply and availability of pseudoephedrine, a major precursor in the manufacture of methamphetamine. Demand for methamphetamine, however, remains high. According to law enforcement officials, much of the methamphetamine available today is supplied by drug trafficking organizations from Mexico. As manufacturing of methamphetamine declines, trafficking and distribution is becoming a regional issue that states and the federal government must address cooperatively.
The 2006 Washington State Legislature asked the Institute to examine "criminal sentencing increases necessary under Washington law to reduce or remove any incentives methamphetamine traffickers and manufacturers may have to locate in Washington." This report looks at differences in sentencing laws for methamphetamine possession, manufacture, and distribution in Washington and neighboring states. The report provides opinions from experts in steps Washington may take to curb the availability and use of methamphetamine.