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article imageHawaii Becomes Ice Capitol of the Country

By Carol Forsloff     Mar 11, 2009 in Crime
When you think of Hawaii, you likely think of swaying palms and bodies in hula skirts. All of that's true, but there's more swaying than that. Folks actually sway enough from drugs to stagger, so hold on to your possessions when you visit.
That's because theft is on the increase for people to maintain drug habits in a place where usage is on the rise.
Tokes are everywhere, and one can't spend much time in Waikiki in the hip areas and not be offered one. Marijuana is even grown on the lanais of ordinary folk. It's just when the stuff gets harvested in large amounts that locals get the jitters. Crime becomes the issue when that happens. But these days marijuana isn't the problem; ice or crystal meth is the drug of choice. Ice gets people high real quick and done real bad and distorts thinking, it is said, in such significant ways that emotions become seriously affected when folks are under its influence. Ice, you see, is serious stuff, as I learned as counselor for more than 20 of the 28 years I lived in Hawaii. I have seen folks yelling while drying out and talking about it later, but my worries increased as the drug skyrocketed in use. With homeless on beaches and hopelessness too, I continue to worry about my island friends subjected to the concerns about crime and drugs increasing in such a beautiful place during the recession.
Recent Hawaii reports declare the critical nature of the drug trade at present, especially given the economic recession that has hit the islands like everywhere else. Hawaii is ideally suited as a haven for illicit drugs coming from various ports. According to the National Drug Intelligence Center most of the drugs brought in there are abused in the islands
Hawaii gets drugs through six different areas that come in by air and by boat to the various islands in the chain. There is a large syndicate of dealers and users in Hawaii, particularly dealing in ice or methamphetamines. It's why some are calling Hawaii the “ice capitol” of the country. It fuels the crime rate, causes domestic violence, child abuse, theft and street fights. In addition it creates unemployment problems, which is of particular concern since there is such a struggle for jobs now to begin with. Hawaii not only gets drugs from its entry points but also through large mail shipments out of the Southwest, according to authorities in rehabilitation and drug control.
The Honolulu Advertiser has continued to monitor this serious problem reporting the conditions in various parts of Hawaii as related to illegal drugs. It reports that a large percentage of abusers are among the poor and rural people of mixed Hawaiian parentage. This means once again Hawaiians become victimized, get involved in ice and end up in jail or unemployed and stay impoverished. In some places like the Waianae Coast on Oahu's Leeward side, one in four families has someone on ice. Drug dealing is done by people some might never expect. For example, a schoolteacher was caught moonlighting as a trafficker of drugs. The person, whose name wasn't disclosed to the press, was found guilty and got a four-year sentence for drug dealing.
As tent cities crop up around the islands, and homelessness increases, the drug trade takes place on the beaches. It could affect the tourist industry and is therefore worrisome now to locals and politicians in the home state of Barack Obama, President of the United States.
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