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National Institute on Drug Abuse
Final Report - 1991-1994
Marijuana Eradication =
Meth Epidemic

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Newshawk: The War on Drugs IS Terrorism

Here is one distinction Hawai'i absolutely does not want: According to U.S.
Attorney Ed Kubo, our state has the worst crystal meth problem in the

At a federal commission hearing over the weekend, Kubo told participants
that as many as 40 percent of all people arrested in Honolulu tested
positive for use of this methamphetamine.

Kubo claims that as many as 30,000 residents of Honolulu are hard-core
crystal meth users and three times as many use it "recreationally." Crystal
meth is commonly involved in violent crimes.

The particularly unsettling thing about crystal meth is what it does to the
user. Unlike many other illegal drugs, crystal meth tends to make a person
paranoid and violent. Specialists say it is also more addictive that other
drugs, including cocaine and heroin.

All in all, not a pretty picture.

There are many reasons for the rise of crystal meth in Hawai'i, including
the fact that we are a "gateway" state from the Far East, where crystal meth
has been manufactured and used as far back as World War II.

Also, officials say the rise in the use of this drug paralleled the growing
scarcity and high cost of marijuana following successful drives to tamp
down, if not eliminate, the marijuana trade in the Islands.

To the degree this is true, it was a bad tradeoff because crystal meth has
far more potential to make the user harmful to others than marijuana.

Ideally, of course, there would be no use of illegal drugs in the Islands,
from marijuana through crystal meth. But that is unrealistic. Indeed, even
if all illegal drug use ceased today, there would still be social harm and
work for law enforcement and health authorities due to the abuse of legal
drugs such as alcohol and tobacco.

It was impressive that Kubo's prescription for dealing with this problem
didn't begin with more laws, more arrests, more sentencing and more prisons.

Instead, he called for an increase in the quality and quantity of treatment
for drug users both in prison and after release. He urged the creation of
more residential treatment programs as well as expansion of health insurance
coverage beyond today's maximum of 30 days -- hardly enough time.

Everything Kubo suggested would cost money, certainly. But the investment in
saved lives and social order would be more than worth the cost.

Far too often, policy-makers are more willing to spend money on reacting to
problems rather than on paying for solutions. That might make raw political
sense, in that throwing money at problems produces immediate action; funding
solutions requires patience and a time frame that extends far beyond the
next election.

But Kubo is right. If we don't invest now in treatment and prevention, this
terrible health epidemic will only become worse.

Pubdate: Tue, 15 Oct 2002
Source: Honolulu Advertiser (HI)
Contact: letters@honoluluadvertiser.com
Copyright: 2002 The Honolulu Advertiser, a division of Gannett Co. Inc.
Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/195
Bookmark: http://www.mapinc.org/meth.htm (Methamphetamine)
Note: For more on ice and marijuana eradication in Hawaii go to





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