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Interesting column by Tom Moroney in the MetroWest Daily News that
details how Wal-Mart limits the sale of lithium batteries because lithium is an ingredient "used in the illegal manufacture of the drug, methamphetamine, or crystal meth."

According to Moroney, "The fact that addicts were cooking up their own crystal meth became such a problem that federal officials went to Wal-Mart in 1997 asking for help. The giant retailer responded by putting the batteries in the so-called 'register prompt system,' or master list."

This master list contains a number of products that Wal-Mart puts sale limits on, for a variety of reasons. The company won't say how many items are on the list, just that it is "evolving" with products "being added at all times."

For example, here is also a limit on packages of cold remedies containing pseudoephedrine, also used to make crystal meth.

Moroney writes, "In addition to limiting purchases, Wal-Mart encourages its clerks to closely monitor people buying such items. Two years ago, it paid off. An alert Wal-Mart clerk in Kentucky reported to her supervisors a woman buying four boxes of Sudafed. Police followed the woman and discovered she was a meth cooker who had been involved in a homemade lab explosion that killed her son. She was booked for murder."

However, Moroney raises an interesting point. How come Wal-Mart doesn’t limit sales of fertilizer, which was used as an ingredient in the bomb that was used in the Oklahoma City?
KC's View:
This isn't a criticism of Wal-Mart. At least, not by us. It's just an observation that ultimately is about how complicated a world we live in.