Washington, DC: Claiming to ‘need a voice’ in Congress, 33 directors of High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA), along with the National Narcotics Officers’ Associations’ Coalition, let their opposition to proposed White House cuts to the HIDTA program at a news conference today on Capitol Hill. The Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) proposes to cut the current $227 million funding to $100 million and moving the program to the Department of Justice. In response, a few pro-drug war legislators, representatives from HIDTA programs and numerous state and federal narcotic officers, held a press conference today calling for the White House to restore the HIDTA funding.
“Created in the early 1990s, the original scope of the HIDTA program made a semblance of sense where state and federal law enforcement agencies were to target very specific cities and stretches of interstate highway with demonstrably high levels of drug trafficking. Today, HIDTA encompasses virtually the entire United States which clearly undermines the program’s purportedly narrow geographic scope thereby rendering it another ‘war on drugs’ boondoggle funded by taxpayers,” said NORML’s Executive Director Allen St. Pierre, who, favors ending all HIDTA funding.
Further, St. Pierre notes, “I find it ironic that when narcotic officers believe they are going to lose some of their taxpayer funding, they band together to challenge policy-makers’ funding decisions and crow most notably about their focus on methamphetamine labs demonstrate a clear law enforcement priority to arrest cannabis consumers; 755,000 in 2003, 88% for possession only.”
For more information about HIDTAs, check out www.hidta.org