Hawaii: Ice capital of the U.S.

Hawaii’s struggle with controlling meth and it’s even more addictive relative ice (or crystal meth) has gone beyond what could be classified as a problem; it has become an all out epidemic.
In a post written yesterday by World Dharma Vision Hawaii has been labeled the nations Ice capital.

The Star-Bulletin, as far back as 2003, has run feature articles on the “Ice Storm” sweeping the Hawaiian Islands. Hawaii started getting attached to ice in the 1980s, before the rest of the country, when the drug started streaming in from Asia. Hawaii has earned the title of “Ice Capital” of the nation.

The Drug Enforcement Administration recently confirmed (Drugs and Drug Abuse State Factsheet, updated June 2007) that “Crystal methamphetamine (ice) is the drug of choice in Hawaii.”

Last year more methamphetamine was seized in Hawaii than any other drug.

Federal drug seizures in Hawaii in 2006 were: cocaine: 18.2 kgs., heroin: 0.3 kgs., marijuana: 13.1 kgs., hashish: 1.2 kgs and methamphetamine: 50.5 kgs.

The DEA reported that in Hawaii, the majority of methamphetamine is converted into ice.

THE HUMAN toll is serious because, as DEA reported, ice “lands in local night clubs, street corners, hotel sites, public areas, raves and private residences. The widespread use of crystal methamphetamine in Hawaii has had a devastating impact on Hawaii’s economy and family structure. … The drug’s presence has increased street violence and property crimes.” According to the Hawaii state Department of Health, more than 3,600 individuals were admitted to treatment centers seeking help for methamphetamine in 2005; and only a small fraction of individuals come forward to seek treatment.

The same post mentions the fact that Burma actually supports its regime by peddling meth in the Hawaiian islands.

Drug-trafficking organizations based in Asia are in Hawaii’s illegal drug market because the price of a pound of “ice” — crystal methamphetamine — retails for twice what it does on the U.S. mainland. According to the law enforcement officials, a pound of crystal meth retails in the western United States for $12,000 to $16,000. The same pound will fetch as much as $30,000 in Hawaii.

The fact that a country could partially support its military regime based upon the amount of crystal meth sold in Hawaii is a major problem. Crystal meth is also trafficked into Hawaii via plane and boat from the mainland and from Mexico as well.

I traveled to Hawaii a few years ago and saw that the effects of ice on the locals was evident even to the average tourist. On several street corners I saw entire families holding up signs in protest against ice; desperation written all over their faces. Even little children held up signs saying “Honk if you hate ice” and the like. The destruction caused by ice moves from one family to the next, tearing them apart and taking even the youngest of lives as its toll. The close knit community that Hawaii prides itself on is being ripped apart by the roots. Virtually every local that calls the Hawaiian islands home has been effected in some way by ice.

If you have ever seen the show “Dog the bounty hunter” you probably know that he works on the island of Oahu. I actually watch this show regularly, because I can appreciate what he is trying to do. On his show, practically every person he arrests has a problem with meth addiction. He attempts in vein to talk people out of what they are doing to themselves and to others, only to see them addicted again down the road. The grasp ice has is just too strong.

On these islands, amongst some of the most beautiful sights ever beheld by man, hides one of the planet’s ugliest demons: Meth.