NANAKULI, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Drug abuse is still a problem on Oahu, and also in the Waianae area, where people discovered new ways that drugs are making their way into their neighborhoods.
"I'd rather have us figure it out now than figure out later that we're way behind the ball, we should have known about these drugs, or now it's reached a point where it's affected every societal problem that we're trying to face in the government," said Rep. Andria Tupola (R-Maili, Nanakuli, Ko Olina).
According to the Honolulu Police Department there have been three search warrants served Tupola's district in recent months. There are also eight drug investigations that are still pending. That's par for the course.
"There's still a lot of meth use, you know, cocaine, heroin," said Alan Shinn, executive director of Drug Free Hawaii. "It's all here."
Narcotics enforcement issues say crystal methamphetamine is still by far the biggest drug problem, but cocaine and heroin are starting to make a comeback. Marijuana also remains popular, with confusion on its use due to legalization on the mainland and dispensaries in Hawaii.
"Everyday we have calls in our office," said state Narcotics Enforcement Division Chief Keith Kamita. "'I heard that it's legal now.' And we have to explain to them, no, it's not. You cannot just buy marijuana from Colorado and then bring it into Hawaii. That's all illegal."
Kamita also showed a bag of gummy bears that have the active ingredient from marijuana. "These are candies that have been coated with THC, crystallized THC, and then sprayed upon," he said.
"What we find are kids are much more sophisticated about alcohol, tobacco and drug use," said Shinn. "They see it at an earlier age, I think they experience it in their families often." Shinn said he based that on their visits with schoolchildren along the Waianae coast.
It's still an experience the community is trying to reduce.