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Louisiana 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

Louisiana is a major site of drug trafficking with much distribution taking place over the state's highways. The state's rural nature and high degree of poverty (18.6 percent of the population lived below the poverty level in 2007, the second highest proportion among U.S. states) and coastal location make it particularly vulnerable to drug trafficking and distribution. Cocaine is primarily smuggled into the state by Mexican drug trafficking organizations. Local criminal groups then sell cocaine in both powder form and as crack. Conversely, methamphetamine is produced domestically. The National Office of Drug Control Policy estimates that there are about 340 drug trafficking organizations working in the Gulf Coast High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA), which includes counties in Louisiana; most of these organizations deal with ...

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