The small town of Jefferson City, MO nestled on the southern banks of the Missouri River is gaining a reputation as the “Sonoma Valley of Methamphetamines,” as meth heads across the Midwest and Southern states have begun pouring into the area to sample some of the local forbidden rock.
Ever-so-popular is the Meth Tour, an afternoon of riding bikes through the beautiful Missouri countryside on a visit to three meth labs. The tour is said to have a “speak easy” feel, as visitors knock on storm cellars, pass through old barns, and climb down hidden passageways to view the making of the substance we know today as crystal meth. A canoe tour opened up just last month. Visitors begin the day at one lab on the northern side of the Missouri River where a meth sampling is included in the day’s tour and then kayak across the river to visit a second lab. “I’ve never seen anyone paddle that fast,” comments Billy Tomlinson, a local boy scout that lives along the tour route.
Locals are divided on how the new meth tourism industry impacts the town. “It’s just strange to look outside my window at 2am and see a bunch of kids chattering at a mile a minute outside my neighbor’s garage,” says Sally Harris, a local resident. “I figure it’s money in the local economy; even if they are a bunch of rock heads,” says another.
John Watkins, a visitor who arrived to down last week in his near-broken down El Camino from Athens , Tennessee insists that while Missouri has some beautiful meth labs, the Tennessee meth scene is on its way up. “Tennessee is probably three years behind Jefferson City right now, but we have just the right amount of dank, spacious old storm cellars that are just perfect for meth production,” said Watkins while grinding his teeth forcefully for no apparent reason other than being as high as a kite in a Midwest storm season.
Tourists can find more information on the various destination on the Meth Trail through Yelp.