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Arizona Laws and Programs

  • By: Sarah Boslaugh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Drug Policy
  • Edited by: Mark A. R. Kleiman & James E. Hawdon
  • Subject:Public Policy, Drug Crimes

Because of its long border with Mexico, Arizona is a major entry point for illegal drugs to the United States. Mexican-based drug smuggling organizations have dominated the movement of cocaine, methamphetamine, marijuana, and heroin into the state. The state's large expanses of rugged and sparsely inhabited land, significant proportion of residents living in poverty (14.2 percent in 2007), and multiple police jurisdictions, including tribal lands, also complicate enforcement of drug laws. In recognition of this, in 1990 the counties of Cochise, La Paz, Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, and Yuma were designated as a High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) by the Office of National Drug Control Policy; it is one of five HIDTAs located on the U.S./Mexican border. Over 30 tunnels used for ...

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