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BEST METH-LAB STORY Minneapolis 2000 -

Back in January 1999, Wright County authorities busted three men for operating a meth lab in an ice-fishing house. Comedic value aside, the discovery fueled the widely held perception of meth as a trailer-trash drug, a notion reinforced by a succession of highly publicized drug busts in rural Minnesota over the past few years. The truth, of course, is that glib generalizations about the illicit habits of ethnic and social groups seldom bear up under scrutiny. In fact, meth has become increasingly popular among urban hipsters who, it turns out, don't mind taking the three-day chemical roller coaster every now and again. Still, everyone--particularly local media--acted shocked, shocked when police discovered two pounds of top-flight crystal and gobs of lab fixings stashed right in the heart of Minneapolis's trendiest neighborhood. The cherry on top? The lab was located in the Calhoun Building, owned by Artspace Projects, Inc., which leases it to artists, "people in the healing arts," and various nonprofits. Police seized $50,000 in cash, so if nothing else it's hard to imagine the alleged operator clamoring for nonprofit status anytime soon.

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