ARCHIVED Graphic Version PDF Version To Publications Page To Home Page
Hawaii Drug Threat Assessment
Publication Date: May 2002
Document ID: 2002-S0388HI-001
Archived on: January 1, 2006. This document may contain dated information. It remains available to provide access to historical materials.
This report is a strategic assessment that addresses the status and outlook of the drug threat to Hawaii. Analytical judgment determined the threat posed by each drug type or category, taking into account the most current quantitative and qualitative information on availability, demand, production or cultivation, transportation, and distribution, as well as the effects of a particular drug on abusers and society as a whole. While NDIC sought to incorporate the latest available information, a time lag often exists between collection and publication of data, particularly demand-related data sets. NDIC anticipates that this drug threat assessment will be useful to policymakers, law enforcement personnel, and treatment providers at the federal, state, and local levels because it draws upon a broad range of information sources to describe and analyze the drug threat to Hawaii.
Your questions, comments, and suggestions for future subjects are welcome at any time. Addresses are provided at the end of the page.
Other Dangerous Drugs
List of Tables
Table 1. Methamphetamine-Related Treatment Admissions to Publicly Funded Facilities, Hawaii, 1994-2000
The availability and abuse of crystal methamphetamine and high potency marijuana are the most serious drug threats to Hawaii. Mexican criminal groups dominate the transportation and wholesale distribution of methamphetamine in the state. Asian criminal groups transport some crystal methamphetamine from the West Coast and Asia and distribute it at the wholesale level. Street gangs, local independent dealers, and outlaw motorcycle gangs distribute methamphetamine at the retail level. Pacific Islander and other local independent dealers are the primary wholesale and retail distributors of marijuana throughout Hawaii. Mexican criminal groups dominate the transportation and wholesale distribution of heroin in the state. Street gangs are the primary retail distributors of heroin. Pacific Islander independent dealers along with Mexican criminal groups are the primary transporters of cocaine into the state, and they distribute the drug at the wholesale level. Pacific Islander independent dealers and street gangs dominate the conversion of powdered cocaine to crack and are the primary retail distributors of powdered cocaine and crack cocaine. The availability and abuse of other dangerous drugs such as MDMA, GHB, and LSD are limited. Pharmaceutical diversion and abuse are increasing.
Methamphetamine, particularly high purity crystal methamphetamine, also known as ice, poses the greatest drug threat to Hawaii. The number of treatment admissions for methamphetamine abuse more than doubled from 1994 through 2000. Honolulu had the highest percentage of adult male arrestees who tested positive for methamphetamine among cities reporting to the Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring program in 2000. Violence associated with the distribution and abuse of methamphetamine is a serious concern for law enforcement officials and healthcare professionals in Hawaii. Mexican criminal groups transport crystal and powdered methamphetamine from the West Coast to Hawaii and distribute the drug at the wholesale level. Local independent dealers convert some powdered methamphetamine transported into the islands to crystal methamphetamine and distribute it at the retail level. Asian criminal groups transport some crystal methamphetamine from the West Coast and Asia to Hawaii and distribute the drug at the wholesale level. Mexican and Asian criminal groups transport methamphetamine typically using couriers on commercial flights or via package delivery services. Street gangs, local independent dealers, and outlaw motorcycle gangs distribute methamphetamine at the retail level.
Marijuana, the second most significant drug threat to the state, is widely available and frequently abused in Hawaii, especially by teenagers. Most marijuana available in Hawaii is produced locally. The state consistently ranks among the top five in the number of cannabis plants eradicated. Cannabis grown outdoors in Hawaii contains some of the highest THC levels in the nation because of the optimal growing conditions, nutrient- and mineral-rich volcanic soil, and advances in hybridization techniques. Local independent growers, primarily Pacific Islanders, cultivate cannabis outdoors year-round. Local independent dealers and, to a lesser extent, Mexican criminal groups transport Hawaii-produced marijuana to the West Coast, primarily California, as well as to Canada and Mexico. Local independent dealers also transport Canada-produced marijuana from the West Coast into Hawaii, and they distribute the drug at the wholesale level. Pacific Islander and other local independent dealers are the primary wholesale and retail distributors of marijuana throughout Hawaii.
The availability, distribution, and abuse of heroin continue to present a threat to Hawaii. Heroin is widely available and abuse of the drug continues to increase. Mexican black tar is the most common type of heroin available in the state. The availability of Southeast Asian heroin, which dominated the Hawaii heroin market in the 1970s and 1980s, is very limited. Mexican criminal groups and, to a much lesser extent, Asian criminal groups transport heroin from the West Coast to Hawaii using couriers on commercial flights or via package delivery services. Mexican criminal groups dominate distribution at the wholesale level, while street gangs dominate retail distribution.
The abuse of cocaine, particularly crack, is decreasing but remains a threat to the state. Pacific Islander independent dealers and Mexican criminal groups in Hawaii transport most of the cocaine into the state from the West Coast, typically using couriers on commercial flights or via package delivery services. These same independent dealers and criminal groups dominate the wholesale distribution of powdered cocaine in Hawaii. Pacific Islander independent dealers and Samoan and Tongan street gangs are the primary retail distributors of powdered cocaine and crack cocaine.
The other dangerous drugs (ODDs) category includes club drugs and diverted pharmaceuticals. Currently, the threat posed by club drugs such as MDMA, GHB, and LSD is limited. However, MDMA abuse is increasing in Hawaii. Club drugs are used primarily by teens and young adults at all-night dance parties called raves. The abuse of diverted pharmaceuticals such as OxyContin is increasing in Hawaii. There is no evidence to suggest that ODDs contribute to violence in the state and, with the exception of a few isolated incidents, ODDs are not produced in Hawaii. Couriers carrying false-bottom luggage and traveling on commercial flights typically transport ODDs. Package delivery services also are used to transport ODDs. Caucasian criminal groups and local independent dealers are the primary wholesale and retail distributors of ODDs in Hawaii.
National Drug Intelligence Center
319 Washington Street, 5th Floor
Johnstown, PA 15901
Tel. (814) 532-4601
FAX (814) 532-4690
National Drug Intelligence Center
8201 Greensboro Drive, Suite 1001
McLean, VA 22102-3840
Tel. (703) 556-8970
FAX (703) 556-7807
To Top To Contents To Next Page
To Publications Page To Home Page
End of page.