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. Karen

    Legalize it – collect taxes, create jobs, stop violence – calm down. Easy. Simply. Fast.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Barry

      What would all the drug dealers do, they would have to get real jobs? I don't think the DEA would let it happen, they would be out of work too. But you can always hope

      June 20, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      One would think that such an easy way to create extra revenue, cut a massive amount of government spending for enforcement, courts and prisons; all the while decreasing crime both inside and outside the US would be a legislative slam dunk.

      Its to bad that the social conservatives have our government by the balls.

      June 20, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • frmrma

      LOL at the whole idea of legalizing it all And to Tal, drug related crime isn't just a product of it's illegal status. Do you not think that there will still be junkies willing to commit crimes in order to get money for their next fix? Legalizing, in my opinion, will increase the amount of people willing to try it and thus creating more addicts.

      June 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • BECKY

      My thoughts exactly. I have said so for 30 years, since I worked for a law enforcement agency in the early 70s in a smallish Ohio town.

      June 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • aacon

      agree completely .

      June 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      Go see the damage done to families by users who get their hands on the illegal stuff and then tell us legalizing is better. Addicts lose their jobs and go on unemployment. Addicts don't take care of their health and get staff infections, STDs, HIV, and then Medicare pays for their medical bills. Addicts wreck homes, and in No Fault states, they take half of everything in the divorce. How are these problems fixed with your easy – just go legalize it – solution?

      June 20, 2011 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • SmokeaJoint

      frmrma, its here, its not going anywhere, its been here a long time, are prisons are full for what? Millions spent for what? Because idiots like you think its wrong? How many times do you have to bang your head against the wall before you wake up? Banjo country hicks like you are embarrassing. Get another cause you probably agree with like prvong Mr. Obama was born in Kenya.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Karen, I agree.

      Tal, social conservatives have our government by the balls because we keep electing them.

      frmrma, stop laughing and cite your sources, because the studies I've read about show that we would have more money for drug education and fewer addicts if we decriminalize and regulate.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • SmokeaJoint

      And what is happening now is working Marie? Another Moron stuck on themselves

      June 20, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      The crime is created by the artificially inflated price. This is basic economics. If it wasnt illegal, a plant that you can grow in your yard would have almost 0 value. Most of this stuff is dirt cheap to make. People kill each other over it because its illegal which artificially limits the supply.

      And increasing users? Really? If heroin were legal right now would you try it? Anyone? The people dumb enough to use drugs are already using them.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      @SmokeaJoint Did I say don't do anything? Anyone could see what's happening now is obviously not working, but Karen's "easy simple fast snap" just-legalize-it solution is naive.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    BTW, nobody needs alcohol, either.
    It's not that good for you.
    If I have a drink on five widely spaced days out of a year, that's a big year of absence from reality.
    Life is best when you take it straight.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Debrap424


      June 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      It's even better after a few beers.

      June 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. gingersrule1

    Wow. There are more people using drugs than ever before you fat liar Obama. I used to like you because I'm not afraid of change. You aren't following what you won the presidency on. That is why you will lose. And we will likely get stuck with another war mongering Republican. If war is what you want in America you will get it. It will start with protests you rich political fools and land owners. And when we don't get what's rightfully ours it will morphology into all out war. The people in our leadership need to start thinking bigger not smaller. Taking peoples benefits away and promising a nationalized healthcare system is not how you do it. I know elderly people that have died because they lost their benefits entirely. How do you guys not know this? We are about to have another American Revolution. I can't wait to see rich people begging for food. That is what drives me on through my day. Knowing that people who have it coming will get theirs.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • No1ButMe

      Wow. Where do I begin? Were you even born before the '70s?
      Obama didn't promise change over night, did he? What about all of the Republican opposition to his agenda?
      Did your friends die because their benefits were taken away (like the transplant patients who were denied care under Arizona's Republican leadership) or because of the Health Care Reform Laws (which haven't begun yet)?
      Chill out. Have another smoke.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mendocino Proud

    Woo-hoo! We're number one! We're number one! We're number one! We're number one!

    June 20, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Jueceman

    your government, ineffectively at work, lol....soooo if 60% of the united states counties are high drug traffic zones, wouldn't it make sense to legalize it and tax??? I mean because 60% ain't winning the war on drugs.....

    June 20, 2011 at 3:34 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Craboo

    Karen is 100% correct but use some of the taxes to help addicts. There are no programs to help people quit and clean up when they want to.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Denizen Kate

      Decriminalization and taxation could provide the revenue for many good educational programs and rehab facilities.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  7. bill

    No one is going to tell me what ingest. My excrement content does not determine my character. Choice will never be illegal.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • No1ButMe

      Like your spirit, but freedom of choice has been illegal for decades, my friend.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Taylor West

    I think my county should be, This the only place in Ohio..where you can make your 401k in narcotics..whats the point of complaining....The police get their drugs here too...Sickening right..

    June 20, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. S4LK1N

    in order to leagalize it they would have to cut dea, prision, local police, and court workers jobs. then more jobs open up for the production and sale. the government isnt going to legalize it because so many people in the public will just focus on all the honest peoples jobs that will be lost. stupidity is the leading cause of getting nowhere.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • No1ButMe

      Do you really think that the police and prison officers will have nothing to do without drug busts? How about violent and white collar crimes?

      June 20, 2011 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Colin R Brown

    A little girl I know, called Joyce, OD'd and died last month. She was 21. Any one of you here who support the dealers are complicit in her death. May it not be your child next time.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe

      Really? Really? Interesting viewpoint, sir. Sorry for the loss, but you are way out of line on the direction your finger points.

      June 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tal

      Nobody supports the dealers. The drugs are completely unregulated and even more dangerous than they would be otherwise specifically because they are brought in by smugglers rather than legal means.

      I also love how the innocent 21 year old "little girl" is completely without any responsibility for her own actions. It is impossible to make every possible thing that irresponsible people can kill themselves with illegal.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Iconoclast

      While I'm sorry to hear about anybody's premature death I don't think I'd be pointing fingers at the dealers. Whatever happened to taking responsibility for one's own decisions? Unless you can demonstate that the dealer misrepresented what was being sold(does happen, good argument for legalizing and regulating it) there's only one person to blame here Colin and that's poor Joyce. Maybe if it had been legal and purity regulated Joyce might have made a much more educated decision or perhaps it wouldn't be such a "forbidden fruit" to our young people? Maybe the people who are addicted won't feel like such "social rebels" if it were readily available at their local Walgreens? I'm just saying that if it is truly our intent to reduce substance abuse the first thing we should do is legalize it. I know it sounds odd but in fact usage will drop over time and the criminal profit motive is gone entirely. Something to think about (really, we all need to start thinking hard about this and stop quoting government propaganda).

      June 20, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • No1ButMe

      This is what bothers me about 'drugs'. Are we talking street or pharmaceutical? Pot, alcohol, meth, mushrooms, cocaine, crack, glue, or herion? I don't believe that there has ever been a marijuana overdose, to date. But, a lot of people have been hurt, murdered, or victims of alcohol abuse.
      You just can't generalize about something as diverse as 'drugs'.

      June 20, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Lol

    Ha if i wanted to buy marijuana right now i could call about half the people in my phone's contact list. Maybe if this was legalized and taxed then all those contacts would get a real job.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The1TheONLY

    And what would be the possibility that these estimates are inaccurate. Very inaccurate. Not sure how many drug users would advertise even on an anonymous poll. As far as the law against its use. Thats a no brainer. Great way to lure kids into its trafficking by bumping its monetary value up, but we all know our Government is over flowing with no brainers. Sorry if this offends anyone. I just call them like I see them and sadly enough in this case I do it without any bias what so ever.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Joe

    These stats are untrue. This is simply the start of martial law and a ploy to further enhance the multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical industry. Gogo gadget Obama!

    June 20, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  14. just me

    Joey, I have to wonder about your age since you keep making these same old generic statements. I don't know if legalizing drugs is the answer but I do know that I would personally rather see a pedophile in jail than a drug pusher. Tal is right there is always another to take the place of the last one, but that doesn't mean we should stop trying to combat them either. The point is what we are doing now is not working, and putting everyone in jail is doing a bang up job (that was sarcasm btw)

    So yes Joey you can talk just like the rest of us all I ask is that before you tell everyone that alchohol is not good for you, maybe you should read. There are wines that help with everything from heart disease to stress levels. A beer can help with a kidney infection. All of this is of course in moderation, but don't say that it has no benefits.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Rey

    Last time i checked the US still owed 51% of its economy to China. and its never going to be able to pay them back. so more than 50% employment or not the US should also be considered a 3rd world country. the middle class is just bigger and all the money is kept at the top of the social classes.

    June 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
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