Eight more U.S. counties named to White House drug-trafficking list
The White House says High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas help coordinate police efforts to combat drug use and production.
June 20th, 2011
12:50 PM ET

Eight more U.S. counties named to White House drug-trafficking list

New York's, Washington's and Atlanta's federally designated drug-trafficking zones just got a little bigger.

They're called High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas, to be exact, and they're designed to regionally coordinate law enforcement efforts to tackle issues such as drug production, distribution, chronic use and money laundering. Local, state and federal agencies operating in HIDTAs receive extra equipment, technology and other resources to combat drug trafficking.

Approximately 16% of the nation's counties - encompassing a whopping 60% of the population - fall within one of the 28 HIDTAs, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy.

You can now add the following to the list: Orange County, New York; Mendocino County, California; Porter County, Indiana; Harford County, Maryland; Lexington and Richland counties, South Carolina; and Putnam and Mercer counties, West Virginia.

Border and port cities compose the majority of the HIDTAs, and some areas may cover multiple states. New York and New Jersey are in the same HIDTA, for instance, and Atlanta's HIDTA extends to North Carolina.

"Close collaboration with our federal, state, local, and tribal partners is a critical component of our efforts to reduce both the demand and supply of drugs," ONDCP Director Gil Kerlikowske said in a statement. "By designating these counties as HIDTAs, we will create a powerful catalyst for cooperation among federal, state, local and tribal agencies working to make our communities healthier and safer.”

Comprehensive efforts to address drug-related issues over the last three decades have resulted in an American drug use rate that is about half of what it was in the late 1970s, according to the statement. The Obama administration, it said, has committed more than $10 billion to drug-education programs and treatment for addicts, and more than $9 billion to law enforcement efforts.

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Filed under: Barack Obama • California • Crime • Drug violence • Drugs • Indiana • Maryland • New York • Politics • South Carolina • U.S. • West Virginia
soundoff (173 Responses)
  1. Ooof Ooof Ooof

    drugs turn users into mental people (you know its true admit it lol)

    June 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  2. AMI65

    The War on Drugs is just a fancy way for law enforcement to get overtime. ONDCP was established with a great goal, but the money hungry federal agents who mostly run these HIDTAs are only looking for 6 figure retirement jobs!! I thought DEA was established to fight drugs...maybe they should get the grant money and do what they are supposed to do and all the other three letter agencies stay out of it!

    June 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Big_D

    We may take away Medicare and Social Security but we will never stop funding the attack on our liberty.

    June 20, 2011 at 1:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jules

      What about the liberty of people who want to live in a safe environment where people don't drive crazy because they're high on drugs? Or don't want to be around unstable people whose minds are messed up from experimenting with different drugs? Liberty is not about doing what you want all the time – otherwise all sorts of deviant behavior would be allowed. Drugs are addictive and do cause lots of problems so people like yourself need to think a bit more about what you're saying. It's amazing how many messed up people are out there through taking drugs including lots of celebs yet people still think it's ok to do drugs. Sad.

      June 20, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • rick

      jule: by your comment, i am assuming that you are on the front line to prohibit alcohol

      June 20, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. BogusPeavy

    Is it ? Could it be ? Perhaps one of the last gasps of the good folks who make their livings from the war on drugs? That's a lot of people that want to keep their jobs too, just like I did. They still have one at the moment and just expanded their "legal" hunting grounds by factors. All they did was analyze every county's drug stats, notice "hey, look at that one – lots of drugs there!" and flag it, move on. Oh how I'd like to see the war on drugs die the death it deserves so richly. Abysmal waste of money, time and trouble for everyone involved. NO ONE WINS EVER.

    I DO feel badly about those lost jobs. I mean, what do you do instead? You're outside in all of a sudden. Not good.

    June 20, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. BogusPeavy

    I suspect the DEA folks are getting antsy and feel they have to show some big results fast. Calling in whatever leads, expanding their stalking grounds, hiring more agents – I would expect to see some large and splashy busts happening in the near future as a result of these folks feeling this pressure but as usual, so what? The vacuum created by any busts are so quickly filled that it doesn't matter. But I suppose it looks good and the fine American people can rah rah their diligent government, spending foolishly on another un-winnable war for unknowable reasons.

    June 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Polecat

    Reduce crime, save money, sell drugs legally! Too much money to be made by gangs and cartels to ever even remotely reduce illegal trafficking and sale. We are wasting resources in this war against drugs. Think out of the box already and legalize all of the common stuff and provide revenue to our deficit with taxation. Folks that want to purchase pot or hash or cocaine, etc; will do so in a controlled safe environment. Alcohol prohibition did not work, drug enforcement will not either.

    June 20, 2011 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      This is one of the few really intelligent comments on this blog.

      June 20, 2011 at 2:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Any loss of human space exploration :-{

    DEA equals the Deception Enforcement Agency

    June 20, 2011 at 2:01 pm | Report abuse |
  8. lizng

    Legalize it

    Tax It

    June 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • biggest.waste.ever.war on drugs


      June 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. biggest.waste.ever.war on drugs

    ALL that money, all that time, and all the future pensions for what? Oh the amount of rehab that could have been done, OR, just make the pot legal. three strikes such a waste. Only should be used for violent crime, not pot heads and tweakers.

    June 20, 2011 at 2:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Blogson

    What criteria are used to designate a HDTA county as such? If they have to d with the number of drugs-related "busts" the criteria are invalid, since they would be based upon numbers which are dependent upon the efforts of law enforcement agencies, and that obviously varies considerably. As for the ONDCP director's statement that the rate of drugs use is about half of what it was three decades ago, based upon the availability of illegal drugs and the penetration of drugs – supplying cartels even into the U.S. itself the assertion appears to be preposterous and unverifiable, and an attempt to justify the existence of the director and the agency.

    June 20, 2011 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  11. denver co

    If it were all legalized and taxed what would happen to demand then?

    June 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Iconoclast

    Love that photo! This is the America we have all come to know and love. In their never ending need to justify their worthless existance I'm surprised the government hasn't calculated 99% of the counties being in "high intensity drug traffic areas". Don't worry folks it's coming soon to a county near you.
    "Comprehensive efforts to address drug-related issues over the last three decades have resulted in an American drug use rate that is about half of what it was in the late 1970s, according to the statement.". Absolute and utter lies from lying liars.

    June 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Hello, Jazzzzzzzz, and Thank You.
    No, that was not my post above.

    June 20, 2011 at 2:12 pm | Report abuse |
  14. fernace

    The government is behind the curve, as usual. If usage of illegal drugs is down, it's because buying & selling legal, prescription drugs is up! The war on drugs was lost before it began, it doesn't matter if all drugs on the planet were destroyed, people who want to get high will find a way!

    June 20, 2011 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Emmanuel Goldman

    Actually, every single RELIABLE study has shown that drug use is exactly the same as it was before the 'war on drugs' started. Not only that, but drugs are MORE readily available and cheaper than they were back then! The only studies that show drug use has gone down are the ones commissioned by the Drug War people who know they will only continue to get paid by showing what the gov't wants. It is a joke.

    June 20, 2011 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Exactly. The "war on drugs" is an unintelligent and non-effective response to a problem that is far more complex than our government understands and I'm disgusted that waste our young people and our money on something like this.

      June 20, 2011 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
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