The Hoya Meth Lab

Meth labs, maybe not confined to trailer parks anymore.

Apparently Georgetown University was forced to evacuate an entire dormitory this weekend after two students were found to be running what police thought was a methamphetamine laboratory out of room 926 of Harbin Hall. According to an article by Daniel de Vise in the Washington Post:

When students at Harbin Hall were rousted from their beds by Georgetown University officials at 6 a.m. Saturday, some thought it might be a cruelly timed fire drill.

It was something odder still: Campus police had discovered a clandestine drug lab inside a dorm room on the top floor of the freshman residence hall. Police arrested two male students and a campus visitor Saturday morning on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, hours after evacuating 400 students from the nine-floor hall.

While police initially thought it was a meth lab, and so many papers reported it, it turns out they were wrong. According the article, further investigation indicated that “the chemicals were for production of dimethyltryptamine, or DMT, a hallucinogenic.”

DMT is a naturally occurring hallucinogen. The high from the drug (which is usually smoked) is very short, lasting only 5 to 15 minutes. While definitely illegal, it’s by no means as unpleasant (and sort of low-rent) as crystal meth.

Two people were charged them with illegally manufacturing a controlled substance. One of them, Charles Smith, is a Georgetown student. The other man arrested, John Perrone, is apparently a student at the University of Richmond. A third man, Georgetown student John Romano, was taken into custody but released without charges.

Washington Monthly - Donate today and your gift will be doubled!

Support Nonprofit Journalism

If you enjoyed this article, consider making a donation to help us produce more like it. The Washington Monthly was founded in 1969 to tell the stories of how government really works—and how to make it work better. Fifty years later, the need for incisive analysis and new, progressive policy ideas is clearer than ever. As a nonprofit, we rely on support from readers like you.

Yes, I’ll make a donation

Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer