This shadowed image of an ice user appeared on
hundreds of thousands of TV screens across Hawaii Wednesday evening during the airing of filmmaker Edgy Lee's documentary
"Ice: Hawaii's Crystal Meth Epidemic."
Reaction by local residents to the showing of Edgy Lee's documentary
"Ice: Hawaii's Crystal Meth Epidemic" shows hope, and fear, over the ice problem on Kauai.
"It was really something
that needs to be brought to the attention of the whole community. It exposed it and really brought it onto the front page
in a sense," said Payton Hough, a Princeville resident and parent of three children. "It causes people to think of what an
impact it is having on our schools, our communities, on our streets."
Hough said he and his wife are getting involved
in learning about the ice problem, and have been going to drug information meetings held at Hanalei School and Kilauea School.
doing what we can to make sure it won't continue on our island," he said.
When asked about some of the causes of the
problem, Hough cited lack of recreation for youth, and lack of family involvement in their children, plus the growing problem
with finding affordable rentals, and the rise in real estate prices putting the average worker in economic straits.
economic pressure is really hitting working class families (on Kauai)," Hough said.
"It's really sad, everyone cried,
it's really powerful," said a Westside mother of one immediately following the broadcast. She said seeing the "hardened welfare
workers crying" was touching and showed the depth of the problem in Hawaii's society.
The mother, who asked to remain
anonymous, said there is a feeling of intimidation on the Westside over reacting against the ice problem.
"I feel really
discouraged, this culture is being reticent (about going against the ice problem)," she said.
She said some members
of her church are planning to hold signs today, but others were afraid to "because of retaliation.", "They are disempowered,
too afraid to do anything about it," she said of the ice problem on the Westside, which she said was "really decimating out
in Kekaha and Waimea."
"I hear, no I can't do that, because they might see me and come get me,'" she said. "They're
going to just let it roll over their grandchildren."
The Rev. Roy "Rocky" Sasaki, a leader in the islandwide sign holding
set for today, said he was encouraged following the airing of the ice documentary.
"I believe we have a good beginning,
tomorrow with this sign holding we will send a message to the whole island that we are together in it," Sasaki said, adding
that he hopes the community support will "give people a hope for the future." "I believe we need to send a bold message to
drug dealers, that the community wants to see an end to the drug activity that's impacting many lives," he said. "To me it
was a wake-up call to all Hawaii to be educated to this ice epidemic. There's no denial that we need to face this problem
head on as a community."
He said he especially appreciated the testimony of recovering addicts.
"The film confirmed
again and again the impact on families, teenagers, infants and children," Sasaki said of the ice problem. "We're seeing just
the tip of the iceberg. I believe we are just beginning to feel the impact on our society and environment."
said, "We need to educate each other and the communities on solutions, we need to have our own drug summits to see how we
can deal with this issue."