I noticed that PZ Myers has already commented on this story in Wired about how the Feds are cracking down on people with home chemistry sets and the like. Apparently there is a danger that kids might hurt themselves with chemicals; also terrorists might get hold of them. But another reason to ban people from owning chemistry glassware is that they might make crystal meth with it.
PZ has already gone into how this discourages kids from getting involved with science – read his post and the wired article for more details. I just had to comment on how the useless paranoid war on drugs has once again interfered with the lives of otherwise law abiding people. First, do they really think this will stop people making meth? I’m sure determined cooks will find a way round this somehow. Secondly, the crackdown on availability of the precursors has already pushed most meth production to Mexico anyway:
This deadly drug is now a growth industry for Mexico's deadly drug cartels. They're replacing small U.S. kitchen labs with Mexican super labs. The cartels are smuggling ephedrine from China, India and Europe and cooking up huge quantities of cheap meth — including an especially potent variety, Mexican Ice. Then the cartels smuggle it north to U.S. users.
"They're making quite a lot of money off of meth," Gonzalez said. "They are pretty much using the same routes that they've used in the past with cocaine and with marijuana."
By some estimates, as much at 80 percent of the meth on U.S. streets comes from Mexico.
The war on drugs has been successful only in promoting the outsourcing of drug production. The resultant cost reductions have promoted increased drug use. Behold, the market in action.