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drugs in Maine

Drugs in the United States: Maine

State Facts
Population: 1,274,923
Law Enforcement Officers: 2,565
State Prison Population: 1,740
Probation Population: 7,524
Violent Crime Rate National Ranking: 48
2001 Federal Drug Seizures
Cocaine: 0.5 kgs.
Heroin: 0 kgs.
Methamphetamine: 0 kgs.
Marijuana: 21.3 kgs.
Clandestine Laboratories: 2 (DEA, state, and local)

Marijuana, which is both grown locally and imported from Canada, Massachusetts, and New York, remains the principal drug of abuse in Maine. Heroin availability and use is increasing in the state, as are cocaine and diverted pharmaceuticals. Methamphetamine, although not yet a significant problem, has considerable potential for production and distribution in Maine. Interstate 95 provides a critical north-south transportation avenue for drug traffickers who travel most frequently to sources of supply in several northeastern Massachusetts cities, and Maine’s many harbors offer ample opportunities for drug smugglers.

Cocaine: Cocaine is encountered throughout the state in fractional ounce to kilogram quantities. Maine residents, generally Caucasians, traditionally travel south on Interstate 95 in passenger vehicles to obtain cocaine from suppliers, generally Dominican violators, based in Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn, MA. Crack cocaine is growing in popularity in southern and central Maine communities, with Biddeford and Lewiston serving as the main distribution points.

Heroin: The availability of heroin in Maine continues to increase. MA-based Dominican traffickers are the primary suppliers of high-quality heroin to the Maine distributors who typically transport the drug in passenger vehicles. While use is more prevalent in southern communities, it is encountered in coastal and Canadian border communities, and it has spread into rural and remote areas. Abuse has increased, particularly among younger teenagers in Bridgeton, Rockland, Penobscot, and York counties.

maine methamphetamine arrests Methamphetamine: Although found throughout the state, methamphetamine has yet to become a significant problem in Maine. The state’s northernmost county, Aroostook, has experienced increased abuse and availability. Investigations have revealed that low quality metamphetamine is often express-mailed into the state from California and the southwestern states. Trafficking groups supplying meth to the state either have connections to outlaw motorcycle clubs or are members of “the rave set.” Law-enforcement officials recently uncovered a non-functioning methamphetamine lab in Washington County, a reminder that Maine’s size and predominantly rural population creates a significant potential for large-scale methamphetamine manufacturing. The DEA has sponsored a clandestine laboratory school for federal investigators, state and local police, and fire marshals.

Club Drugs: Law-enforcement officials in the southern portion of Maine have noticed a small increase in MDMA (Ecstasy) use. MDMA continues to be associated with rave parties and the student population.

Marijuana: Marijuana, long the illicit drug of choice in Maine, is readily available throughout the state. Year-round indoor grows are the current trend in the state, but high-grade marijuana cultivated in Canada has been smuggled over the border. Hashish is available sporadically in small quantities; however, the popularity of hashish in Canada may eventually impact Maine. Traffickers have moved hashish and hash oil through Maine and into Canada. Commercial-grade marijuana is often obtained from middlemen in the southern New England states and New York. Predominantly Caucasian traffickers supply marijuana grown in Maine as well as shipped from the southwest border and Canada. Shipments ranging from 15 to 500 pounds typically enter the state via Interstate 95 in automobiles, campers, rental trucks, and tractor-trailers. Motorcycle groups historically have controlled much of the marijuana distribution in Maine, and these groups continue to use associates to distribute approximately 300 to 500 pounds monthly. Maine has a number of statutes related to marijuana possession, cultivation, trafficking, therapeutic research programs, paraphernalia, illegal importation, and asset forfeiture. These laws are often cited as the reason that Maine residents must travel to obtain their illicit drugs from out-of-state traffickers wary of the state’s tough drug laws.

Other Drugs: PCP purchased in Boston is available in southern Maine. LSD, available in gelcap form, is abused by young students. Psilocybin mushrooms, most often obtained from commercially available cultivation kits, are available in state. Law enforcement recently seized a psilocybin cultivation operation run by a student on the University of Maine campus. Maine has experienced a significant increase in the availability of diverted pharmaceuticals. Oxycodone products, Percocet, Roxicet, and Oxycontin are readily available. In Washington County, including the city of Calais, Dilaudid is encountered frequently. Numerous instances of doctor-shopping rings, falsified prescriptions, and pharmacy robberies of OxyContin have been experienced in Lincoln County and the Portland area. In addition, there have been several instances of diverted Canadian pharmaceuticals being smuggled into Maine.

DEA Mobile Enforcement Teams: This cooperative program with state and local law enforcement counterparts was conceived in 1995 in response to the overwhelming problem of drug-related violent crime in towns and cities across the nation. There have been 348 deployments completed resulting in 14,794 arrests of violent drug criminals as of June 2002.

Special Topics: Interstate 95, “The New England Pipeline,” remains the interdiction focus in Maine since it travels through the interior of the state, connects several of the larger cities, and terminates at the Canadian border.

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Maine Drug Report Data Source: US Department of Justice, DEA