On Saturday night in Maui I went to a local pub and watched the Vancouver Canucks game with a bunch of other tourists from British Columbia. There are lots of Canadian visitors to Hawaii right now, which is great for the state because it is experiencing tough economic times.
I came back to my condo and watched a cable rerun of Numb3rs. Oddly enough, the episode was about the unpredictable economic consequences of crystal meth enforcement in Maui. Charlie's plan was basically to arrest all the high level drug dealers at once. This was necessary in order to prevent a super duper version of crystal meth from spreading to the rest of the United States from Hawaii. Not surprisingly, Charlie's plan didn't work out. The show also explored the dangers of undercover operations conducted as part of the War on Drugs. The acting wasn't exactly Oscar quality but I enjoyed watching a little prime time drug policy action.
Unfortunately, things are not going well on the drug policy front in Hawaii. Early last week I wrote about the upcoming vote by a committee of the Hawaii county council. The purpose of the resolution was to encourage the state legislature to consider marijuana legalization. Unfortunately this vote was defeated in committee 7 - 2. This article summarizes what happened. Also, here are a couple of videos that illustrate some of the "facts" presented by the opposition. The first clip is Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Rick Damerville, and the second clip (at the 1:58 mark) is fellow prosecutor Mitch Roth:
There is also testimony in these clips from a couple of DARE kids, although I don't have the heart to say anything about their involvement.
Clearly, Hawaii needs help on the drug policy front. Any thoughts on how we could assist the folks in this state? I'm touring the islands this week as a LEAP speaker, so I'm very interested in any ideas you might have on this subject.