TESTIMONY OF BARRY
THE DRUG LEGALIZATION MOVEMENT IN AMERICA
June 16, 1999
Chairman Mica, Congresswoman Mink, thank you for the
opportunity to testify before you today on the drug legalization movement in
the United States. Before
discussing this issue, on behalf of the Office of National Drug Control Policy
(ONDCP) allow me to thank the leadership and members of this Subcommittee for
the strong bipartisan support you have provided to our National Drug Control Strategy.
With your help we are making substantial progress in reducing the
threat of illegal drugs to our nation.
Given the negative impact of drugs on American society,
the overwhelming majority of Americans reject illegal drug use.
Indeed millions of Americans who once tried drugs now turn their backs
on them -- they no longer “do drugs,” and most importantly, don’t want
their children doing them. While most Americans steadfastly reject drugs, small elements
of the social spectrum argue that prohibition -- and not drugs -- creates the
problems we face. These people
offer solutions in various guises, ranging from outright legalization to
so-called “harm reduction.” In
fact, all drug policies seek to reduce the harms of drug use.
No rational approach would seek to increase harms to families, children
and our nation. The real question
is: what policies actually do the most to decrease the harms drugs cause?
Part I of this testimony provides an overview of what proponents of legalization really want to achieve through their efforts, namely: legalization of not only marijuana, but other more dangerous drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Part II of this testimony cuts through the haze of this misinformation to expose the fallacies and realities of what legalization would mean to this nation, namely: significantly higher rates of drug abuse, particularly among young people, and exponentially increased human and social costs to our society. Part III of this testimony sets out the balanced approach to fighting drugs provided in our National Drug Control Strategy. This part summarizes how we intend to reach our goal of cutting drug use and its consequences in America by half over the next ten years.
WHAT PROPONENTS OF LEGALIZATION REALLY WANT:
Our nation’s democratic system of government is founded
upon free and open debate. Our
nation holds no beliefs or icons above challenge and examination. We all must be willing to lay the facts and our analysis on
the table of public scrutiny, and make the case for what we believe.
However, in the marketplace of ideas, just as in other
marketplaces, there are people willing to use deceptive claims, half truths
and flawed logic to hawk ill-considered beliefs.
Nowhere is this problem more clear than with respect to the drug
Proponents of legalization know that the policy choices they advocate are unacceptable to the American public. Because of this, many advocates of this approach have resorted to concealing their real intentions and seeking to sell the American public legalization by normalizing drugs through a process designed to erode societal disapproval.
For example, ONDCP has expressed reservations about the
legalization of hemp as an agricultural product because of the potential for
increasing marijuana growth and use. While
legitimate hardworking farmers may want to grow the crop to support their
families, many of the other proponents of hemp legalization have not been as
honest about their goals. A
leading hemp activist, is quoted in the San Francisco Examiner and on the Media Awareness Project’s
homepage (a group advocating drug policy reforms) as saying he “can’t
support a movement or law that would lift restrictions from industrial hemp
and keep them for marijuana.” If
legalizing hemp is solely about developing a new crop and not about eroding
marijuana restrictions, why does this individual only support hemp
deregulation if it is linked to the legalization of marijuana?
Similarly, when Ethan Nadelmann Director of the Lindesmith Center (a drug research institute), speaks to the mainstream media, he talks mainly about issues of compassion, like medical marijuana and the need to help patients dying of cancer. However, Mr. Nadelmann’s’s own words in other fora reveal his underlying agenda: legalizing drugs. Here is what he advocates:
Personally, when I talk about legalization, I mean three things: the first is to make drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, and heroin legal . . . .
I propose a mail order distribution system based on a right of access . . . .
Any good non-prohibitionist drug policy has to contain three central ingredients. First, possession of small amounts of any drug for personal use has to be legal. Second, there have to be legal means by which adults can obtain drugs of certified quality, purity and quantity. These can vary from state to state and town to town, with the Food and Drug Administration playing a supervisory role in controlling quality, providing information and assuring truth in advertising. And third, citizens have to be empowered in their decisions about drugs. Doctors have a role in all this, but let’s not give them all the power.
We can begin by testing low potency cocaine products -- coca-based chewing gum or lozenges, for example, or products like Mariani’s wine and the Coca-Cola of the late 19th century -- which by all accounts were as safe as beer and probably not much worse than coffee. If some people want to distill those products into something more potent, let them.
if there is a lot of PCP use in Washington, then the government comes in and
regulates the sale.
Mr. Nadelmann’s view that drugs, including heroin and
other highly addictive and dangerous drugs, should be legalized are widely
shared by this core group of like-minded individuals.
For example, Mr. Arnold Trebach states:
Under the legalization plan I propose here, addicts . . . would be able to purchase the heroin and needles they need at reasonable prices from a non-medical drugstore.
International financier George Soros, who funds the
Lindesmith Center, has advocated: “If it were up to me, I would establish a
strictly controlled distributor network through which I would make most drugs,
excluding the most dangerous ones like crack, legally available.”
William F. Buckley, Jr. has also called for the “legalization of the
sale of most drugs, except to minors.”
Similarly, when the legalization community explains their
theory of harm reduction -- the belief that illegal drug use cannot be
controlled and, instead, that government should focus on reducing drug-related
harms, such as overdoses -- the underlying goal of legalization is still
present. For example, in a 1998
article in Foreign Affairs, Mr.
Nadelmann expressed that the following were legitimate “harm reduction”
policies: allowing doctors to prescribe heroin for addicts; employing drug
analysis units at large dance parties, known as raves, to test the quality of
drugs; and “decriminalizing” possession and retail sale of cannabis and,
in some cases, possession of “hard drugs.”
Legalization, whether it goes by the name harm reduction or some other trumped up moniker, is still legalization. For those who at heart believe in legalization, harm reduction is too often a linguistic ploy to confuse the public, cover their intentions and thereby quell legitimate public inquiry and debate. Changing the name of the plan doesn’t constitute a new solution or alter the nature of the problem.
In many instances, these groups not only advocate public
policies that promote drug use, they also provide people with information
designed to encourage, aid and abet drug use.
For example, from the Media Awareness Project (a not-for-profit
organization whose self-declared mission is to encourage a re-evaluation of
our drug policies) website a child can “link” to a site that states:
your own stone! It’s easy! It’s fun! Everybody’s doing it!
Growing marijuana: a fun hobby the whole family can enjoy!
The linked website goes on to provide the reader with all
the information needed to grow marijuana, including a company located in
Vancouver, Canada that will ship seeds or plants.
The Media Awareness Project website also includes links
to instructions about how drug users can defeat drug tests.
Similarly, the websites of both the Drug Policy Foundation, a
self-proclaimed drug policy reform group, and the Media Awareness Project,
both provide links to a site that gives instructions for how to manufacture
the drug “ecstasy.”
Careful examination of the words -- speeches, webpostings, and writings -- and actions of many who advocate policies to “reduce the harm” associated with illegal drugs reveals a more radical intent. In reality, their drug policy reform proposals are far too often a thin veneer for drug legalization.
What do drug “legalizers” truly seek?
They want drugs made legal -- even though this would dramatically
increase drug use rates. They want drugs made widely available, in chewing gums and
sodas, over the Internet and at the corner store -- even though this would be
tantamount to putting drugs in the hands of children.
They want our society to no longer frown on drug use -- even though
each year drug use contributes to 50,000 deaths
and costs our society $110 billion in social costs.
And, they want the government to play the role of facilitator, handing
out drugs like heroin and LSD.
Let me emphasize, there is nothing wrong with advocating for change in public policy. From civil rights to universal suffrage, much of what makes our nation great has been the result of courageous reform efforts. Our nation benefits from the airing of dissent. However, we all have a responsibility to be honest in debate about our motives. We all have an obligation to be open with the American people about the risks inherent in what we advocate. To date, advocates of legalization have not been so forthcoming.
II. THE FALLACIES AND REALITIES OF DRUG LEGALIZATION
FALLACY: There is a large movement to legalize drugs in America.
REALITY: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A DRUG LEGALIZATION “MOVEMENT” IN AMERICA.
One recent account placed the number of groups advocating
drug policy reform at roughly four-hundred nation-wide, including local
chapters of national organizations.
By contrast, there are roughly 1,300 local chapters of the American Red
Cross; 3,400 units of the American Cancer Society; 9,000 Veterans of Foreign
Wars posts; 2,351 local YMCA chapters; 121,948 local Boy Scouts Units; and,
4,300 Community Anti-Drug Coalitions. The
“Prevention Through Service Alliance” alone, established by ONDCP, brings
together forty-seven national civic, service, fraternal, veterans, and
women’s organizations, representing one hundred million people and nearly
one million local chapters, in a coordinated effort to reduce youth drug use.
These organizations are at the forefront of real movements -- to
safeguard lives and health, to honor those who served our nation, to end the
plague of cancer, to mentor young people, and to protect our youth from drugs.
By this standard there is no movement in America to legalize drugs.
There is, however, a carefully-camouflaged, well-funded, tightly-knit core of people whose goal is to legalize drug use in the United States. It is critical to understand that whatever they say to gain respectability in social circles, or to gain credibility in the media and academia, their common goal is to legalize drugs.
Americans increasingly support drug legalization.
REALITY: RIGHTFULLY, THE AMERICAN PUBLIC OPPOSES DRUG LEGALIZATION.
The American people understand the risks that drug legalization would entail and overwhelmingly reject this ill-considered approach. Youth access to and use of alcohol and cigarettes is bad enough -- American parents clearly don’t want children able to use a fake ID at the corner store to buy heroin. We have enough problems with drinking and driving -- families don’t want to live in fear that the driver of the eighteen wheeler motoring alongside their minivan is high on marijuana, methamphetamines or LSD. Thousands of our loved ones already die from drug-related causes -- reasonable people don’t want drugs to be accessible over the Internet.
Study after study confirms the concerns of Americans
about drugs, and their desire to guard against the risks of these deadly
substances. A 1998 poll of voters
conducted by the Family Research Council found that eight of ten respondents
rejected the legalization of drugs like cocaine and heroin, with seven out of
ten in strong opposition. Moreover, when asked if they supported making these
drugs legal in the same way that alcohol is, 82 percent said they opposed
legalization. Similarly, a 1999
Gallup poll found that 69 percent of Americans oppose the legalization of
A recent study by the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs found that the
American public consider drug abuse the third biggest problem facing our
Not only do Americans reject legalization, they also
support policies to rid their communities, schools, and workplaces of drugs.
For example, a 1995 Gallup poll found that 72 percent of Americans want
drug testing in the workplace.
Sixty-seven percent supported random drug testing by employers.
This same survey found that 73 percent of all American employees
support their employers drug-free workplace policies and programs.
Another 23 percent of American employees want their employers to go
even further and adopt tougher programs.
Similarly, a soon-to-be released Gallup poll finds that 85 percent of
Americans support greater funding for drug interdiction.
One of the best measures of the public’s rejection of
drugs is the number of Americans -- fifty-million -- who have used drugs
during their younger years, but now reject them.
Even among individuals who themselves tried drugs, 73 percent believe
that parents should forbid children from ever using any drug at any time.
The American public’s opinion about illegal drugs is clear: they want no part of them. Americans don’t want their children, friends or family members doing drugs. They don’t want drugs in their workplace. They don’t want to live in fear that their pilot or bus driver is on drugs. And, they support efforts, ranging from education to treatment to law enforcement, to combat drug use.
Drug legalization will not increase drug use.
DRUG LEGALIZATION WOULD SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE THE HUMAN AND ECONOMIC
COSTS ASSOCIATED WITH DRUGS.
Proponents argue that legalization is a cure-all for our
nation’s drug problem. However,
the facts show that legalization is not a panacea but a poison.
In reality, legalization would dramatically expand America’s drug
dependence, significantly increase the social costs of drug abuse, and put
countless more innocent lives at risk.
“The Dutch Model”
Those who support legalization often hold up the
Netherlands as an example that legalization can work.
While the Dutch have adopted a “softer” approach to some drugs,
they have not legalized them. Under
the Dutch system possession and small sales of marijuana have been
marijuana production and larger scale sales remain criminal. Drugs such as cocaine and heroin remain illegal.
Most importantly, while the Dutch have not legalized drugs, the
softening of Dutch criminal laws against marijuana has led to a normalization
of drug use more broadly. The
accompanying change in public attitudes has, arguably, played as critical a
role in Dutch drug use patterns as has the shift in the actual law.
If the Dutch experience with drugs is an appropriate
model at all, it is because it illustrates the harms that result from
increased tolerance of illegal drugs. This conclusion was brought home to all
of us from the Office of National Drug Control Policy who traveled to the
Netherlands in July of 1998 to gain a better understanding of the Dutch
When the so-called Dutch “coffee shops,” started selling marijuana in small quantities, use of the drug more than doubled between 1984 and 1996 among 18 to 25 year olds. According to an article, Holland’s Half-Baked Drug Experiment, which appears in the current (May/June 1999) edition of Foreign Affairs: “In 1997, there was a 25 percent increase in the number of registered cannabis addicts receiving treatment, as compared to a mere 3 percent rise in cases of alcohol abuse.”
Moreover, Dutch tolerance of drug use has created a
climate that drug manufacturers and traffickers have seized upon to produce
and market more addictive and dangerous drugs.
For example, Peter Reijnders, Assistant Chief Constable and Chief of
the Dutch National Unit on Synthetic Drugs, recently told the 25th European
Meeting of Heads of National Drug Services, that:
“ . . .[T]he Netherlands is a major country as far as it concerns
involvement in the production of illicit synthetic drugs.”
Dutch drug manufacturers are also producing a new form of
marijuana, Nederwiet, with THC
contents as high as 35 percent -- as much as ten times the THC of the cannabis
available just a few years ago. Cannabis
seeds can even be ordered over the Internet from an Amsterdam-based dealer.
The well-respected journal Foreign
Affairs describes the situation as follows:
. . . [T]he annual Nederwiet harvest is a staggering 100 tons
a year, almost all grown illegally. And
it does not stay in the Netherlands. Perhaps
as much as 65 tons of pot is exported -- equally illegally -- to Holland’s
neighbors. Holland now rivals
Morocco as the principal source of European marijuana.
By the Dutch Ministry of Justice’s own estimates, the Nederwiet
industry now employs 20,000 people. The
overall commercial value of the industry, including not only the growth and
sale of the plant itself but the export of high-potency Nederwiet seeds to the
rest of Europe and the United States, is 20 billion Dutch guilders, or about
$10 billion -- virtually all of it illegal and almost none of it subject to
any form of Dutch taxation. The
illegal export of cannabis today brings in far more money than that other
traditional Dutch crop, tulips.
The impact of high potency marijuana on Dutch youth has been severe. In Foreign Affairs, Dr. Ernest Bunning of the Ministry of Health, is quoted as saying:
There are young people who abuse soft drugs . . . particularly those that have high THC. The place that cannabis takes in their lives becomes so dominant they don’t have space for other important things in life. They crawl out of bed in the morning, grab a joint, don’t work, smoke another joint. They don’t know what to do with their lives. I don’t want to call it a drug problem because if I do, then we have to get into a discussion that cannabis is dangerous, that sometimes you can’t use it without doing damage to your health or your psyche. The moment we say, “There are people who have problems with soft drugs,” our critics will jump on us, so it makes it a little bit difficult for us to be objective on this matter.
During this period of tolerance, the Netherlands has also experienced a serious problem with other substances of abuse, in particular heroin and synthetic drugs, which remain illegal. According to a 1998 report from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, the number of heroin addicts in Holland has almost tripled since the liberalization of drug policies. Similarly, the 1998 European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction’s overview report states that drug-related arrests in the Netherlands were up over 40 percent in the last three years, with the main offense being trafficking in so called hard drugs.
Increasingly this problem is spilling over to other nations. The Netherlands is more and more seen as Europe’s synthetic drug production center by law enforcement agencies. It is reported that British Customs has determined that virtually all the synthetic drugs seized in the United Kingdom last year were manufactured in the Netherlands or Belgium. Similar reports suggest that 98 percent of the amphetamines seized in France in 1997 came from Holland, as did 73.6 percent of the ecstasy tablets. Synthetic drugs manufactured in the Netherlands are also now increasingly turning up in the United States.
Proponents of legalization argue that the Dutch experience provides a model for a “softer approach” to fighting drug use. Upon close examination the pitfalls of the Dutch experience offer more than ample evidence to dissuade the United States from adopting the drug policies of the Netherlands. Instead the Dutch example clearly argues in favor of continuing the balanced U.S. approach, which is producing results.
The American Experience
American experiences with drug legalization portend
similar risks to those experienced in Holland.
During the 1970s, our nation engaged in a serious debate over the shape
of our drug control policies. (For
example, within the context of this debate, between 1973 and 1979, eleven
states “decriminalized” marijuana). During
this timeframe, the number of Americans supporting marijuana legalization hit
a modern-day high.
While it is difficult to show causal links, it is clear that during
this same period, from 1972 to 1979, marijuana use rose from 14 percent to 31
percent among adolescents, 48 percent to 68 percent among young adults, and 7
percent to 20 percent among adults over twenty-six.
This period marked one of the largest drug use escalations in American
A similar dynamic played out nationally in the late
1800’s and early 1900’s. Until
the 1890s, today’s controlled substances -- such as marijuana, opium, and
cocaine -- were almost completely unregulated.
It was not until the last decades of the 1800s that several states
passed narcotics control laws.
Federal regulation of narcotics did not come into play until the
Harrison Act of 1914.
Prior to the enactment of these laws, narcotics were legal and widely available across the United States. In fact, narcotics use and its impacts were commonplace in American society. Cocaine was found not only in early Coca-Cola (until 1903) but also in wine, cigarettes, liqueur-like alcohols, hypodermic needles, ointments, and sprays. Cocaine was falsely marketed as a cure for hay fever, sinusitis and even opium and alcohol abuse. Opium abuse was also widespread. One year before Bayer introduced aspirin to the market, the company also began marketing heroin as a “nonaddictive,” no prescription necessary, over-the-counter cure-all.
During this period, drug use and addiction increased sharply. While there are no comprehensive studies of drug abuse for this period that are on par with our current National Household Survey on Drug Abuse and Monitoring the Future studies, we can, for example, extrapolate increases in opium use from opium imports, which were tracked. Yale University’s Dr. David Musto, one of the leading experts on the patterns of drug use in the United States, writes: “The numbers of those overusing opiates must have increased during the nineteenth century as the per capita importation of crude opium increased from less than 12 grains annually in the 1840s to more than 52 grains in the 1890s.” Only in the 1890s when societal concerns over and disapproval of drug use began to become widespread and triggered legal responses did these rates level off. Until this change in attitudes began to denormalize drug use, the United States experienced over a 400 percent increase in opium use alone. This jump is even more staggering if one considers that during this period other serious drugs, such as cocaine, were also widely available in every-day products.
Moreover, while we do not believe that the period of
prohibition on alcohol is directly analogous to current efforts against drugs,
our experiences with alcohol prohibition also raise parallel concerns.
While prohibition was not without its flaws, during this period alcohol
usage fell to between 30 to 50 percent of its pre-prohibition levels.
From 1916 to 1919 (just prior to prohibition went into effect in 1920),
U.S. alcohol consumption averaged 1.96 gallons per person per year. During
prohibition, alcohol use fell to a low of .90 gallons per person per year.
In the decade that followed prohibition’s repeal, alcohol use
increased to a per capita annual average of 1.54 gallons and has since
steadily risen to 2.43 gallons in 1989.
Prohibition also substantially reduced the rates of alcohol-related
The United States has tried drug legalization and
rejected it several times now because of the suffering it brings.
The philosopher Santayana was right in his admonition that “those who
cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
Let us not now be so foolish as to once again consider this well worn,
The Impact on Youth
Most importantly the legalization of drugs in the United
States would lead to a disproportionate increase in drug use among young
people. In 1975, the Alaskan
Supreme Court invalidated certain sections of the state’s criminal code
pertaining to the possession of marijuana.
Based on this finding, from 1975 to 1991, possession of up to four
ounces of the drug by an adult who was lawfully in the state of Alaska became
Even though marijuana remained illegal for children, marijuana use
rates among Alaskan youth increased significantly.
In response, concerned Alaskans, in particular the National Federation
of Parents for Drug-Free Youth, sponsored an anti-drug referendum that was
approved by the voters in 1990, once again rendering marijuana illegal.
In addition to the impact of expanded availability, legalization would have a devastating effect on how our children see drug use. Youth drug use is driven by attitudes. When young people perceive drugs as risky and socially unacceptable youth drug use drops. Conversely, when children perceive less risk and greater acceptability in using drugs, their use increases. If nothing else, legalization would send a strong message that taking drugs is a safe and socially accepted behavior that is to be tolerated among our peers, loved ones and children. Such a normalization would play a major role in softening youth attitudes and, ultimately, increasing drug use.
The significant increases in youth drug use that would
accompany legalization are particularly troubling because their effects would
be felt over the course of a generation or longer. Without help, addictions last a lifetime.
Every additional young person we allow to become addicted to drugs will
impose tremendous human and fiscal burdens on our society.
Legalization would be a usurious debt upon our society’s future --
the costs of such an approach would mount exponentially with each new addict,
and over each new day.
The Impact of Drug Prices
If drugs were legalized, we can also expect that the
attendant drop in drug prices to cause drug use rates to grow as drugs become
increasingly affordable to buy.
Currently a gram of cocaine sells for between $150 and $200 on U.S.
The cost of cocaine production is as low as $3 per gram. In
order to justify legalization, the market cost for legalized cocaine would
have to be set so low as to make the black market, or bootleg cocaine,
Assume, for argument sake, that the market price was set at $10 per
gram, a three hundred percent plus markup over cost, each of the fifty hits of
cocaine in that gram could retail for as little as ten cents.
With the cost of “getting high” so as low as a dime (ten cents) -- about the cost of a cigarette -- the price of admission to drug use would be no obstacle to anyone even considering it. However, each of these “dime” users risks a life-long drug dependence problem that will cost them, their families, and our society tens of thousands of dollars.
In addition to the impact on youth, we would also expect to see falling drug prices drive increasing drug use among the less affluent. Among these individuals the price of drug use -- even at today’s levels -- remains a barrier to entry into use and addiction. The impact of growing use within these populations could be severe. Many of these communities are already suffering the harms of drug use -- children who see no other future turning to drugs as an escape, drug dealers driving what remains of legitimate business out of their communities, and families being shattered by a loved one hooked on drugs. Increased drug use would set back years of individual, local, state and federal efforts to sweep these areas clean of drugs and build new opportunities.
Drug legalization would reduce the harm of drug use on our society.
DRUG LEGALIZATION WOULD COST BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AND RISK MILLIONS OF
ADDITIONAL INNOCENT LIVES.
By increasing the rates of drug abuse, legalization would
exact a tremendous cost on our society. If
drugs were legalized, the United States would see significant increases in the
number of drug users, the number of drug addicts, and the number of people
dying from drug-related causes.
While many of these costs would fall first and foremost
on the user, countless other people would also suffer if drugs were legalized.
Contrary to what libertarians and legalizers would have us believe,
drug use is not a victimless crime.
A. Increases in Child Abuse and Neglect
If drugs were made legal, among the growing ranks of the addicted will be scores of people with children. Given the clear linkage between rates of addiction and child abuse and neglect, more drug use will cause tens of thousands of additional children to suffer from abuse and neglect as parents turn away from their children to chase their habit.
Historically, we believe that impaired drivers drive more
recklessly. A 1995 roadside study
conducted in Memphis, Tennessee of reckless drivers not believed to be
impaired by alcohol, found that 45 percent tested positive for marijuana.
Most disturbingly, drugged driving often appears among the most inexperienced drivers, namely young people. The 1996 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse found that 13 percent of young people aged sixteen to twenty drove a car less than two hours after drug use at least once during the past year. These young drivers are generally unaware of the dangers they present to themselves and others. Among 16 to 20 year olds who drove after marijuana use, 57 percent said they did so because they were not “high enough to cause a crash.”
When a person using drugs takes the wheel, his drug use is likely to have human costs. Not only is the drugged driver at risk, but all those around him are as well. On January 29, 1999, a car with five young girls -- high school juniors in a middle class suburb of Philadelphia -- crashed into a tree, killing the driver and the other occupants. The medical examiner’s report concluded that the driver lost control of the car not because of speed or inexperience but because she was impaired from “huffing” -- inhaling a chemical solvent -- to get high. Three of the passengers were also found to have used the drug. Five more young people, all with bright futures, are dead because of drug use behind the wheel.
Just as drug impairment behind the wheel puts others at risk, so too does impairment on the job. Since over 60 percent of drug users in the United States are employed, it is not surprising that workplace drug use is a significant problem. According to a 1995 Gallup survey, 35 percent of American employees report having seen drug use on-the-job by co-workers. One-in-ten report having been offered drugs while at work. Drug use in the workplace diminishes productivity and increases costs. Drug using employees are more likely to have taken an unexcused absence in the last month, and are more likely to change or leave a job. The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism estimated that the cost to our nation’s productivity from illegal drug use was $69.4 billion in 1992. Increasing rates of drug use burden our economy as a whole. They also place businesses, in particular small businesses, at risk. In the end, it is the American consumer who ultimately pays these costs.
Highly publicized disasters like these capture the public’s attention. However, the harms of drug abuse build incrementally on job sites all across the nation, every day. Utah Power & Light employees who tested positive on pre-employment drug tests were five times more likely to be involved in a workplace accident than those who tested negative. The 1995 Gallup survey similarly found that 42 percent of American employees believe that drug use greatly affects workplace safety. Even these numbers are likely to underestimate the harms caused by drugs on-the-job; for a variety of reasons drug-related on-the-job injuries are likely under-reported.
FALLACY: Drugs are harmful because they are illegal.
REALITY: DRUGS ARE HARMFUL NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE ILLEGAL; THEY ARE ILLEGAL BECAUSE THEY ARE HARMFUL.
Critics argue that the harm to our society from drugs, such as the costs of crime, could be reduced if drugs were legalized. The logic is flawed. By increasing the availability of drugs, legalization would dramatically increase the harm to innocent people. With more drugs and drug use in our society, there would be more drug-related child abuse, more drugged driving fatalities, and more drug-related workplace accidents. None of these harms are caused by law or law enforcement but by illegal drugs.
Even with respect to the crime-related impact of drugs, drug-related crimes are driven far more by addiction than by the illegality of drugs. Law enforcement doesn’t cause people to steal to support their habits; they steal because they need money to fuel an addiction -- a drug habit that often precludes them from earning an honest living. Even if drugs were legal, people would still steal and prostitute themselves to pay for addictive drugs and support their addicted lifestyles. Dealers don’t deal to children because the law makes it illegal; dealers deal to kids to build their market by hooking them on a life-long habit at an early age, when drugs can be marketed as cool and appealing to young people who have not matured enough to consider the real risks. Make no mistake: legalizing drugs won’t stop pushers from selling heroin and other drugs to kids. Legalization will, however, increase drug availability and normalize drug-taking behavior, which will increase the rates of youth drug abuse.
For example, although the Dutch have adopted a more tolerant approach to illegal drugs, crime is in many cases increasing rapidly in Holland. The most recent international police data (1995) shows that Dutch per capita rates for breaking and entering, a crime closely associated with drug abuse, are three times the rate of those in Switzerland and the United States, four times the French rate, and 50 percent greater than the German rate. “A 1997 report on hard-drug use in the Netherlands by the government-financed Trimbos Institute acknowledged that ‘drug use is considered the primary motivation behind crimes against property’ -- 23 years after the Dutch [drug] policy was supposed to put a brake on that.” Moreover, Foreign Affairs recently noted that in areas of Holland where youth cannabis smokers are most prevalent, such as Amsterdam, Utrecht and Rotterdam, the rates of juvenile crime have “witnessed skyrocketing growth” over the last three to four years. Statistics from the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics indicate that between 1978 and 1992, there was a gradual, steady increase in violence of more than 160 percent.
In contrast, crime rates in the United States are rapidly dropping. For example, the rate of drug-related murders in the United States has hit a ten-year low. In 1989, there were 1,402 drug-related murders. By 1997 that number fell to 786. In 1995, there were 581,000 robberies in the United States. By 1997, that number fell to roughly 498,000.
America’s criminal justice system is not the root cause of drug-related crime. It is the producers, traffickers, pushers, gangs and enforcers who are to blame, as are all the people who use drugs and never think about the web of criminality and suffering their drug money supports.
FALLACY: We are fighting a war on drugs.
REALITY: OUR BALANCED EFFORTS AGAINST DRUGS ARE ANALOGOUS TO THE FIGHT AGAINST CANCER.
Wars have defined end states -- victory over an enemy. Our efforts against drugs have no such neatly defined end; with each generation the struggle to prevent drug use begins anew. Addicted Americans -- parents, siblings, and children -- are not the enemy, they require treatment. Wars are waged with weapons and soldiers; prevention and treatment are our primary tools against drugs. Consequently, our efforts tho reduce drug use are analogous to the fight against cancer.
Nevertheless, an effective counter-drug strategy must focus on both supply and demand reduction. Supply-side efforts (law enforcement and interdiction) are necessary because, as basic economic rules dictate, unabated supply will ultimately create its own demand. However, those of us who have experienced combat know that such supply-side efforts are a far cry from “war.” In fact, the use of civilian authorities to protect against drugs is no more war-like than the same role these same police officers play in combating robberies, car thefts, or domestic violence. It is sheer folly to suggest that when a police officer patrols a neighborhood to stop these other crimes he is doing a community service, however when he finds drugs, his efforts somehow become part of a conjured up “drug war.”
Our current approach to drugs is not making a difference.
REALITY: WE ARE MAKING STRONG, STEADY PROGRESS IN REDUCING DRUG USE AND PREVENTING YOUNG PEOPLE FROM TURNING TO DRUGS.
Rather than trade rhetoric, we should focus on results:
Over the last twenty years we have cut drug use (past month) in the
United States by half and reduced cocaine use by 75 percent (past month).
Over the last two years, youth drug use rates have leveled off and in
many cases have begun to fall. This
shift marks a sharp departure from the prior six years, which saw steady
increases in youth drug use. Most
importantly, we have begun to see a sharpening of youth attitudes against
drugs -- youth increasingly see drugs as risky and unacceptable.
The number of drug-related murders has now hit a ten-year low.
In 1989, there were 1402 drug-related murders; by 1997 that number had
fallen to 786.
Spending on illegal drugs has dropped 37 percent from 1988 to 1995, an
annual savings of $34.1 billion.
Such results against any other societal ill would be called a huge success. Let me thank the Committee and the Congress as a whole for your bipartisan support of our counter-drug programs. Without your strong support results like these would not have been possible.
THE SOLUTION TO AMERICA’S DRUG PROBLEM IS THE
The National Drug Control Strategy establishes a multi-year framework to reduce illegal drug use and availability by 50 percent within ten years. If this target is achieved, less than 3 percent of the household population aged twelve and over would use illegal drugs -- the lowest recorded drug-use rate in modern American history. Drug-related health, economic, social, and criminal costs would be reduced commensurately. To achieve this target, the Strategy focuses on prevention, treatment, research, law enforcement, protection of our borders, and international cooperation.
The National Drug Control Strategy is guided by five goals that cover the three broad aspects of drug control -- demand reduction, supply reduction, and the adverse consequences of drug abuse and trafficking. Reducing the demand for illegal drugs is the centerpiece of our Strategy, but supply reduction and consequence management are also critical components of a well-balanced strategic approach to drug control. The five goals reflect the need for prevention and education to protect all Americans (especially children) from the perils of drugs, treatment to help the chemically dependent, law enforcement to bring traffickers and other drug offenders to justice, interdiction to reduce the flow of drugs into our nation, and international cooperation to confront drug cultivation, production, trafficking, and use.
Goals of the 1999 Strategy
Educate and enable America’s youth to reject illegal drugs as well as
alcohol and tobacco.
Increase the safety of America’s citizens by substantially reducing
drug-related crime and violence.
Reduce health and social costs to the public of illegal drug use.
Shield America’s air, land, and sea frontiers from the drug threat.
Goal 5: Break foreign and domestic drug sources of supply.
Overview of the Strategy
The National Drug Control Strategy takes a long-term, holistic view of the nation’s drug problem. The document maintains that no single solution can suffice to deal with the multifaceted issue, that several solutions must be applied simultaneously, and that focusing on outcomes – measured in declining drug use and a lessening of attendant social consequences – can achieve our goals. Our Strategy focuses on those approaches that we know work in reducing drug use.
Educating Young People
Our primary focus is on preventing youth drug use.
Studies show that attitudes about drugs drive youth drug use rates.
Preventing drug use before it starts is more effective and cost
efficient than trying to break a person free from an already established
addiction. By reaching young
people before they try drugs, we can help them reject these deadly substances
and go on to full, safe, and productive lives.
Our commitment to prevention is backed by significant
resources. With the support of
Congress in passing our FY2000 counter-drug budget, we will increase federal
drug prevention funds by 55 percent since FY1996.
Your continued support for our drug prevention efforts is critical to
protecting our nation’s children and will build upon our common efforts to
For example, with the bipartisan support of Congress, we have launched the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, a five-year $2 billion public-private partnership. The Media Campaign is using the full power of modern media -- from television to the Internet to sports marketing -- to educate children, parents, and other adult influencers about the dangers of drugs.
Already, the Campaign is producing results:
• Phase I of the Campaign achieved our objective of increasing awareness. Our evaluation shows that youth and teens demonstrated significant increases in ad recall in the target versus the comparison sites -- youth increases ranged from 11 to 26 percent, teens ranged from 13 to 27 percent. Parents in target sites had an 11 percent gain in awareness of the risks of drugs and said that the Campaign provided them with new information about drugs (a 7 percent increase).
• The Campaign’s initial target for “reach and frequency” was to reach 90 percent of our overall teen target audience (young people ages nine to eighteen) with anti-drug messages four times per week.
• The Campaign is already reaching 95 percent of our youth target audience 6.8 times per week.
• With respect to our reach, we are reaching nearly every single American child on a regular basis with anti-drug information. With respect to frequency, we are putting this information in front of them at a rate of roughly twice our goal.
• We are buying advertising in 2250 media outlets nationwide (newspaper, TV, radio, magazines, billboards, movie theaters, and others). By any standard, the Campaign is the strongest multi-cultural communications effort ever launched by the federal government and rivals that of most corporate efforts.
• Among African American youth within the target age audience, we are doing even better -- reaching 95 percent of the young people 7.8 times per week.
• Within the Hispanic youth target group, we are reaching 94 percent of our audience with messages in Spanish 4.8 times per week -- not to mention the substantial impact of messages in English on bilingual young people.
• The Campaign delivers $33 million worth of anti-drug messages per year to ethnic young people and their adult influencers (e.g., parents, grandparents, coaches, teachers, civic leaders, the faith community, and others).
• We are now developing campaign materials in ten additional languages.
• We are the largest governmental advertiser in African American newspapers and are among the top advertisers on Black Entertainment Television.
• The Campaign’s target is a one-for-one match; for every taxpayer dollar we spend, we require an added dollar’s worth of anti-drug public service, pro bono activity.
• The Campaign’s private sector match is now at the 109 percent level (or $165 million) for the broadcast industry (matches of ad time on TV and radio). Overall, the corporate match for all Campaign efforts is at the 102 percent level (or $175.4 million).
• Since last July, over 47,000 thirty second PSAs have run on television and radio because of the Campaign.
• In addition to the pro bono match, we have received over $42 million of corporate in-kind support. Companies, such as Gateway and UPS, were quick to join our team.
• Thirty-two network television episodes have aired -- on the shows our young people most watch, using the stars they most know -- that have included the Campaign’s strategic anti-drug message points.
• Our corporate efforts are as diverse as the rest of the Campaign. We have productive partnerships in place with BET, Univision, Telemundo, and numerous other specialized ethnic media outlets.
The messages of the Media Campaign serve as a vital
counter-force to the pro-drug use messages that buffet our children.
For too long, the unfiltered Internet has been the media province of
Legalizers not only use the Internet to push their policy views,
they also use it, for example, to tell young people specifically where the
best drugs can be bought at the best price in their city.
Some of these websites even provide young people with direct access to
However, today, through the Media Campaign, when a young
person enters search words that relate to drugs -- from straightforward words
like “marijuana” to slang, like “bud” or “stone” -- our
advertising messages are keyed to respond with accurate drug prevention
information. We are also developing web content that will give young people
the information they need about drugs in a manner that is interesting and
eye-catching. For example,
working with Disney, a leader in reaching young people, we recently launched a
new teen anti-drug website.
Our web presence is now substantial enough to balance
that of the drug legalization community.
For example, our two youth websites,
“ProjectkNOw” and “Freevibe.com” have respectively received
4,721,249 and 866,833 page views since each went online.
Through web advertising (e.g., Internet “banner” ads) our Campaign
has generated 221 million impressions.
Prevention, however, requires more than just mass media messages. Prevention begins with parents and families, and requires the support of schools and communities.
The most important tool we have against drug use is not a
badge or a gun, it is the kitchen table.
Parents can prevent drug use by sitting down with their children and
talking with them -- honestly and openly -- about the dangers of drugs to
young lives and dreams. While
parents often doubt the impact they have on their children’s drug use, the
fact is young people listen to their parents.
For example, recent study by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America
found that 65 percent of young people (ages thirteen to seventeen) believe
that “a great risk if you use marijuana is upsetting your parents.”
This same study found that 80 percent of our youth (ages thirteen to
seventeen) believe that “an important reason for not smoking marijuana is so
that your parents will respect you and will feel proud of you.”
To help parents we are reaching out -- across the Internet, in newspapers, on the airwaves, and through community groups -- to provide them with the information they need to be able to help their children make the right decision and stay drug-free. For example, through a Media Campaign alliance with AOL, we have created a Parents Resource Center, that can provide information at the click of the mouse. The Department of Education has also recently published Growing Up Drug-Free: A Parents Guide to Prevention to give parents the facts and arm them with what to say to their children.
As part of this comprehensive prevention framework,
Secretary Riley has recently sent Congress the Administration’s proposal for
a revamped Safe and Drug Free Schools Program.
If adopted this new program will improve accountability, require
schools to adopt programs proven effective, and hold the entire system -- from
the federal government to the local school -- accountable for producing real
results for our children.
Through the Drug Free Communities Grant Program we are
also providing local anti-drug coalitions with support in working to protect
young people in their communities from drugs.
In the first year of the program we made grants to 92 communities, from
across 47 states and the District of Columbia.
These groups are helping mobilize grassroots efforts to prevent drug
With attitudes being so critical in shaping drug use trends, it is vital that we ensure that drug taking never is perceived as “normal” behavior that is accepted or even tolerated by our society. The imperative to fight the normalization of drug use has played a critical role in the development of federal policies with respect to both medical marijuana and hemp.
With respect to medical marijuana, the recent Institute
of Medicine (IOM) report, Marijuana and
Medicine, Assessing the Science Base, is the most comprehensive summary
and analysis of what is known about the medical use of marijuana.
The report emphasizes evidence-based medicine (derived from knowledge
and experience informed by rigorous scientific analysis), as opposed to
belief-based medicine (derived from judgment, intuition, and beliefs untested
by rigorous science). ONDCP is delighted
that the discussion of medical efficacy and safety of cannabinoids can now
take place within the context of science.
The IOM report concludes that there is little future in
smoked marijuana as a medically approved medication.
Although marijuana smoke delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the
body, it also delivers harmful substances, including most of those found in
tobacco smoke. The long-term
harms from smoking make it a poor drug delivery system, particularly for
patients with chronic diseases. In addition, cannabis plants contain a variable mixture
of biologically active compounds, therefore they cannot be expected to provide
a precisely defined drug effect. Medicines
today are expected to be of known composition and quality.
Even in cases where marijuana can provide relief of symptoms, the crude
plant mixture does not meet this modern expectation.
If there is any future in cannabinoid drugs, it lies with agents of
more certain, not less certain composition.
The future of medical marijuana lies on classical pharmacological drug
The study also provides a detailed analysis of
marijuana’s addictiveness. It
concludes that marijuana is indisputably reinforcing for many people.
It states that a distinctive marijuana and THC withdrawal syndrome has
been identified, but it is mild and subtle compared to the profound physical
syndrome of heroin withdrawal. The
study notes that few marijuana users become dependent but those who do
encounter problems similar to those associated with dependence on other drugs.
Slightly more than four percent of the general population were
dependent on marijuana at one time in their life.
After alcohol and nicotine, marijuana was the substance most frequently
associated with a diagnosis of substance dependence.
In response to the study's recommendations that “clinical trials of marijuana use for medical purposes should be conducted,” on May 21, 1999, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released new guidance on procedures for the provision of marijuana for medical research purposes. “To facilitate research on the potential medical uses of cannabinoids, HHS has determined that it will make research-grade marijuana available on a cost-reimbursable basis . . .” However, pursuant to this guidance, HHS will only provide research cannabinoids for studies that strictly meet the conditions contained in the guidance, including that such research must: meets good clinical and laboratory research practices; examine the use of cannabinoids only “in the treatment of serious or life threatening condition[s]”; and will address “unanswered scientific questions about the effects of marijuana and its constituent cannabinoids or about the safety or toxicity of smoked marijuana.”
endorses the Department of Health and Human Services’ decision to facilitate
further research into the potential medical uses of marijuana and its
constituent cannabinoids. Such
research will allow us to better understand what benefits might actually exist
for the use of cannabinoid-based drugs, and what risks such use entails.
It will also facilitate the development of an inhaler or alternate
rapid-onset delivery system for THC or other cannabinoid drugs.
Advisors to both the National Institutes of Health and the Institute of
Medicine have concluded that such research is warranted.
This decision underscores the federal government’s commitment to
ensuring that the discussion of the medical efficacy and safety of
cannabinoids takes place within the context of medicine and science.
Research toward the development of cannabinoid-based
medicines is a medical and scientific question that America’s health and
science establishment must address. However,
there are those who want to use medical marijuana as a wedge issue to drive
open a hole in counter-drug programs. For example, Richard Cowan, a member of the Advisory Board of
an advocacy group called the “Drug Policy Foundation,” in 1995 stated:
“Key to legalization is medical access [to marijuana] because once you have
hundreds of thousands of people using marijuana medically under medical
supervision, the whole scam is going to be blown.
Once there is medical access and we continue to do what we have to, and
we will, we'll get full legalization.”
While we must exercise compassion and move ahead with the
development of treatments that can relieve human suffering, we cannot and will
not allow progress on the medical front to jeopardize the futures of millions
of young people.
Regardless of developments with respect to the use of cannabinoid-based
medicines, we will continue to fully enforce the full range of Federal laws
pertaining to the non-medicinal use of marijuana.
We face a similar challenge with hemp. Growing numbers of farmers, rightfully or wrongfully, believe that hemp may offer a new crop that can help the farm economy. However, there are those who want to use de-regulation of hemp to erode America’s disapproval of drugs. Still others with criminal intent see hemp as providing a new way to conceal the production of marijuana plants.
If we allow farmers to test the viability of this crop in
the marketplace, we must not do so in a manner that allows the normalization
of marijuana. Products that
market their hemp content with marijuana leaves do so only to sell their
products relationship to marijuana. The
appeal of these products is not that they are made of hemp but that they are
marijuana-related. The hype built
around these marijuana-related products serves only to glamorize the
counter-culture appeal of a drug that has serious consequences for our young
people who use it. We cannot
allow our policies toward hemp to directly or indirectly increase the use of
marijuana among our youth.
America’s farmers, who have long been among the most
steadfast supporters of our counter-drug programs, will help us police their
own. Similarly, ethical farmers
seeking solely to make an honest living off a viable legal crop should be more
than willing to take the necessary security steps to provide the public with
confidence that they are growing hemp and not marijuana.
Drug treatment is proven to reduce drug use, drug-related
crime, and other related social ills. Studies
show that for people who have successfully completed a drug treatment program,
even one year after treatment, drug use drops 50 percent, illicit activity
falls by 60 percent, drug selling drops by nearly 80 percent, arrests fall by
more than 60 percent, homelessness drops by 43 percent, dependence on welfare
decreases by 11 percent and employment increases by 20 percent. In
short, treatment works.
Our FY2000 counter-drug budget requests $3.5 billion for drug treatment and treatment research programs, representing a 5.5 percent increase from our FY1999 budget. Overall, assuming our FY2000 request is approved, we will increase federal spending on treatment by 25 percent since FY1996. Yet, we still have a long way to go to close the treatment gap. In 1996, approximately 4.4 to 5.3 million people were estimated to need drug treatment. Slightly less than two million people currently receive drug treatment. These figures show that we continue to have a significant treatment gap. Expansion of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s drug treatment and block grant programs, as called for in the Administration’s proposed counter-drug budget, will add much needed treatment slots. However, even these gains will not nearly close the current treatment gap.
In a move that will help close this gap, on June 7, 1999,
the Office of Personnel Management sent a letter to the 285 participating
health plans of the Federal Employee Health Benefits Plan informing them that
they will have to offer full mental health and substance abuse parity
to participate in the program. This
step will provide full parity for nine million beneficiaries by next year and
will ensure that the Federal government leads the way in providing parity.
Additionally, we are developing new guidelines for
methadone treatment, which will expand access to this treatment for those who
can benefit from it. These new
guidelines will also improve the quality of methadone treatment programs by
shifting them to a clinic-based modality.
Properly administered, methadone treatment can offer drug-addicted
people an important bridge to a drug-free lifestyle.
By expanding and improving on existing methadone treatment programs we
can offer addicted individuals the hope of a brighter, more productive,
Breaking the Cycle of Drugs and Crime
Drug dependent people are responsible for a
disproportionate amount of our nation’s crime.
According to the 1998 ADAM report, roughly two-thirds of adult
arrestees and more than one-half of juvenile arrestees tested positive for at
least one illicit drug.
In 1997, one-third of state prisoners and about one-in-five federal
prisoners said they had committed the offense that led to their imprisonment
while under the influence of drugs.
Nineteen percent of state inmates said they perpetrated their current
offense leading to incarceration in order to obtain money to buy drugs.
Drug-law offenders are filling our nation’s prisons and imposing tremendous correctional costs on our society. The nation’s incarcerated population is now over 1.8 million people. Under the present system, far too many addicted individuals enter the cycle of drugs, crime, and prison only to spend the rest of their lives caught in this cycle.
We cannot arrest our way out of our nation’s drug
problem. We need to break the
cycle of addiction, crime, and prison through treatment and other diversion
programs. It costs
the American taxpayer $25,000 a year to imprison a drug-addicted criminal.
By comparison, a year of outpatient treatment costs less than $5,000,
and the cost of even more comprehensive residential treatment programs range
from $5,000 to $15,000 per year.
Evidence also shows that drug treatment programs are effective at
reducing crime. For example,
treatment programs administered by the Delaware Department of Corrections have
reduced the recidivism rate for drug-related crimes by 57 percent. Birmingham,
Alabama’s “Breaking the Cycle” program is also producing promising
results. Since its inception in
June of 1997, two thousand offenders successfully completed this program as a
condition of their release. To
date, their rearrest rate is about 1 percent. Breaking
the cycle -- through diversion programs and treatment -- is not soft on drugs,
it is smart on defeating drugs and crime.
In 1991, the number of federal inmates receiving
substance abuse treatment numbered only 1,236.
By 1998, that number reached 10,006.
While this is a substantial step forward, it is still only a first
step. We estimate that the number
of arrestees who require drug treatment may be as high as two million a year.
If we are to reduce the burdens of drugs and crime on our nation, we
need to expand dramatically the treatment opportunities in the criminal
Similarly, we also need to expand the number of drug
courts, which offer nonviolent drug-law offenders supervised treatment in lieu
of jail. Defendants who complete
a drug court program either have their charges dismissed or probation
sentences reduced. In 1994, there
were roughly a dozen drug courts nation-wide.
In October 1998, 323 drug courts were operating nationwide, and more
than two hundred were in planning stages.
Even with their growing numbers, today’s drug courts still only reach
1 to 2 percent of the population of nonviolent drug offenders.
The counter-drug budget now before the Congress seeks to expand current programs in both of these areas. The Administration’s request seeks an additional $100 million to provide drug abuse assistance to state and local governments in developing and implementing comprehensive systems for drug testing, treatment and graduated sanctions for drug offenders. The request also seeks an added $10 million for drug court programs, to bring the total support for these programs to $50 million in FY2000.
Helping Communities Fight Drugs
The High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) program
provides assistance to regions of the nation with critical drug trafficking
problems that impact wider areas of the nation. HIDTA funds support expanded cooperation between federal,
state and local law counter-drug enforcement authorities. HIDTAs strengthen America’s drug control efforts by forging
partnerships among federal, state and local agencies; and facilitating
cooperative investigations, intelligence sharing and joint operations.
There are presently 21 HIDTAs. Through
funds provided by the Congress in our current budget, soon we will announce
the creation of five new HIDTAs.
Local counter-drug law enforcement also benefits greatly
from federal efforts to increase the number of police officers on our streets
and better equip them to combat today’s high-technology drug traffickers.
The Community Oriented Policing Services program, known as COPs, has
funded over 92,000 new and redeployed police officers to help protect our
communities and streets. Through the work of the Counter-drug Technology Assessment
Center (CTAC) we are also helping local law enforcement authorities obtain the
most up-to-date drug fighting tools.
Strengthening the Southwest Border
The shared two-thousand-mile border with Mexico attracts
drugs and provides Mexican drug traffickers ample opportunity to move large
quantities of heroin, cocaine, marijuana, and methamphetamine into the U.S.
Drug violence spills over this border into the neighboring states --
New Mexico, California, Texas, Arizona. Drugs
that cross this border pass into our heartland (into Kansas, Iowa, Illinois)
and beyond (Massachusetts, New York, Oregon) and attack cities, suburbs, and
rural communities alike.
Improving our counter-drug efforts along this border first requires us to better organize our existing efforts. We need to improve our chain of command and accountability for programs in this region. Our Southwest Border programs must also become more flexible and intelligence-driven. We need to better understand the emerging threats and deploy our resources to counter these threats.
We also must shift from a system that is dependent upon
manpower to one that relies on cutting-edge technology.
We simply cannot think that in an era of expanding interchange that we
will be able to unpack every crate of carrots or search every railcar by hand.
We need to develop and deploy a family of complementary systems within
the next five years that can inspect increasing numbers of in-bound
containers, shipments, and conveyances for drugs.
We want to provide major ports of entry with the capacity to subject
in-bound shipments to non-intrusive inspections by complementary systems.
Through technology, we shall put in place a seamless curtain against drugs. This curtain will not be iron but information -- derived from
technology and intelligence. It will be held in place by good organization and
shared commitment -- a commitment based on common values and interests.
It will be permeable to trade and culture but impermeable to drugs,
crime, and violence.
Attacking Drugs in the Transit Zone
Transit zone interdiction plays a critical supporting
role to source county programs. Transit
zone interdiction programs remove significant amounts of illicit drugs
from the pipeline each year that would otherwise reach the United
States. These efforts also raise
the costs and risks to traffickers of moving cocaine into the United States.
Additionally, interdiction operations in the transit zone produce
information that can be used to attack trafficking organizations, thereby
strengthening the overall U.S. law enforcement effort against international
crime. Transit zone interdiction
programs reinforce international, bilateral, and regional cooperation against
the threat of illegal drugs and strengthen the capabilities of transit nation
law enforcement institutions.
Drug traffickers are adaptable, reacting to interdiction
successes by shifting routes and changing modes of transportation.
Large international criminal organizations have extensive access to
sophisticated technology and resources to support their illegal operations.
The United States must surpass traffickers’ flexibility, quickly
deploying resources to changing high-threat areas. Consequently, the U.S.
government designs coordinated interdiction operations that anticipate
shifting trafficking patterns.
Drugs coming to the United States from South America pass
through a six-million square-mile transit zone that is roughly the size of the
continental United States. This
zone includes the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico, and eastern Pacific Ocean.
The Coast Guard is the lead federal agency for maritime interdiction
and co-lead with U.S. Customs for air interdiction.
The interagency mission is to reduce the supply of drugs from source
countries by denying smugglers the use of air and maritime routes in the
transit zone. In patrolling this
vast area, U.S. federal agencies closely coordinate their operations with the
interdiction forces of a number of nations.
In 1998, roughly eighty metric tons of cocaine were seized in the
Stopping drugs in the transit zone involves more than intercepting drug shipments at sea or in the air. It also entails denying traffickers safe haven in countries within the transit zone and preventing their ability to corrupt institutions or use financial systems to launder profits. Consequently, international cooperation and assistance is an essential aspect of a comprehensive transit zone strategy. Accordingly, the United States is helping Caribbean and Central American nations to implement a broad drug-control agenda that includes modernizing laws, strengthening law‑enforcement and judicial institutions, developing anti-corruption measures, opposing money laundering, and backing cooperative interdiction.
The Caribbean Violent Crime and Regional Interdiction
Initiative will expand counter-drug operations targeting drug
trafficking-related criminal activities and violence in the Caribbean region
including South Florida, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the
independent states and territories of the eastern Caribbean.
This initiative will implement mutual cooperative security agreements
between the United States and Caribbean nations, implement commitments made by
the U.S. President during the Caribbean Summit held in Barbados in May 1997,
develop regional maritime law enforcement capabilities; increase the
capability of Caribbean nations to intercept, apprehend, and prosecute drug
traffickers through modest expansion of training, equipment upgrades and
maintenance support, and institutionalize the Americas Counter Smuggling
Initiative (ACSI) to provide at-risk commercial carriers, industry, and
government offices with training to prevent goods and conveyances from being
used to smuggle illegal drugs.
Nonetheless, traffickers have demonstrated that they can
absorb interdiction losses in the transit zone as the cost of doing business
while increasing source country cultivation and production to make up
interdiction losses. In the
transit zone, traffickers have the initiative and can choose when, where, and
how to challenge interdiction forces. They
are able to alter routes and methods in response to effective law enforcement
interdiction activity. Transit
zone operations will be most effective when source country programs are able
to effectively constrain drug production potential, preventing trafficking
organizations from making up interdiction losses.
Building International Cooperation
The United States continues to focus international drug
control efforts on supporting the critical work of drug source countries.
International drug trafficking organizations and their production and
trafficking infrastructure are most concentrated, detectable, and vulnerable
to effective law enforcement action in source countries.
The coca and opium poppy growing areas are easily detectable and
relatively fixed. The cultivation
of coca and opium poppy and production of cocaine and heroin are labor
intensive and can be disrupted by concerted law enforcement action.
To be successful on the scale necessary to disrupt the
illegal drug industry, drug source countries must have control of growing
areas, adequate law enforcement resources, capabilities, and the will to
confront a sometimes politically powerful segment of the population or one
that is protected by well-armed and well-equipped insurgent groups. The
international drug control strategy seeks to bolster source country resources,
capabilities, and political will to reduce cultivation, attack production, and
disrupt and dismantle trafficking organizations, including their command and
control structure and financial underpinnings.
Our actions focus on assisting the host nation expand law enforcement
control over drug crop growing areas, reestablish the rule of law, and
eliminate illegal drug crops in ways that protect human and democratic rights.
The political will and long-term commitment of these other nations are
critical to our common success against drugs.
These international efforts are making a difference, for
• Cocaine production in Bolivia and Peru has dropped by 300 metric tons over the last four years.
• Coca cultivation in Peru has plunged 56 percent from 115,300 hectares in 1995 to 51,000 hectares in 1998.
Mr. Chairman, Ranking Member Mink we thank you, the rest of
the Committee, and the Congress as a whole for the bipartisan support we have
received in our efforts to reduce drug use and its consequences in the United
States. Your support is critical to
progress we are now making. Look at
Here at home, in the last two years, youth drug use rates have leveled off and in many cases are now in decline (this marks a sharp departure from the prior six years, which saw the number of our children doing drugs steadily increase). Overall drug use in the United States is now half what it was in the 1970s. During this same period cocaine use has fallen by 75 percent. Drug-related murders have reached their lowest point in over a decade.
On the international front, cocaine production in Bolivia and Peru has decreased by 300 metric tons over the last four years. We have built a common consensus against drugs. We have eliminated the distinction between producer and consumer nations, and built a common understanding that drugs threaten all nations. Working with the rest of the international community we have built strong counter-drug cooperation through the United Nations, and within this hemisphere through the Organization of American States.
Thank you for the opportunity to appear before you today.
Katherine Seligman, Legalization Sought for Cousin of Pot, San Francisco Examiner, May 9, 1999, C1 (quoting hemp activist Jack Herer).
Ethan Nadelmann, Should Some Drugs Be Legalized?, 6 Issues in Science and Technology 43-46 (1990).
Ethan Nadelmann, Thinking Seriously About Alternatives to Drug Prohibition, 121 Daedalus 87-132 (1992).
Ethan Nadelmann and Jan Wenner, Toward a Sane National Drug Policy, Rolling Stone May 5, 1994, 24-26.
Ethan Nadelmann, How to Legalize, interview with Emily Yoffe, Mother Jones, Feb./Mar. 1990, 18-19.
Arnold Trebach & James Inciardi, Legalize It? Debating American Drug Policy, 109-110 (1993).
George Soros, Soros on Soros, p. 200 (1995).
William F. Buckley, The War on Drugs is Lost, National Review, Feb. 12, 1996, 35-48.
See Ethan Nadelmann, Commonsense Drug Policy, 77 Foreign Affairs 111-126 (1998).
It should, however, be emphasized that not all advocates of harm reduction support drug legalization. Nor, does harm reduction, by itself, require legalization. In fact, aspects of the National Drug Control Strategy, such as methadone treatment, properly adopt harm reduction programs as part of a comprehensive, balanced approach to reducing drug use. Nevertheless, the fact remains that many who advocate harm reduction use it as a subterfuge for legalization.
See “www.mapinc.org” (“drug links” 7 and 8 link to the following two websites: “www.hightimes.com/ht/tow/tes/index.html” and “www.cannabisculture.com/usage/dtfaq.shtml”).
See “www.mapinc.org”, which includes as part of its site “www.mapsorg/news.html”, which then links to “www.ecstacy.org/links/index.html”, which then includes “www.hyperreal.org/~lamont/pharm/faq/faq-mdma-synth.html”. This same information is also found on “www.lyceum.org/drugs/synth . . ./mdma/synthesis/mdma.mda.synthesis”.
See Richard Cowan, Building a New NORML, High Times, Jan. 1993, p. 67. Mr. Cowan has made clear how harm reduction policies fit into the legalization agenda as follows:
Based on our objective of “Legalization by 97" we must begin by demanding: 1 -- immediate access to marijuana for the sick. 2 -- The immediate cessation of all attacks on users, growers and sellers of marijuana. 3 -- An immediate end to lying about marijuana and its users. 4 -- Recognition of the economic and environmental importance of hemp, and studies on how it can be best exploited by American agriculture and industry.
CSR Inc., unpublished research prepared for ONDCP, 1999.
NIDA and NIAAA, The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States, 1992, NIDA/NIH pub. no. 98-4327, Sept. 1998.
See Ken Kraysee, Pot Politics, Hartford Advocate, May 20, 1999. The Drug Reform Coordination Network’s website claims just 6,000 activists in its network. Similarly, the Drug Policy Foundation’s website claims “23,000 supporters.” And, we believe that there is substantial overlap between groups such as these, as well as other “reform” groups.
Gallup Organization, Americans Oppose General Legalization of Marijuana (1999).
See John E. Reilly, Americans and the World: A Survey at the Century’s End, 114 Foreign Policy 97, 110 (1999).
Gallup Organization, What American Employees Think About Drugs (1995) (prepared for the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace).
Gallup, soon to be released poll, prepared for ONDCP (1999).
Partnership for a Drug Free America, Parents and Marijuana in the 90s, Partnership Attitude Tracking Study (1997).
See Director Barry R. McCaffrey, Memorandum for the President’s Drug Policy Council, ONDCP Trip to Europe (11-18 July 1998), September 2, 1998.
Larry Collins, Holland’s Half-Baked Drug Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, 88 (May/June 1999); see also Robert Dupont, Eric Voth, Drug Legalization, Harm Reduction, and Drug Policy, 123 Annals of Internal Medicine 461-465 (1995) (citing a 30 percent increase in the number of Dutch marijuana addicts from 1991 to 1993 alone).
Larry Collins, Holland’s Half-Baked Drug Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, 88 (May/June 1999).
See Lecture by Peter Reijnders, llc., Assistant Chief Constable, Chief of the National Unit Synthetic Drugs of the Netherlands, delivered at the 25th European Meeting of Heads of National Drug Services, Edinburgh, UK, May 4-6, 1999.
Larry Collins, Holland’s Half-Baked Drug Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, 89 (May/June 1999); see also Director Barry R. McCaffrey, Memorandum for the President’s Drug Policy Council, ONDCP Trip to Europe (11-18 July 1998), September 2, 1998.
Id. at p. 87. In this same article, Dr. Wallenberg, head of the Jellinek Clinic, Holland’s best known drug clinic, stated: “We have indulged ourselves in a kind of blind optimism in Holland concerning cannabis.” Id. This apparent inability to critically examine the impacts of quasi-legalized drug policies on drug use trends has substantially aided those in the United States who want to legalize drugs. Absent a full assessment of the increasing drug use trends, proponents of legalization are free to say whatever they like about the success of the model.
 See European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Study to Obtain Comparable National Estimates of Problem Drug Use, Dec. 1998 (finding 28,000 Dutch heroin addicts in 1997, up from 10,000 in 1979); Larry Collins, Holland’s Half-Baked Drug Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, 92 (1999) (citing Dutch government funded Trimbos Institute data indicating a tripling of the rate of heroin addiction); see also Robert Dupont, Eric Voth, Drug Legalization, Harm Reduction, and Drug Policy, 123 Annals of Internal Medicine 461-465 (1995) (citing a 22 percent increase in the number of registered addicts between 1988 and 1993).
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction, Annual Report on the State of the Drugs Problem in Europe, 31 (1998). The Netherlands was the only nation among fifteen EU member states listed with trafficking of hard drugs as the main offense driving these increases in drug-related arrests. Id.
See Lecture by Peter Reijnders, llc., Assistant Chief Constable, Chief of the National Unit Synthetic Drugs of the Netherlands, delivered at the 25th European Meeting of Heads of National Drug Services, Edinburgh, UK, May 4-6, 1999 (noting that 26 different countries worldwide have reported seizures of MDMA originating in the Netherlands, including 124 cases involving more than 500 grams).
Larry Collins, Holland’s Half-Baked Drug Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, 84 (1999).
Id. at 97.
Hassela Nordic Network, Press Release, Nov. 9, 1995.
Hassela Nordic Network, Press Release, June 14, 1995 (poll by the newspaper Algemeen Dagblad); Hassela Nordic Network, Press Release, Nov. 9, 1995 (poll by Erasmus University, Rotterdam, finding 61 percent of Dutch think all drugs should be prohibited).
See, e.g., Gallup Organization, Americans Oppose General Legalization of Marijuana (1999).
The experiences of other nations that have flirted with legalization-like schemes also provide evidence that legalization is not a viable policy option. For example, in 1964, Great Britain began providing medical prescriptions for heroin to addicts. The policy was discontinued because it caused a 100 percent increase in the numbers of addicts and contributed to a significant increase in crime. See Drug Enforcement Administration, Drug Legalization: Myths and Misconceptions, 17 (1994). Similarly, during ONDCP’s 1998 trip to Sweden, Swedish officials described how that nation had tried and rejected a more liberalized approach to drug control because use rates and attendant harms had increased significantly with the liberalization.
See Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics 1997, 150-151 (1997). In 1973, 18 percent of the American people supported legalization of marijuana. In 19976, that number grew to 28 percent. By 1978, that number reached 30 percent, the highest it has reached from the 1970's to date.
See ADAMHA, PHS, DHHS, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Main Findings 1985 (1988).
See David Musto, The American Disease, 10 (1972).
Id. at p. 10, 91-95. Pennsylvania passed the first state-level anti-morphine law as early as 1860. Id. at p. 91. Ohio followed suit with an anti-opium smoking law in 1897. Id.
During this period almost all U.S. opium was imported for domestic use with little or no transhipment. Thus, for this timeframe rates of imports are the best indicator for rates of domestic use. Id. at p. 252, note 5.
Id. at p. 5. Domestic demand for opium began to increase in the 1840s and continued to grow until roughly the 1890s. At its peak in the 1890s domestic consumption of crude opium leveled off at a high of 500,000 pounds each year. At the same time, morphine and morphine salts consumption reached 20,000 ounces annually. Id. at p. 252, note 5.
Id. at p. 252, note 5, and accompanying text.
Most importantly, prohibition sought to stop a societal behavior that was socially accepted and widespread. In contrast, our current drug policies are backed by overwhelming societal disapproval of drugs. See Robert Dupont, Eric Voth, Drug Legalization, Harm Reduction, and Drug Policy, 123 Annals of Internal Medicine 461-465 (1995).
Paul Aaron and David Musto, Temperance and Prohibition in America: A Historical Overview, in Beyond the Shadow of Prohibition, 164-165 (Mark H. Moore & Dean P. Gerstein eds., 1981).
Arnold Trebach & James Inciardi, Legalize It? Debating American Drug Policy, 109-110 (1993).
See Mark H. Moore, Actually, Prohibition Was a Success, New York Times, A21, Oct. 16, 1989. During prohibition, cirrhosis death rates for men went from 29.5 per 100,000 in 1911, to 10.7 per 100,000 in 1929. Admissions to state mental hospitals for alcohol psychosis also fell from 10.1 per 100,000 in 1919 to 4.7 per 100,000 in 1928. Id.; see also John Noble, et al., Cirrhosis Hospitalization and Mortality Trends 1970-87, 108 Public Health Reports 192 (1993).
See Rain v. Stark, 537 P.2d 494 (AK 1975). The court’s holding did not effect the statutory provisions dealing with the purchase, sale or manufacture of marijuana, which remained illegal during this period.
Information provided by Drug Watch International (citing Bernard Segal, Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies University of Alaska, Drug Taking Behavior Among Alaskan Youth -- 1988, Nov. 1988).
See Grossman et al., Rational Addiction and the Effect of Price on Consumption, in Searching for Alternatives, at p. 77 (Melvyn B. Kraus & Edward P. Lear, eds. 1991) (with respect to cigarettes a 10 percent drop in price yields a 7 to 8 percent increase in demand).
ABT Associates, The Price of Illicit Drugs: 1981 Through Second Quarter of 1998, prepared for ONDCP (Feb. 1999).
Moreover, the cost of production of legalized cocaine would shrink below today’s levels. For example, the shipment of legal cocaine without the need to conceal, the movement of profits without the need to launder, and the ability to manufacture without and market without losses to law enforcement, would all provide significant economies.
See George Soros, Soros on Soros, 200 (1995) (recognizing the need to set prices of legalized drugs low enough to undercut a black market).
The impact of pricing on youth substance use is well established with respect to alcohol and taxes. Moreover, one study has found that increases in alcohol prices not only reduces youth alcohol consumption, but also marijuana use. See Rosalie Liccardo Pacula, Does Increasing the Beer Tax Reduce Marijuana Consumption?, 17 J. Health Economics 557-585 (1998).
Jeanne Reid, et al., No Safe Haven: Children of Substance Abusing Parents (1990) (published by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University).
Chaffin M. Kellecherk, Fischer E. Hollenberg, Alcohol and Drug Disorders Among Physically Abusive and Neglectful Parents in a Community-Based Sample, 84 Am. J. Public Health 1586-90 (1994).
National Transportation Safety Board Report, Washington, D.C., February 5, 1990.
NHTSA, The Highway Safety Deskbook, Part IV (1996).
Brookoff, D. et al., Testing Reckless Drivers for Cocaine and Marijuana, 320 New Eng. J. Med. 762-768 (1994).
Office of Applied Statistics, Driving After Drugs or Alcohol Use: Findings From the 1996 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (1998) (published by NHTSA, DOT, SAMSHA and HHS). Findings with respect to youth drinking and driving also suggest that if drugs were made legal, drugged driving would be most problematic among young people. See, e.g., National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Alcohol Traffic Safety Facts 1997, 1997 (the highest intoxication rates in fatal crashes in 1997 were recorded for drivers 21-24 years old).
Office of Applied Statistics, Driving After Drugs or Alcohol Use: Findings From the 1996 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (1998) (published by NHTSA, DOT, SAMSHA and HHS).
See, e.g., CNN The World Today, Deaths of Five Schoolgirls in Philadelphia Car Crash Raises Awareness of Chemical Inhalants, Mar. 2, 1999, 8:24 pm EST (LEXIS/NEXIS).
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Alcohol Traffic Safety Facts 1997, 1997.
Office of Applied Studies, SAMSHA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Main Findings 1997 (1998).
Gallup Organization, What American Employees Think About Drugs (1995) (prepared for the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace).
See, e.g., Robert Dupont, Never Trust Anyone Under 40: What Employers Should Know About Drug Testing 48 Policy Review pp. 52-57 (1989) (drug using workers are 3 to 4 times as likely to have an on-the-job accident, 2 to 3 times as likely to file a medical claim, and 25 to 35 percent less productive).
ONDCP, The 1999 National Drug Control Strategy, 17 (1999).
The National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, The Economic Costs of Alcohol and Drug Abuse in the United States, 1992, 5-1 (1998).
See, e.g., CNN NEWS, A Historical Perspective on Amtrak Accidents, Sept. 22, 1993; Lori Sharn, Will Tests Keep Booze Out of Cabs, Cockpits, USA Today, Jan. 14, 1992, 1A; Rep. Bob Whittaker, The Drugs and Alcohol Crisis; Congress Must Pass Legislation Requiring Workers to Take Drug and Alcohol Tests Before Assuming Life Threatening Responsibilities, Roll Call, July 23, 1990, Briefing No. 17.
See, e.g., Jon Hilkevich, Police Say Test Shows Drug Use By Trucker in Train Crash, Chicago Tribune, June 25, 1998, 1; Marijuana Found in Trucker Involved in Fatal Train Wreck, New York Times, June 25, 1998, A16.
See supra n. 80.
See Testimony of Mark A. DiBernardo, Executive Director, Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace, Before the House Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, Subcommittee on National Security, International Affairs and Criminal Justice, on Employer Drug-Testing and Drug Abuse Prevention, June 27, 1996.
The Gallup Organization, What American Employees Think About Drugs (1995) (prepared for the Institute for a Drug-Free Workplace).
'Dan Rhodes, Drugs in the Workplace, 67 Occupational Health & Safety 136-138 (1998).
Id. (The Ohio study found that substance abuse treatment programs could reduce on-the-job injuries by as much as 97).
See Interpol, International Crime Statistics (1995); see also Director Barry R. McCaffrey, Memorandum for the President’s Drug Policy Council, ONDCP Trip to Europe (11-18 July 1998), September 2, 1998.
Larry Collins, Holland’s Half-Baked Drug Experiment, 78 Foreign Affairs 82, 92 (1999).
Id. at 88.
P. Van Kalleveen, Violent Crimes in Central Bureau of Statistics, Justitiele Verkenningen (1), 29-47 (1994).
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Report for the United States (1997).
Office of Applied Statistics, SAMSHA, National Household Survey on Drug Abuse: Main Findings 1997 (1998).
Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Report for the United States (1997).
ONDCP, What America’s Users Spend on Illegal Drugs, 1988-1995, 1 (1997).
Accord, National Research Council, Assessment of Two Cost-Effectiveness Studies on Cocaine Control Policy (1999) (finding that two separate studies commonly used to justify spending on particular anti-drug efforts at the expense of other anti-drug efforts were both flawed). The National Research Council study commissioned by ONDCP, reviewed the earlier findings of a study by the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) on the cost effectiveness of interdiction efforts. The IDA Study has been used by some to advocate dramatically expanded spending on interdiction at the expense of a more balanced approach. Recently, the National Research Council found that the research foundation of the IDA study is inadequate to serve as the basis for sound public policy. The Council also assessed the RAND study, Controlling Cocaine: Supply Versus Demand Programs, which concluded that marginal dollars should be spent on treatment rather than supply control. The NRC concluded that while the RAND study serves as an important point of departure for the development of richer models of the market for cocaine, the findings do not constitute a persuasive basis for the formulation of cocaine control policy.
See. e.g., Christopher Wren, A Seductive Drug Culture Flourishes on the Internet, The New York Times, June 20, 1997.
The New York Times has also documented at least one instance where groups promoting legalization called upon their counterparts to attack an anti-drug group by overwhelming its infrastructure through harassment calls. Id.
See CESAR, GHB and GHL: 10 Overdoses Reported in Past 90 Days in Maryland; Drugs Available on the Internet, April 1999 (reporting sales of GHB and GHL over the Internet, with some of the trafficking websites registering more than 250,000 hits).
Partnership for a Drug-Free America, Parents and Marijuana in the 90s, Partnership Attitude Tracking Study 1997 (1997).
Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base (1999).
Id. at 7.
Department of Health and Human Services, Announcement of the Department of Health and Human Services Guidance on Procedures for the Provision of Marijuana for Medical Research, May 21, 1999.
See State of Oregon, Medical Marijuana: A Smoke Screen (1997) (videotape).
The impacts of marijuana use on a child’s development are well documented. For example, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse child (ages 12 to 17) who regularly uses marijuana is roughly 5 times more likely to assault someone, 6 times as likely to steal, and 6 times as likely to cut classes, as a peer who has never tried the drug.
National Institute on Drug Abuse, Drug Abuse Treatment Outcome Study (1997); Department of Health and Human Services, National Treatment Improvement and Evaluation Study (1996).
ONDCP, The 1999 National Drug Control Strategy, at p. 87, n. 19 (1999).
Id. at p. 57.
The Administration’s goal for the FEHB is to make plan coverage for mental health and substance abuse care identical to traditional medical care with regard to deductibles, coinsurance, copayments, and day and visit limitations.
See Arrestee Drug Abuse Monitoring Program, National Institute of Justice, 3 (1998).
Christopher Mumola, Substance Abuse Treatment, State and Federal Prisoners, 1997, (1999) (published by the Bureau of Justice Statistics).
James Inciardi, et al., An Effective Model of Prison-Based Treatment for Drug-involved Offenders, 2 Journal of Drug Issues 261-278 (1997).
ONDCP, The 1999 National Drug Control Strategy, at p. 64 (1999).
Id. at p. 63.
Id. at p. 64.
On the demand-side, CTAC technology development efforts are also at the forefront of efforts to better understand the disease of addiction and to develop cures for drug problems.
CIA Crime and Narcotics Center, unpublished data (1999).
Department of State, International Narcotics Strategy Report, 22 (1999).
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