Which is the worse scourge on society, bad math or bad meth?
Lots of news sites are reporting a record drug bust in Sydney, Australia today. Here's an example of the piece from the AP
Australian police seize drugs worth up to $525MAnd here's a link to the Australian Federal Police press release: Record ice seizure among half a tonne drug haul. Which shows that the (bogus) $500 million claim is from the police not the press.
SYDNEY (AP) — Australian police have seized 558 kilograms (1,230 pounds) of crystal methamphetamine and heroin with a street value of up to 500 million Australian dollars ($525 million) smuggled into the country in a shipment of terracotta pots.
That $500 million claim doesn't pass the sniff test. I've never bought either of them but I'm pretty certain that meth and heroin are NOT selling for an average of $1000 per gram on the streets of Sydney.
Surely Australian police wouldn't lie and/or deliberately over-estimate their accomplishment in order to bogusly claim a record-size drug bust.
Either the Australian police are math challenged (and meant to say $50 million) or the dealers in Sydney are diluting their product 10 to 1.
Acutually, I think it's more likely that Australian police (and all the news organizations and reporters that have blindly repeated their bogus claim) can't multiply and divide.
Meth prices from various websites (including the White House (see Table 64)) say the actual street price is a lot closer to $100 per gram than $1000 per gram.
And if you believe the whole premise of the cable TV show "Breaking Bad", meth addicts prefer their drugs to be as pure as possible (hence the slang terms "ice" and "crystal"). Australian meth addicts probably don't watch US cable shows (and probably use different slang) but I suspect even down-under meth heads have figured out they shouldn't waste their money on crystal that's only 10% meth. So it'd be absurd for the Australian fuzz to assume they could pull in $100 per gram for such bad shit. In other words, diluting it to the $1000 per gram level would be counter-productive. Nobody would buy it.
So the only logical conclusion is that the Australian police tripped over a decimal point and are off by a factor of 10 in their calculations.
* Innumeracy defined: http://en.wikipedia.org/...