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Guam Drug Threat Assessment

Guam Drug Threat Assessment.Publication Date: August 2003

Document ID: 2003-S0388GU-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 Guam. 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 Guam.

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Executive Summary

 Fast Facts





Other Dangerous Drugs
  Diverted Pharmaceuticals



List of Tables 

Table 1. Percentage of Federal Drug-Related Sentences for Methamphetamine Violations, Guam and United States, FY1997-FY2001

 List of Figures

Figure 1. Methamphetamine transportation from the Philippines, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China, and South Korea to Guam.
Figure 2. Size comparison of a penny and a plate.
Figure 3. Marijuana transportation from Palau to Guam.

Executive Summary

Most drugs are transported to Guam through the Guam International Air Terminal. Drugs typically are seized from passengers, baggage, and cargo. Guam's location provides opportunities for Pacific Rim smugglers to transport drugs via maritime vessels. Open oceans and a lack of natural choke points offer an environment conducive to the transshipment of illicit drugs. Limited quantities of drugs are transported to Guam via package delivery services.

Methamphetamine, specifically high purity crystal methamphetamine, poses a serious illicit drug threat to Guam. Crystal methamphetamine is readily available, and abuse of the drug has increased over the past decade. Methamphetamine-related violence is a concern on Guam, where law enforcement officials attribute a rise in violent crime to the corresponding increase in methamphetamine abuse. Crystal methamphetamine available on Guam is produced in and transported from the Philippines, as well as from Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, and South Korea. Asian criminal groups dominate the distribution of crystal methamphetamine in the territory.

Marijuana poses a significant threat to Guam. Despite considerable law enforcement efforts and eradication initiatives, the drug remains readily available and frequently abused. Typically, the marijuana available on Guam is smuggled from the Republic of Palau or is produced locally. Locally produced marijuana generally is less potent than marijuana smuggled from outside sources and generally is intended for personal use rather than distribution. Wholesale distribution of the drug is limited in the territory and appears to be controlled by organized criminal groups.

Heroin poses a relatively minor threat to Guam compared with methamphetamine and marijuana. Abuse of heroin is limited on Guam, and abusers typically are tourists rather than residents of the territory. The drug, which is available in limited quantities, generally is high quality Southeast Asian heroin. In the past, Guam has been exploited by drug transporters as a transshipment point for heroin destined for markets on the United States mainland and in Canada.

Cocaine poses a minor threat to Guam primarily because abuse of the drug is minimal and availability is limited. The cocaine abused on Guam is powdered cocaine; crack cocaine is not converted or abused in the territory. Typically the small quantities of the drug that are available on Guam are transported there by individual users, generally tourists, for their own consumption.

Other dangerous drugs including MDMA, inhalants, and diverted pharmaceuticals are a small but growing threat to Guam. MDMA is increasingly available and abused in the territory. Inhalants and diverted pharmaceuticals pose a potentially serious threat because of their ready availability.


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