As Cocaine Wanes, Drug Battle Grows More Regional 

As Cocaine Wanes, Drug Battle Grows More Regional 
Posted by FoM on December 04, 2000 at 10:39:18 PT
By Scott Lindlaw, Associated Press Writer
Source: S.F. Gate
With cocaine use waning, authorities waged the war on drugs this year with strategies tailored to the regional battlegrounds: Marijuana in the Appalachian states, methamphetamine in the Rocky Mountains, cocaine in South Florida. ``There is no longer any one drug that consumes America as cocaine did in the 1980s,'' said Barry McCaffrey, director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. 
``We need to be ready to defend against emerging threats of a wide variety by region, as well as increasingly sophisticated changes in the operations of drug traffickers,'' he said. McCaffrey's prepared remarks accompanied his annual report on drug threats and strategies, to be released Tuesday. It outlines the government's war on drugs in 26 ``High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas,'' where drug manufacturing and sales flourish and where federal, state and local law enforcement agencies cooperate. HIDTA spent more than $191 million in fiscal year 2000, up from nearly $187 million the previous year. McCaffrey reported that the cooperating agencies destroyed $787 million worth of marijuana in Kentucky last year, a value greater than the state's tobacco crop. Authorities eradicated another $700 million in Tennessee and West Virginia. They also battled against ``a general judicial sentiment within some of the state judicial circuits that trafficking marijuana was a less serious offense than trafficking other substances.'' Marijuana is also the most prevalent illegal drug in the Atlanta area, but cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin are also widespread, the report said. Heroin is the principal problem in central Florida, though the region is also favored by drug traffickers because of its air, land and sea transportation networks. Hawaii, Houston, Los Angeles New York and the Gulf Coast are other hot spots for drug smugglers. The New England states are seeing ``unprecedented'' increases in heroin-related deaths and overdoses, according to the report. The central California valleys are favorite locations for methamphetamine labs, which are proliferating at an ``alarming'' rate, the report warns. The region's two international airports, hundreds of private airstrips and interstate highways make it a clearinghouse for movement of all types of drugs. Chicago, meanwhile, remains another ``major distribution hub of narcotics and other controlled substances for the entire heartland of the United States.'' Mexican, Colombian and Nigerian drug cartels distribute drugs throughout the city and the entire Midwest. Ecstasy and other ``club drugs'' are growing in popularity among suburban residents. In the Northwest, heroin, marijuana and cocaine are growing threats, and methamphetamine labs are proliferating throughout the region, according to the report. Smuggling at the U.S.-Canadian border is on the rise. While the use of crack and powder cocaine is declining nationwide, it remains the No. 1 problem in the Ohio region. Moreover, the report states, ``marijuana is ubiquitous in Ohio.'' McCaffrey, a retired Army general, will leave his post next month to teach national security at West Point and write books on drug policy and the Gulf War. On the Net: Source: Associated PressAuthor: Scott Lindlaw, Associated Press WriterPublished: Monday, December 4, 2000 Copyright: 2000 Associated Press  CannabisNews McCaffrey Search & Archives:
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Comment #2 posted by r.earing on December 05, 2000 at 08:23:55 PT:
marijuana "a growing threat"
I think "Growing Threat" would be a great name for a hydroponics store.Sometimes when I grow really big plants,I feel downright "Menaced",not just threatened.Is it true that pot will make me want to listen to jazz music?
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Comment #1 posted by Ethan Russo, MD on December 04, 2000 at 12:34:02 PT:
On the wane, huh, so what about the budget?
If cocaine is on the wane, what justifies us spending untold billions in Colombia? Could it be that the expressed aims are not the true ones. Can you say "oil?" Can you say "multinational corporations?" Of course you can!
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