According to the 2002 annual report of the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Program, the HIDTA effort in Appalachian states was focused on the production of marijuana. I found this interesting in the implications for how the federal government distinguishes areas of “high-trafficking,” which it has positively done in 13% of US counties since the program began.
From the report, which also notes that marijuana is a top agricultural product for the region:
Marijuana is the number one cash crop in the three states that comprise the Appalachia HIDTA. The states of Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia, with less than 4 percent of the total U.S. population, produced 28.3 percent of the domestic marijuana supply, as measured in total eradicated plants in 2001. Marijuana usage rates in the area, however generally were below the national average.