Crack cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine are readily available in the state of New Hampshire. The drugs are smuggled in from Mexico either via land, sea or air. The principal drug traffickers are the Dominicans. Marijuana continues to be readily available and the predominant crop in the State. However, it is methamphetamine abuse that has continued along the coastline cities and is a major problem for drug enforcement. All data indicates that this trend is likely to continue. Despite the increased security after 9/11, drug trafficking continues unabated along the shores of New Hampshire.
Cocaine is readily available throughout all parts of New Hampshire. The majority of cocaine is smuggled in from the Massachusetts, Southern states, Chicago, Georgia, Florida and Texas. The cocaine is converted to crack cocaine and sold on the street. Almost all the inner cities have had their fair share of cocaine addicts but the numbers have remained stable over the past decade. Associated with cocaine drug trade have been street gangs, violence, crime, thefts and inner city poverty.
Heroin use has steadily been increasing over the past 2 decades. The increasing purity, low price and availability have made it the drug of choice in the inner cities. The majority of the drug is smuggled in from Boston and New York City. Both the Mexican and SE variety of heroin is available throughout the state. Small amounts are routinely smuggled in the by the Mexican migrant workers.
Methamphetamine has become a drug of concern in the state and its abuse has increased significantly over the past 2 decades. The drug is available in all counties, especially along the coastal region and is abused by all ethnic groups. The major source of methamphetamine is Mexico and Columbia. The drug is smuggled in from the South chiefly in automobiles. Recently the large influx of Hispanic migrants has helped with the distribution of the drug.
Despite the ban on precursor chemicals, law enforcement continues to encounter clandestine laboratories all over the state however; clandestine laboratories have declined since the Government banned the availability of ephedrine. A major hazard with these unsophisticated laboratories includes environmental pollution and fire hazard. The very lucrative methamphetamine trade ($15-20,000 per pound) has led to the establishment of several violent drug cartels who are not shy of using violence and extortion to expand their drug trade.
There has been a major increase in the use of club drugs in the state of New Hampshire. All types of club drugs including MDMA, GHB, PCP, LSD and ketamine are available at night parties and rave parties. The majority of colleges and universities have a moderate supply of club drugs. The majority of club drugs are smuggled in from New York, Canada, California and Texas. The club drug trade is basically controlled by Asian gangs. Recent seizures indicate the drugs are increasingly being smuggled in via the US parcel post services.
The abuse of pharmaceutical drugs continues to rise at an exponential rate. The most commonly abused pharmaceutical drugs include oxycontin, hydrocodone, methadone, diazepam, Lortab and Xanax. Oxycontin continues the number one prescription drug abused in the state. These drugs are primarily obtained via prescription forgeries, “doctor shopping”, pharmacy break ins and via the internet.
Some of the pharmaceutical drugs are brought into New Hampshire from Mexico and Southwestern Border cities. Numerous pain management clinics have opened in every major city in the State and pose an enormous threat to the communities. These pain management clinics do injustice to patients by continually prescribing narcotics to addicts.
Marijuana is readily available throughout New Hampshire. The majority of the drug is smuggled in from the southern states. Marijuana is smuggled in large amounts in cars, vans, campers and trucks all of which have hidden compartments. The majority of the marijuana trade is controlled by the Mexicans and the migrant Hispanic workers. In addition, the large rural area of New Hampshire has also been used to grow marijuana. Marijuana is cultivated both indoors and outdoors in both private and public property. The locally made marijuana is more potent and pure than the Mexican variety and is increasingly being shipped across into Colorado and Illinois. In addition, the most potent form of marijuana, called BC bud, is smuggled in from Canada.
A variety of smuggling methods have been encountered by law enforcement. Smuggling has been done by concealment in couriers’ backpacks, hockey-type travel bags, helicopter air drops and even the use of snowmobiles during the winter months.
To counteract the drug problem DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams have been established in response to the overwhelming problem of drug related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. In addition, DEA Regional Enforcement Teams have been developed to augment existing DEA pision resources by targeting drug organizations operating in the United States where there is a lack of sufficient local drug law enforcement.
The state of New Hampshire like most eastern states has not been progressive in view of its drug laws. The state still believes that incarceration rather than drug rehabilitation of the non-violent drug offender is the best treatment, at a cost of millions of dollars to the tax payer. The New Hampshire House of Representatives recently rejected a bill that would have legalized marijuana for medical purposes.