Archive for Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Discovery of meth lab in city park a cause for concern

The discovery of an apparent methamphetamine lab in a city park is cause for concern, police and other city workers said Tuesday.

October 20, 2009, 5:14 p.m. Updated October 21, 2009, 12:00 a.m.


The discovery of an apparent methamphetamine lab in a city park is cause for concern, police and other city workers said Tuesday.

“Anytime evidence of drug activity is found in the community there is concern, especially when drug paraphernalia is found near an area where children might play,” said Kim Murphree, police spokeswoman.

Authorities said a local hiker contacted them Monday night after discovering a large plastic tub containing items used to make meth. The discovery was made along a hiking trail about 300 yards southeast of the Prairie Park Nature Center, 2730 Harper St., and near Prairie Park School, 2711 S. Kensington Road.

Police said they found several glass jars filled with an unknown substance. The Olathe Bomb Squad was also called in, and its crew destroyed a briefcase found with the items.

Marty Birrell, nature interpretive supervisor at the center, said she had concerns about the meth lab ingredients being found so close to the city-owned environmental facility in southeast Lawrence. She said her staff would receive training about what suspicious activity to look for as a result.

The items found in the park are consistent with what’s known as a “shake and bake” meth lab, said Jen Brinkerhoff, director of the Regional Prevention Center of East Central Kansas. She said meth manufacturers sometimes leave their mixture in a rural or outdoor place because of its potent odor, let it settle and then come back every so often to mix it.

Margie Koeppe, who has lived across the street from the 72-acre nature preserve for five years, said she’s often noticed signs of partying and alcohol use in the park, but never expected someone would find items to make meth.

“It’s just kind of above and beyond what my mind can comprehend, as far as that happening right in my neighborhood,” Koeppe said during a break in her Tuesday morning jog through the park. “That’s pretty scary.”

Others visiting the park Tuesday were surprised to hear about any drug activity. They said the park, which surrounds a 7-acre fishing lake, is frequently used by children.

“You’ve got to be careful nowadays, I guess,” said Charlotte Aschenbrenner, of Lawrence, who was caring for three children in the park Tuesday. “I never thought you’d run into something like that in the woods.”

David Williams, principal of Prairie Park School, said school workers are always careful about the park’s wooded area adjacent to school property.

“It certainly heightens our awareness and reminds us about always being vigilant about safety,” he said.

Only three meth lab-related seizures were reported in Douglas County last year, according to Kansas Bureau of Investigation statistics. No seizures in the county have been reported to the KBI so far this year, according to state records.


Graczyk 8 years, 1 month ago

Now Junior, meth doesn't just grow on trees, you know. Wait a minute...

Amy Heeter 8 years, 1 month ago

No even funny. That stuff is dangerous and alot of kids hang out at Mary's Lake.

Isaias Shannon 8 years, 1 month ago

I was just out there at the nature center w/ my kiddo a few weeks ago and there was a run down car parked in the far end of the lot, near the rock climbing structure. As my daughter played, a guy got out of the car (windows were covered in towels) and started getting dressed! Seriously, he was in his boxers when he got out of the car. He then pulled the towels out and as he was driving off, I noticed a woman in the car also. Nice. Now I wish I had reported that to the nature center staff...seems there is a lot of shady stuff going on out there!

Practicality 8 years, 1 month ago

You know, I am really amazed there haven't been 80 people on here advocating for the legalization of Meth. Why doesn't the liberty argument apply to this as well. Surely someone knows of some sort of medicinal qualities of Meth? I mean, if you take enough of any drug it should help with 'chronic pain' shouldn't it?

yoornotmee 8 years, 1 month ago

Really? You think pot is worse than meth? Really? I'm not going to even start on how ridiculous that that statement is. Wow.

parrothead8 8 years, 1 month ago

I haven't used anything stronger than Aleve in over 15 years, but I continue to be amazed by the misconceptions people have about marijuana. A college professor who lived on campus (not here at KU, but at another school many years ago) once told me that the school authorities could always tell when there was pot on campus, because "the students stay in their rooms listening to music and watching movies instead of getting drunk and pulling stupid stunts."

Heavy users of Item A become less motivated, stay home a lot, order pizzas, and watch TV. They avoid violence, and usually spend a great deal of time laughing.

Heavy users of Item B resort to anything, including violence, to get their drug and usually wind up dead, but not before they try really hard to destroy the lives of many of their friends and family.

Which of those do you think is marijuana? Which one sounds more dangerous? I'm SO glad they found this before some kids stumbled upon it...that could have turned out very badly.

puddleglum 8 years, 1 month ago

is this store open yet§ oh boy; ,y keyboqrd got qll jqcked up qgqin:

RoeDapple 8 years, 1 month ago

carefull pudddlgump yer stratin to spel liek a cuzin

Plurilingual 8 years, 1 month ago

I wonder how difficult it would have been to set up a sting. Obviously the authorities wouldn't want to leave the dangerous stuff there, but perhaps they could have somehow replaced it with harmless stuff and waited for the perp to return.

Or at least they could have kept it out of the paper till the person came back? But then again, that would have negative consequences as well.

Rock... hard place.

stlcards515 8 years, 1 month ago

"No even funny. That stuff is dangerous and alot of kids hang out at Mary's Lake. "

Well yeah, I mean kids shouldn't be hanging out there anyway. That place is haunted.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

We must get beyond the legal and morality of the issue.

Meth is a bit more of a concern because of it's quite addictive nature. More often than not the combination of chemicals make for an explosive situation.

I believe the LJ World should indentify the chemicals and discuss the toxic impact on the body. Perhaps then the backyard meth may lose some attraction for use.

In fact the LJ World may want to provide some truthful data regarding the impact of addiction to hard narcotics such as withdrawals. Withdrawals come with a host of psychological problems which most of us have no idea.

Can a person tell they are becoming addicted? Usually not until a user wants to quit. No one sets out with the idea of becoming addicted. Instead most believe they will always be in control and will not be addicted.

Prescription drugs are no safer than street drugs regarding addiction and toxic impact on vital organs.

Alcohol is addictive and can severely damage the liver. Alcohol is not an addiction easy to part with.

The medical impact such as known damage to vital organs should be discussed at length,

We must get beyond the legal and morality of the issue.

Pot is not a concern for as far as anyone knows it is not addictive like nicotine...... a drug regulated by the tobacco industry to keep users coming back for more and more. Tobacco is not an addiction easy to part with.

In fact there is no substantial evidence that pot is addictive in nature. However not everyone can handle the euphoric nature the same.

Amy Heeter 8 years ago

What a bummer I have never seen a single ghost out there.

Sheila Hooper White 8 years ago

I've lived in Lawrence all my life and never heard that Mary's Lake was haunted. Who is it supposed to be haunted by? Just curious.

infidel 8 years ago

This park is how far from the proposed new homeless shelter?

Mary Darst 8 years ago

Pot? Meth is killing our society everyday. People you would never think are getting hooked on that stuff every day. I really think we should stop worrying about the scary people in the middle-east and start worrying about the scary people in the U.S. One magazine reports that there are 2-3 different cartels in most large cities. And at least in the smaller cities. Now, that scares me.

Mary Darst 8 years ago

I know that was kind-of off the subject..I have just been wanting to say that for a long time and thought this would be a good place,

platypus 8 years ago

The new trail will be done soon. They can move their "shake and bake labs" to the new locale.

Practicality 8 years ago

Merrill says,

"Pot is not a concern for as far as anyone knows it is not addictive like nicotine…… "

"In fact there is no substantial evidence that pot is addictive in nature. However not everyone can handle the euphoric nature the same."

Q: Can people become addicted to marijuana?

A: Yes. Long-term marijuana use leads to addiction in some people. That is, they cannot control their urges to seek out and use marijuana, even though it negatively affects their family relationships, school performance, and recreational activities (9). According to one study, marijuana use by teenagers who have prior antisocial problems can quickly lead to addiction (3). In addition, some frequent, heavy marijuana users develop “tolerance” to its effects. This means they need larger and larger amounts of marijuana to get the same desired effects as they used to get from smaller amounts.

National Institute On Drug Abuse

Susan Weiss, an expert at the National Institute of Drug Abuse, said that studies have shown cannabis to have addictive qualities. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, marijuana is the "most commonly abused illicit drug in the United States."

Weiss said that studies conducted a few years ago have demonstrated that nine percent of the general population who use marijuana become addicted to it. Weiss also said the study showed that among people who use marijuana daily, the number of people addicted increases to between 25 and 50 percent.

Becareful of what you write Merril, because if you are not an expert or someone well researched on a subject, you probably should not bother to make erroneous claims.

Fixed_Asset 8 years ago

This is so sad, and quite frightening. Parents should be vigilant always. Meth is so destructive. Watching someone's life be destroyed by meth is so sad. The physical changes are extreme, rotten teeth, guant appearance, hair loss, and with prolonged use schizophrenic-like behavior, panic, and so on. I came in contact with a woman recently who used meth and even though she does not use anymore, will never recover from the effects. She has strokes frequently, is paranoid much of the time, and continually angry.

bluerain 8 years ago

Alcohol use is a big problem too, and it's legalized. Meth, pot, alcohol........are all big problems within our society.

flux 8 years ago

Practicality, your observations are silly.

Practicality 8 years ago


Unlike most of everyone else's posts, mine are not 'observations'. They are results from scientific studies performed by educated people. The same as the University of Kansas, many of these studies were conducted by research universities with grant money to include Harvard. Just because you and others wish something to be true, doesn't make it so. That is a childish way to look at an issue.

flux 8 years ago

Seriously Practicality, they are going to take away our right to comment if you keep abusing this forum with nonsense. Isnt there an article on ponys or something you can get in on?

Graczyk 8 years ago


What your quote failed to articulate is what type of addiction was formed. Was it physical, was it emotional? Pot is not physically addictive in the same way as meth, cigarettes, cocaine, heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Have you ever heard of someone having the DTs because they couldn't get a joint? Also, government sources of drug information reflect their agenda. Their information is the product of a particular discourse. For example, they define marijuana use as abuse. That is, there is no approved level of use that is not considered abuse. Compare this to a socially acceptable drug like alcohol where there is a threshold that must be crossed in order for its consumption to be considered abuse.

While I concede that some people may become emotionally addicted to marijuana (whatever that is), I would urge you to take the advice you gave Merril. You simply repeated information from a source without evaluating it critically.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

Simply because one thinks pot is abused does not make it necessarily addictive. If pot were legal would whatever standard someone is using declare any use of pot abusive?

Coca Cola has addictive qualities. Chocolate has addictive qualities. Coffee has addictive qualities. Eating has addictive qualities.

One can become a prescription drug addict under the supervision of a doctor. While it could be assumed long term use = addiction is there any lab test available to determine addiction? Of course people can acquire more than one doctor thus multiple sources.

Some say pot leads to use of hard drugs. Maybe alcohol is the true gateway drug. Maybe coffee or tobacco are gateway drugs? Or maybe the parents pharmaceuticals are the gateway drugs?

Perhaps making marijuana legal removes that choice from the illicit drug market thus less exposure to the narcotic traffic.

Practicality 8 years ago

Researchers identify symptoms of marijuana withdrawal:

60 percent have significant symptoms

November 26, 2000

Irritability, anxiety and physical tension, plus decreases in appetite and mood, were experienced by regular marijuana users who quit the drug for four weeks during a study conducted at McLean Hospital in Belmont, Mass. Sixty percent of those in the study experienced "significant symptoms" of withdrawal, said the researchers, Elena M. Kouri and Harrison Pope. Kouri and Pope are Harvard researchers. “Most people think marijuana is a benign drug, and there is disagreement in the scientific community about whether withdrawal causes significant symptoms. This study shows that using marijuana for a long time has consequences,” said Kouri.

Contributed by McLean Hospital

Now I ask you. How can there be a withdrawal without there being an addictive component to Marijuana?

flux 8 years ago

Do you have any original thoughts?

Practicality 8 years ago


The most persistent myth about marijuana is that it is not addictive. Although it might not be as quickly addicting as alcohol or cocaine, animal and human studies show physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms from marijuana, including irritability, restlessness, insomnia, nausea and intense dreams. Tolerance to marijuana also builds up quickly. Heavy marijuana users need much higher doses of the drug to get the same effects as those who smoke only occasionally.

For some, marijuana can be highly addictive. Researchers estimate that approximately 10-14% of marijuana users develop serious dependency. Every year over 100,000 people in the United States seek treatment for their marijuana addiction. Because of long-standing cultural beliefs about the “harmlessness” of marijuana, many people with addiction do not recognize the impairment caused by the drug and delay or never seek treatment.

Recent research indicates that regular marijuana use undermines your ability to learn and to remember information. When people are “stoned” they are less able to focus, sustain, and shift attention, which are essential components of learning and storing information. One study found that long-term marijuana use reduced the ability to organize and integrate complex information.

Heavy marijuana smokers tend to show short-term memory impairment as well as decreased motivation. One study showed that even small doses of marijuana impaired users ability to recall a list of words a mere 20 minutes later.

In men, long-term marijuana use can result in impotence issues and reduced fertility.

I imagine I have evaluated more information on this subject than anyone on here. Again, wishing something isn't the case doesn't make it so. Like the Harvard researcher pointed out, Marijuana is not a "benign drug". Comparing it to Alcohol, another dangerous, highly abused substance in our society does not make it a substance that is good for the user or the community in which the user resides. In case you fail to read the entire post, and to refute your statement, Marijuana has BOTH physical and Psychological withdrawal symptoms. Just because the symptoms aren't as bad as a cocaine addict, doesn't make it good either.

GmaD321 8 years ago

That's crap. Marijuana is not addictive. No one suffers "withdrawal" from it. It's obvious that people who know nothing about it are spouting 'facts' from sources that are either government run or sponsored. This is propaganda, folks, pure and simple. People who use it are happy, quiet and enjoy life-they may eat too much when munchies attack or laugh too hard at something that isn't that funny but they do no harm to anyone except theirselves.
What other drugs, including alcohol, can you say that about? No one ever beat up their spouse when they were stoned. No one drives too fast or takes stupid risks while driving stoned.

Practicality 8 years ago

This is why I post those articles Flux. Because you can either believe GmaD321, who just wants to believe what they want to believe because it supports a destructive life style habit, or a group of Harvard Researchers who conducted scientific studies to come to a conclusion.

In my experience with these discussions, people want to believe what they want to believe. They haven't any scientific evidence to support their arguments, they just want to believe it. When they are presented with scientific evidence that counters their arguments, they just say "That's Crap".

Graczyk 8 years ago


I don't think anyone is arguing that marijuana is good for you. People are called stoners for a reason. I hate to rest on anecdotal evidence, but I an my friends used marijuana everyday for many years. Please note - this was a long time ago. None of us had withdrawal symptoms when we quick for various reasons - employment, family, grad school etc. The info you posted about supposed physical withdrawal symptoms just does not ring true. Like I said before, I recognize that there can be an emotional addiction component, but by definition, this is more behavioral than chemical. Also, like your sources say, there is disagreement in the scientific community about the effects of marijuana. One study does not manufacture truth.

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

60% have symptoms yet nothing conclusive. Were any of these cases users of tobacco, alcohol or caffiene?

How was pot determined to be the cause of these symptoms?

"Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine, which is chemically similar to caffeine. Although Theobromine is much milder than caffeine, caffeine is addictive. So chocolate could be addictive in that sense, if you were consuming a lot of it. But it would be no harder to release yourself from chocolate addiction than caffeine addiction."

Richard Heckler 8 years ago

"In men, long-term marijuana use can result in impotence issues and reduced fertility."

My speculation is there are enough children around to put this claim to rest.

tonymontana 8 years ago

Parents i'm not telling your children to smoke, you see, cause if they just say no it'd be more for me.

Practicality 8 years ago


You realize, what you are saying, is that two Harvard Psychiatric professors do not know how to run a scientific study nor interpret the results correctly. Do you even believe that or are you just trying to produce a smoke screen? I would like to point out, that the one professor, Dr. Pope also ran another study that showed that there were no lasting effects on cognitive function by heavy Marijuana users after 28 days. Would you want to dispute his findings on that as well?

You can look up the actual study itself if you want to but I believe you will need access to scholarly journals, which usually cost money. Otherwise, you can take it for granted that they know what they are doing, and they wouldn't have put their profession on the line nor the academic standing in question by omitting some obvious details such as a failure to determine whether the withdrawal symptoms were caused by chocolate or caffine.

GmaD321 8 years ago

Graczyk-have to agree with you. My "what I want to believe" comes from experience and not from some scientific study that is put on by a bunch of people who have never done it. And yeah, Practicality, it's crap. I felt worse trying to quit caffeine than marijuana. And really, no one here is advocating marijuana use. Just saying that all the hype and scare tactics used against it are crap. If the government and others felt the way about alcohol that they do about marijuana, we would hear the same about it. Alcohol is much worse for a person than marijuana. The fact that it is legal simply makes me realize that there was $$ behind making it so and not enough to make marijuana legal and now the propaganda is so widespread that it may never happen. That my friend, is stupidity.

Practicality 8 years ago


There is a disagreement in the scientific community about the effects of Marijuana, but not about the fact about the Withdrawal symptoms experienced. They readily admit that not everyone exhibited the symptoms, in that study in particular it was 60% that suffered from them. Maybe you were one that doesn't. I am not trying to dispute your personal experience. The withdrawal symptoms are not 'supposed'. It is also possible you did not recognize the effects, because your body and mind were still detoxing.

"Pot smokers who believe they are back to normal sometimes show detectable impairments on various tests. "That's a cause for concern," Pope points out. "You don't want to try landing a 747, driving a bus or train, or taking a calculus test a week after heavy marijuana use even if you feel normal."

Now, Dr. Pope, Harvard Professor of Psychiatry mind you, readily says sometimes. Meaning, not everyone. But, it happened enough to register during his study on Cognitive Function. This result appeared in his study which found that after 28 days heavy Marijuana users returned to normal after giving up Marijuana.

Now, to be fair he also said this:

"Asked if his conclusions would lead him to make any recommendations for or against legalizing marijuana, Pope answered "no, because so many other political and social factors are involved." He noted that alcohol, which is sold legally, causes cognitive deficits in long-term heavy users that do not disappear after 28 days and may be cumulative. However, he adds, "such toxicity is only one factor in the decision."

Mandie Eutsler 8 years ago

Practicality (Anonymous)

dude, you are such a party pooper

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