Crotchety Inventor, 88, Wants DEA to Stuff It

Meth crackdown brings halt to his water-purification product
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 23, 2011 3:18 PM CST
Crotchety Inventor, 88, Wants DEA to Stuff It
A mock methamphetamine lab for teaching purposes at the DEA Training Academy in Quantico, Virginia.   (Getty Images)

An 88-year-old tinkerer in California who invented a nifty water-purification product for hikers or disaster survivors is effectively out of business, all because of a DEA crackdown on meth dealers. As the San Jose Mercury News explains, Bob Wallace's "Polar Pure" bottles contain iodine crystals, and the feds think meth-makers have been using them for their drugs. Now he can't get a necessary state permit, and a distributor won't sell him any more iodine after a warning from the DEA.

All of which makes the story interesting, but the best part is that Wallace says things like this: "This old couple, barely surviving old farts, and we're supposed to be meth dealers? This is just plain stupid. These are the same knotheads that make you take your shoes off in the airport." Maybe better: When the DEA demanded proof of a security system, he sent them a photo of his old dog, Buddy. An agency spokesperson says Wallace may be "collateral damage," but it's the fault of meth dealers, not the agency. Full story here. (Read more methamphetamine stories.)

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