Tuesday, June 14, 2016

On spatiality and the spread of opioids and meth in the West

The High Country News ran this story a few days ago on how population distribution and the particular pattern of motorways in the American West is facilitating distribution of opioids and meth.  Here's an excerpt from Paige Blankenbuehler's story:
The West’s geography stymies law enforcement’s efforts to crack down: Isolated Western highway corridors span states and allow illegal drugs to move vast distances without being detected.
Blankenbuehler quotes Ernie Martinez, director of the executive board for the National Narcotics Officers Association Coalition, a collaboration between federal drug enforcement officials and state and local-level officers, among others.
You have to look at the geography.  The landscape is a lot wider and traffickers are moving through remote areas. It’s much tougher to find them.
This all reminds me of an argument I made in this 2014 essay, The Rural Lawscape:  Space Tames Law Tames Space:  material space--even when relatively "empty" in the sense of not being built up--impedes law enforcement efforts.  

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