The demand for the hallucinogenic drug PCP is apparently skyrocketing in Kansas City, police said
Police recovered 447 gallons of the drug in 2009 and the first half of this year, compared with just four gallons in all of 2007 and 2008. A typical dose of the drug is just enough to coat a cigarette, less than a teaspoon, police said.
Police don’t know exactly what’s behind the increase in demand for PCP, or phencyclidine, which was once used as an anesthetic.
Police think PCP dealers — wanting to cash in on the increased demand — are bringing in larger batches from other cities to dilute and sell locally.
Sgt. Tim Witcig said police have been busting more PCP labs, where dealers dilute the drug with brake cleaner fluid and formaldehyde, resulting in the recovery of larger amounts.
Police also intercepted several large shipments of PCP last year that were being “passed through” Kansas City with an intended destination elsewhere. Kansas City serves as a hub for PCP, he said.
PCP users often keep their stash of the drug in a small vanilla extract bottle. But police have found jugs of PCP at recent drug busts, Witcig said. Dealers will tote the stuff in plastic gallon apple juice jugs or quart-size glass apple juice jars, Witcig said.
Police Chief Jim Corwin noted the apparent rise of PCP on his blog Monday along with a newsletter that advised residents to report suspicious behavior and items associated with PCP, such as vanilla extract bottles, “More” brand brown cigarettes that appear damp or stained from liquid, large bottles of gold-colored liquid and liquid with an overpowering chemical smell.
PCP users prefer “More” cigarettes because the paper is thicker and can withstand the dipping process, Witcig said. The paper from other cigarettes can disintegrate.
In the first six months of this year, Kansas City police recovered 591 ounces, or nearly 17,000 grams, of PCP, compared with more than 1.1 million grams of marijuana, more than 29,000 grams of methamphetamine, more than 10,000 grams of cocaine and 400 grams of heroin.
By CHRISTINE VENDEL
The Kansas City Star
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