Kubo Shares Drug-Free Vision
By Jennifer Smith
It was with open ears and eyes that Hawaii District Attorney Ed Kubo visited Molokai last Tuesday. Being the first district attorney, to his knowledge, to visit the island, Kubo declared, “We are going to spread our wings; we are going to do enforcement on all of the islands.”
Kubo focused his efforts on addressing ice use on the island, otherwise known as crystal meth. Hawaii introduced the drug to the mainland almost 15 years ago, and has since topped the charts repeatedly for ice use.
“Ice is a generation killer,” Kubo explained to Molokai High School students. In discussing how dangerous the drug is, Kubo said, “it robs future generations of their potential.”
The rock like substance appears a lot less attractive when told it contains ingredients such as battery acid, paint thinner, ammonia, and drain cleaner.
However, even more disturbing is what these chemicals can do to the body. Several students squirmed in their seats when shown images of the physical effects of drug use: sunken eyes, rotting teeth, and emaciated faces.
Beyond the physical damage, being caught with just one gram of ice, which is about the size of a sugar packet, can land a person in prison for up to 20 years.
A Hawaii native, Kubo sees the prevalence of ice on the islands as a black eye to aloha and ohana. While Kubo and other state law-makers agree that prevention is key, they say that in-your-face anti-drug campaigns that are successful in other states won’t work in Hawaii. Kubo said the state is too culturally sensitive to use aggressive commercial advertising.
“Bluntness is never an acceptable trait here,” the US Attorney explained. Consequently, without the resources to hit all age levels on a consistent basis, Kubo continues to travel, speaking to as many community members as possible.
His jam-packed schedule on Molokai also included a community meet and greet at the Kaunakakai cafeteria, a discussion of the dangers of identity theft with kupuna, and a sit down with police to learn more about crimes occurring on the island.
“The more I get to know this island the more I can figure out how to help it,” Kubo said. He stressed his ability to provide resources to the island, which include Federal funding.
Kubo saw this visit as the first of many to Molokai, and mentioned that he is planning on returning in the spring.
If you or someone you know has a drug abuse problem and would like information on how to get help call Aloha United Way for treatment referrals, dial 2-1-1.