Amphetamine was first synthesized in Germany in 1887, and was considered "a drug in search of a disease" for many years. Nothing was really done with the drug until the 1920's, when it was experimented with to treat everything from depression to decongestion. In the 1930's, amphetamine was marketed as Benzedrine and was used in over the counter inhalers to treat nasal congestion, the drug was almost immediately abused due to the depression. Meth, much more potent and easier to make than amphetamine, was first synthesized in 1919 in Japan and was initially marketed as a recreational drug until its side effects were discovered. During World War II, meth was used to keep soldiers fighting.
The Allied Forces used a pharmaceutical grade of Amphetamine manufactured in chemistry labs. The Axis Forces used Meth manufactured using a method that Hitler discovered (Nazi Method) that was manufactured in make-shift labs. Hitler himself was a Meth addict and the Japanese Kamikaze pilots used Meth before almost every flight because it made them more alert and they could fly for longer periods of time.
In Japan, After World War II, intravenous meth abuse reached epidemic proportions. This was due to the fact that the Japanese military had large amounts of Meth stock piled and after the war, made it available to the public. The United States Military has used Amphetamine in every war since World War II. In the Vietnam War, American Soldiers used more Amphetamine than the rest of the world did during World War II. During the 1970's and the 1980's, the biker gangs such as the Hell’s Angels were responsible for 90% of the methamphetamine produced in the United States. This changed in the late 80's because the Mexican gangs/mafia began manufacturing Meth in Mexico and smuggling it into the U.S. The biker gangs then began purchasing Meth from the Mexicans because it was cheaper and easier than manufacturing their own.
Mexico-based traffickers control the market for imported meth in Georgia. While domestic meth is available, the majority of the meth seized has originated from Mexico, California, and Texas. Atlanta is the first-level source of supply for Mexican controlled meth. Dalton, Georgia, is the originating location for Mexican controlled meth in the Macon area. Biker gangs are also where Meth earned the slang name crank. This was due to the fact that when the bikers needed to transport Meth a long distance, they would hide it in the crank cases of their motorcycles. This worked great for awhile because it was virtually undetectable and the motorcycles functioned perfectly even with the Meth hidden inside.