RCMP display portable meth lab at home show

Ryan Ross rross@theguardian.pe.ca
Published on March 11, 2016

When prices go down it can be a good thing.

When drug prices go down the police start to worry.

That's what has happened with methamphetamine in P.E.I. and RCMP Cpl. Andy Cook said over the last six months the price has dropped from about $10 to $6 per pill.

It's a sign the demand for methamphetamine has gone up, Cook said.

"That's very concerning to me."

Cook works in the RCMP's drug and organized crime awareness service and as part of his public education work he's taking a backpack or one-pot meth lab to this year's P.E.I. Provincial Home Show.

The goal is to educate people about the dangers of methamphetamine and the portable labs.

One-pot labs have a simple set up that includes ingredients that can be picked up at legitimate businesses like pharmacies and grocery stores.

With Cook's makeshift lab, all of the ingredients fit into a backpack, making it small and portable.

His ingredients include drain cleaner, lithium batteries, ephedrine pills and other substances that can be mixed inside plastic pop bottles.

"You can get these items pretty much anywhere in town from numerous stores," Cook said.

The police have only found one of the one-pot labs in P.E.I., Cook said, and that was in Summerside area.

But with the labs turning up in other provinces, it's not something the police want to see in P.E.I.

Cook said there are huge safety risks with the one-pot setups and an Atlantic region clandestine drug lab team bought fireproof suits to protect themselves when dealing with them.

"This is probably the most dangerous lab," he said.

The problem with the labs, Cook said, is they use ingredients that don't mix well together, such as lithium and water, which create sparks and flames.

Mix in a flammable solvent and they become even more dangerous.

Cook said the small meth labs are a trend that is coming to P.E.I.

"I'm surprised it hasn't come here sooner," he said.

RCMP Cpl. Andy Cook says the demand for methamphetamine has gone up in P.E.I. This weekend he's demonstrating a backpack or one-pot meth lab at this year's P.E.I. Provincial Home Show.