The following material is a reprint of title page and chapter titled PROHIBITION from an American Government study book that was written during the prohibition. The similarity of this chapter with the current prohibition is UNCANNY : )
A copy of this book is in the Educational Research and Archive Library of :
dan & mary's monastery-Hemporium Church of Cognizance hcr1 # 4352 Pima, AZ. U.S.A.
the use of this material by this nonprofit Religious/Educational Institute; is in pursuit of raising the awareness of the futility of
"noble experiments in the prohibition of peoples appetites"; . Though Media and Highly Educated Government Officials claim not to know the cause of todays violance, it is historically shown; that revolutionary violance accompanies infringement of the peoples natural right to be in control of their life's. Also well known is that violance, is a product of protecting the unnaturally huge profits, of those supplying the demanded contraband of the Era.
enjoy ; ) ***************************************************************** * * * T I T L E P A G E. * * * *****************************************************************
REVISED- ENLARGED- ILLUSTRATED
THE AMERICAN G O V E R N M E N T
By Frederic J. Haskin
before publication every chapter of this book was read and approved by a Government authority.
Illustrations from Photographs by Harris & Ewing
published by Frederic J. Haskin Washington D. C MADE IN U. S. A. copyright 1911 copyright 1923 By Frederic J. Haskin
*********************************************************************** * * * BEGGINING OF CHAPTER * * *
NATION-wide prohibition became effective in the United States January 16, 1920, as a result of the adoption of the eighteenth amendment to the Federal Constitution and the passage of an enforcement act known as the Volstead Law. This law was passed twice by Congress, the second time October 28, 1919, by a two-thirds vote of both House and Senate in order to override the veto of President Woodrow Wilson. Agitation against the use of intoxicating liquors is coeval with written history- The early Mosaic lawgivers attempted to repress drunkenness- Over 2,000 years B. C. a King of Babylon, Hammurabi, decreed that a wine seller who permitted riotous persons to assemble on his premises shou1d be put to death, and Mohammed commanded his followers to abstain from the use of intoxicants. In the United States the first laws to prohibit the manufacture and sale of liquors date back to 1838 in Tennessee and to 1846 in Maine. Prior to 1906, 18 States had adopted State-wide prohibition, but the temperance wave had receded by that year so that but three States-Maine, Kansas, and North Dakota remained in the prohibition column. Campaigns for State laws and constitutional provisions were renewed and the movement progressed rapidly from the enactment of the Georgia law in 1907. Ten years later, when the so-called Reed Amendment went into effect, there were 23 "bone dry" States. This law was directed against the shipment of liquors into the dry States. The entrance of the united States into the World War materially strengthened the prohibition forces. First the sale of liquors to soldiers and sailors was forbidden. Next, under the food control act, the President was authorized to prohibit the use of grains and fruits in the distillation of liquors for beverage purposes. Then followed the passage on November 21, 1918 of the war-time prohibition act, prohibiting after June 30, 1919, the sale, during the European War and thereafter until the termination of demobilization, of any intoxicating liquors except for export. Meanwhile a resolution for a constitutional amendment had been passed by both Houses of Congress and the fight was transferred to the States to secure the necessary ratification by the legislatures of three-fourths thereof. This was accomplished by January 16, 1919, and the eighteenth amendment became effective one year later- The twelve months interregnum was provided for in the amendment as a period of adjustment to the new order of things --The immediate effect of prohibition was a loss to the Federal Government of more than $400,000,000 in annual revenue from the taxes on the liquor industry, and an increase in its expenditures necessitated by the administration of the enforcement act, the appropriation for this purpose for a year being in excess of $9,000,000. States and municipalities that had licensed the traffic also suffered a corresponding loss in revenues A result almost coincident with the taking effect of the law was the development of a new industry, or business, known as bootlegging, which speedily attained mammoth proportions. Bootlegging is the illegal traffic in intoxicants. The supplies are obtained through illegal manufacture within the United States, through theft or illegal withdrawals from bonded warehouses, or through smuggling from adjacent countries or near -by islands. Tens of thousands of people have engaged in these unlawful enterprises and the capital employed has aggregated many millions. The risks are great, the prices high, and the profits correspondingly large. Fortunes have been amassed within a comparatively short time Piracy and hijacking have developed as collateral activities of boot- legging and smuggling. Lawless individuals or groups have preyed upon others of their kind, stealing the illicit liquor supplies in storage or in transit, or the cash that was to be paid for such supplies, Desperate fights and many murders have featured the operations of these criminals-Most of the crimes go unreported and the perpetrators unpunished because the victims are themselves lawbreakers and can not appeal to the authorities or to the law. Another concomitant evil of bootlegging has been the corruption of officials charged with the enforcing of the law. Wherever the illicit traffic on a large scale has been discovered, bribery or attempted bribery has been disclosed; and it has also been found that officers of the law have not always waited to be corrupted but have levied tribute. Immense sums in the aggregate have thus been paid for protection Obviously there would be no bootleggers if there were no market for their wares. The volume of their business is therefore indicative of the widespread disregard of the law on the part of the American people. Careful investigators have reported that there is scarcely a community in the United States that is entirely free of the liquor traffic, and in the larger cities the evasions and violations of the law are constant rather than sporadic. consumption of illegal liquor is by no means confined to what is ordinarily known as the lawless element of the population. Men and women who are otherwise wholly respectable and respected are regular customers of the bootleggers- One of the traffickers arrested in Washington had in his Possession a book containing the names of persons with whom he dealt that read as if someone had been compiling a list of a few hundred of the "best people" in the National Capital. Legislators who voted for the prohibition law have been charged with infractions of its provisions. The Attorney General of the United States has reported that his department has been called upon to prosecute members of the judiciary, prominent members of the American bar, multimillionaires, and scions of the Nation's aristocracy and that it was all a sordid story of assassination, bribery and corruption that found its way into the very sanctum wherein the inviolability of the law was presumed to have been held sacred. Representative William D. Upshaw, of Georgia, one of the spokesmen of the Anti-Saloon League, created a furor in the Sixty-seventh Congress, with charges that there was great deal of drinking "in high places." they proposed that all public officials of the country, State as well as national, pledge themselves to total abstinence and respect for the eighteenth amendment and the enforcement law. It is significant, also, that conferences of the governors of the various States have been called, first by the late President Harding and then by President Coolidge, to consider ways and means of enforcing the prohibition act and of creating a public sentiment for law observance. The Prohibition Unit of the Bureau of Internal Revenue, which is charged with enforcing prohibition so far as the Federal Government is concerned, is an organization headed by a commissioner established in Washington, with State and regional directors, State agents and flying squadrons stationed throughout the country. This force numbers from 3,000 to 3,500 and has included more than 3,900- The stories of prohibition enforcement are more absorbing than detective tales. The agents of the Government spend their time in a ceaseless contest to outwit and apprehend the illicit distillers, smugglers, and bootleggers who resort to every subterfuge to escape detection and interference with their highly remunerative business. One still operated successfully for months in a house adjacent to a police station, The moonshiners had cut through the wall and effected a connection so that the smoke and fumes of the still escaped up the chimney of the station house. A southern manufacturer of corn liquor marketed his product by delivering it to city retailers in. milk cans. Smuggling from Mexico and Canada has been successful on a large scale because it is an utter impossibility patrol the thousands Of miles of border. The liquor brought across the line at the North or at the South finds its way hundreds of miles into the interior of the United States, instances having been found of bootleggers that maintained large fleets of trucks and automobiles running on regular schedules between Mexican and Canadian points and cities such as St. Louis, Kansas City, and Denver. On the Atlantic Coast the smugglers are so numerous and so active that there is at all times what is known as a rum fleet standing off or anchored outside the 3-mile limit near New York and New Jersey. The fleet consists of vessels of all kinds and sizes that bring there illicit cargoes from the Bermudas or the West Indies, or even from across the Atlantic. As long as they remain outside the 3-mile limit this Government can not interfere with them and they are able to make their deliveries to bootleggers that slip out to them under cover of darkness in motor speed boats. The latter are frequently run down and captured by the prohibition enforcement officials, but enough of them slip through .to maintain a constant supply of intoxicants on the market in the larger cities. At one time the Prohibition Unit sought the cooperation of the Navy in its efforts to curb the business done by the rum fleet, but Attorney General Daugherty ruled that under the Constitution neither the Navy nor the Army could be used for such enforcement work. The State Department also made diplomatic representations to European nations seeking an extension of the 3-mile territorial waters limit to a 12 mile limit so that the United States might be better able to enforce its prohibition laws by search or seizure of rum vessels farther out at sea. However, there was no immediate assent to this proposal. Not all the ships engaged in liquor smuggling make their sales outside the 3-mile limit. Some of them have boldly entered harbors and unloaded their cargoes almost under the eyes of the officials who were detailed to put an end to such practices. A tramp steamer put into one of the Atlantic seaboard ports. Its decks were covered with watermelons- Merchants at the docks offered to buy the melons, but for two days the captain of the vessel asked an excessive price for them. On the third day he sold them for a fraction of the price originally asked. Then it was learned that at night the skipper had unloaded his real cargo, which consisted of several hundred cases of imported liquors and wines Prohibition enforcement agents have found that even coffins are used for the illegal transportation of booze. On more than one occasion make -believe funerals have been halted and the hearse and casket found to be conveying liquor instead of a corpse. Stills have been captured only after electrically charged wires surrounding an illicit distiller's place of business were cut. Bootleggers' automobiles have been equipped with apparatuses to discharge a screen of dense, black smoke, or poisonous gas fumes to enable the drivers to elude pursuit. Trunks with false bottoms have been used for the transportation of whisky, and barrels of merchandise labeled fish, or sirup, or paint, have been seized and found to contain alcohol. One large branch of the bootlegging business is the supplying of alcohol to consumers who make synthetic gin, which is a much simpler process than distilling moonshine whisky. Alcohol is also used in the manufacture of synthetic whisky, which is not so popular with consumers, and m "cutting" imported whisky-making 2 or 8 quarts of what is labeled and sold for whisky out of 1 quart of the genuine article This adds greatly to the profits of the bootleggers. It also tends to shorten the lives of their consumers, but that does not seem greatly to concern the dealers as they always have more customers than they are able to supply. Foreign diplomats stationed in Washington enjoy an immunity which enables them to bring into the country al the wines and liquors they require for consumption at their embassies or legations. It has been charged that some of this diplomatic liquor has frequently found its way into the bootlegging market. One woman, who was arrested on a charge of illegal possession and selling of contraband whisky, said that she secured her supplies from such a source. This woman, who had every appearance of respectability, resided in a fashionable apartment house and maintained enviable social connections. She admitted her illicit business and said that she was Supporting herself and sending her son to college on its profits. Another story has it that in a Washington residence that houses a certain diplomatic group there is maintained a regular bar, complete even to the brass foot rail so familiar in the saloons of former years. This latter feature is said to have an especial appeal to drinkers of the old school who can not crook the elbow without instinctively bending the knee and seeking to rest the foot on the old brass rail. The Attorney General of the United States, in reviewing the work of the Federal courts in connection with cases arising out of 41 months of prohibition enforcement, reported that more than 90,000 cases had been terminated, that there had been 72,489 convictions, and that fines aggregating more than $12,367,000 had been assessed in criminal cases alone. For the fiscal year ending June 50, 1923, the Prohibition Enforcement Commissioner reported that his general agents had seized more than 5,000 illicit stills and that illicit distilling was on the decrease. The general agents numbering less than 300 and not including hundreds of other national and State enforcement officers, were reported also to have seized 50,000 gallons of whisky, more than 2,000,000 gallons of mash, 9,000 gallons of pomace, 5,000 pounds of sugar, 21,481 fermenters, and other apparatus. The Commissioner further reported that in this fiscal year his general agents had seized 859 automobiles, 57 motor boats and launches, 29 horses and mules, and 15 wagons, buggies, and sleighs, and that taxes and penalties recommended for assessment totaled $24,177,000. In review of two years of his administration the Commissioner said in 1923 that the facts presented warranted fair degree of satisfaction with accomplishments as a whole any problems, he said, had been solved; but new problem presented themselves every day in different aspects of the work and would continue to do so for years. The Commissioner frankly stated that one of the chief difficulties presented might be termed sectional, where there was adverse public opinion to be combated. This, he added, was to be found chiefly on the Eastern seaboard, although there were certain interior cities where conditions made enforcement difficult. In certain localities, he reported, there had been cooperation offered by local authorities, in others such cooperation was lacking. The Prohibition Commissioner not only controls by permit all withdrawals from bonded warehouses of liquor for medicinal purposes, but he also controls the issuance of prescriptions for liquor by physicians. Earlier forms of these permits were counterfeited and much liquor was illegally drawn. Later it was claimed there had been devised a new form of permits, almost impossible to counterfeit, and under the new system illegal withdrawals were much reduced during the first quarter of the year, official reports indicated there were only 302 overdrafts out of a total of 145,000 withdrawals. In 1920 whisky withdrawals aggregated 12,389,529 gallons. In 1921, when new methods were employed for checking up, withdrawals dropped to 3,243,845 gallons and during the calendar year 1922 withdrawals of medicinal whiskey aggregated only 1,819,888 gallons. Concentration of all whiskies in bond in a limited number of warehouses during this period also curtailed distillery robberies and made it more difficult for bootleggers to get liquor out of ware houses by forged permits. The late President Harding said shortly before his death said that it would probably require 16 to 20 years to make prohibition fully effective. Officials of the Anti-saloon League and the Prohibition Unit are more optimistic, but it is generally conceded that legislation so suddenly changing the social habits of a people can not be put immediately into effect. In combating rum running, bootlegging, and illegal transportation and possession in the earlier years of prohibition Federal agents staged raids that revealed both the wide spread extent of Volstead Law Violations as well as the determination of the Government to suppress such violations. For instance, in one great city, during the clean-up drive, prohibition agents arrested 850 persons and raided 400 saloons and soft-drink parlors in one night. While admitting the difficulty of cleaning up such wet spots in the larger cities where prohibition is less popular than in the rural communities generally, prohibitionists claim that eventually the situation will be met. It is claimed in behalf of prohibition that prohibition enforced is a success, and that prohibition even partially enforced is better than the legalized liquor traffic- It is contended by such prohibition advocates that arrests for drunkenness throughout the United States have been cut in half since prohibition; that the family man has largely dropped out of the drinkers' ranks; that there has been a great decrease in sex disease, that savings-bank deposits have increased even in periods of industrial depression; that the prison population has been materially reduced; that the workingmen who formerly spent their Saturday nights in corner saloons now take then pay envelopes home and spend their money on their families. Its opponents say that prohibition can never be effective in America. They point out that it has been an issue in the United States for a hundred years; that Maine has been legally dry for more than 75 years and yet prohibition was an issue in a recent election. Prohibition was a failure in China, they say, before the Christian era, and no law made to regulate the habits of a people has since been a success. They assert that in Denver, nearly 2,000 miles from the Atlantic seaboard, 170 persons died of acute alcoholism in 1922 as compared with 5 deaths in 1915, and there were 5,315 arrests for drunkenness in 1922 as compared with 4,384 in 1915. In Washington, the National Capital, they point out that the number of arrests for drunkenness increased from 3,491 in the year 1920 to 6,375 in 1922. The antiprohibitionists assert that prohibition was the result of the hysteria of war time, that it came without a popular vote of the people on the direct issue involved, and that it was abortive of the principle of local self-government because it was imposed on a number of States where the sentiment was undeniably against it. Proponents of prohibition reply that prohibition sentiment has steadily gained ground for more than 30 years, that three-fourths of the States had gone dry, and that national prohibition was inevitable and the Federal Government had the duty and the power to take the short route, abolish the saloon, and impose prohibition on all States, for the general good of the Nation. Such Social and moral reforms, they contend, are within the constitutional provinces of the parent Government. Thus the debate proceeds over the wisdom and effectiveness of national prohibition. The existence of such extremely divergent views probably will keep the issue alive for years to come and reflects the somewhat mercurial temperament of the American people and the slow solution of their great experiment.
Date: Thu, 1 Sep 1994 07:49:45 -0700 From: Eric Sterling <email@example.com> Message-Id: <199409011449.HAA07915@igc.apc.org> To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Prohibition Repeal
Some folks are writing about the history of prohibition repeal without knowing anything about it, and concluding that there was no movement to make it happen. Ignorance is bliss.
An excellent history of the movement to repeal prohibition is _Repealing National Prohibition_ by David Kyvig, published by the University of Chicago Press in 1979.
There was a popular movement. It was built, at great effort and expense, by a number of people. The most important organization, which got off the ground in 1920 -- the first full year of prohibition -- was the Association Against the Prohibition Amendment. AAPA "had found it difficult to work with other antiprohibition organizations and looked upon their proliferation as divisive." (p.118) [Does that sound familiar?] In 1929 a new group was founded, the Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform. The founder, Pauline Morton Sabin, was the wife of the chairman of the Guaranty Trust Corporation in New York and one of the founders of the Women's National Republican Club.
in 1926 the AAPA was suffering a great deal of discord. A ballot initiative was placed on the ballot in Missouri by a strong AAPA branch. But the national AAPA was afraid of losing the vote and on September 3, the national advised voters to withhold their support! The referendum was defeated 2-1. The Missouri division head, Judge Henry S. Priest wrote, "We feel constrained to repudiate your dictatorship and express indignation at the betrayal of the confidence we reposed in you, and to withdraw from your organization and to form one of our own to prosecute the worthy cause which we feel your stupid one-horse management is endangering.
In December 1927, a small meeting was held in the home of former U.S. Senator James Wadsworth. they met again on January 6, 1928, and considered the reports of two committees that had met. The organization was to be REORGANIZED. "A national board of directors would be chosen for the value of their endorsement of the association." (p.92).
Management was placed in an executive committee chaired by Pierre du Pont. "The pattern of a window-dressing board of directors and a strong executive committee to which the organization's spokesmen and administrators were responsible followed closely the general management systems established at the Du Pont Company and General Motors."
The board grew to 67 by mid-Aprl 1928, 103 by the end of the year, and 435 by 1933. "...the board came to include notables from various fields -- law, education, medicine, organized labor -- but not surprisingly, for the most part from the heights of American business and finance."
The Women's Organization for National Prohibition Reform (WONPR) grew rapidly. At the second annual meeting in April 1931, Sabin announced a membership of 300,000, and one year later, a membership of 600,000. By the 1932 election, membership of 1.1 million was claimed.
WONPR was run by "fashionable ladies." One argument about why WONPR grew was because membes could "improve their social standing" and emulate the fashionable ladies who led the organization. That has been a typical kind of denigration of the seriousness and value of the political work of the women involved. But generally the membership was concerned that prohibition was subverting youth, the home and family, the economy, and respect for all law.
There was a movement and it took a lot of time, effort and money to build.
Eric E. Sterling The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation 1899 L Street, NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20036 202-835-9075 Fax 202-833-8561 email@example.com $
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (John G. Otto) Newsgroups: alt.politics.libertarian,talk.politics.drugs,talk.politics.guns Subject: War Crimes: The Prosecution Objects Date: Tue, 29 Mar 1994 17:46:30 +0400 Message-ID: <email@example.com>
FSU Research in Review Volume 5 #2 1994 Spring published by the FSU Office of the Vice President for Research 100 Sliger Building Innovation Park Tallahassee, FL 32306-3067 904-644-8634 904-644-8648
Law & Disorder: How the Drug War is Wrecking American Justice
Welfare State of Shame Scuba Science Tallahassee Taxol Stalin & Korea
cover story, page 8: War Crime: Legacy of a Lost Cause A searing analysis by 2 FSU economists tells why the drug war not only is lost, but is a monster well on its way to killing what"s left of America"s system of law & order. by Frank Stephenson
The Prosecution Objects by Ken Sukhia
Our nation is caught in the grip of a violent crime epidemic with FL recording the highest crime rate in the nation for each of the last 10 years. In the face of this carnage, FSU professors Rasmussen & Benson ask us to believe that the real culprits are not so much the criminals themselves, but police, prosecutors & judges who "graze unbridled" through the grass lands of law enforcement, "plundering" the "criminal justice commons" with little regard for what"s in society"s best interest. What"s more, these selfless & dedicated public servants are said to commit this "abuse" for no higher ends than the enhancement of their own budgets & egos.
As the theory goes, these professionals have "packed our prisons with people who shouldn"t be there", the "vast majority" of whom are "2 bit users & traffickers" & as a result truly violent offenders are being released too early.
This theory is based on 3 major assumptions, all of which are erroneous.
First, the problem in FL & elsewhere is not that certain crimes are treated seriously at the expense of others, but that as a rule state criminals are not being subjected to serious punishment, no matter what crimes they commit. Nationally, state inmates serve only 5.5 years for homicide, 3.0 years for rape, 2.25 years for robbery & 1.25 years for assault. In FL, the situation is so serious that 2 state attorneys actually sued to stop early releases, noting that "law abiding citizens are fed up with FL"s revolving door criminal justice". Of the 140K felons convicted in FL last year, only 30,530 made it to prison at all, & those who did served less than a third of their already low sentences. Nearly half of all FL prison inmates released in the 1st 6 months of 1993 served less than 6 months time. Moreover, in FL drug offenders spend less time in prison than virtually any other category of inmates & the number of drug offenders admitted to FL prisons has declined in each of the last 4 years.
Second, Rasmussen & Benson"s distinction between drug offenders & violent criminals ignores a critical fact. Whether it takes the form of crime by addicts, intimidation by traffickers or the corruption of our nation"s youth, violence is an inherent feature of the illicit drug trade. Dept of Justice surveys confirm that 28% of state prisoners incarcerated for murder & a third of those serving time for violent offenses were under the influence of drugs at the time of their crimes. According to the Bu of Justice Statistics, nearly 30% of all robberies & burglaries were committed by drug users to support their habits. Throughout the nation, law enforcement officials have repeatedly affirmed that drugs are the major cause of increased property & violent crimes in their communities. Despite such evidence, Rasmussen & Benson dismiss this notion as an "incorrect assumption" & a popular misbelief.
Finally, there is simply no support for the assertion that the "vast majority" of drug inmates are "2 bit users & traffickers". Recent DOC studies show that 53% of FL"s drug inmates previously served time for other offenses, with 29% having had 2 or more prior commitments to prison. These figures include only those prior convictions which actually resulted in prison time. Moreover, the claim that our state prisons are over-crowded with minor offenders, drug related or otherwise, is belied by the statistics from the National Institute of Justice showing that 95% of all state prisoners are repeat or violent offenders. The only way to obtain an accurate picture of the criminal characteristics of the inmate population serving time for drug offenses is to examine the criminal history & sentencing record for each offender, an analysis not undertaken by Rasmussen & Benson.
A recent article on federal sentences in North FL illustrates the problem. A defense attorney had argued that federal sentences are too harsh, citing the case of a drug defendant who received a 46 year sentence. According to the attorney, this man was a "relatively minor drug offender" who "realistically (is) not a threat to society". The sentencing record revealed, however, that the defendant took a submachine gun to 1 cocaine deal, & on another occasion pointed a semi-automatic pistol at an under-cover officer & threatened, "Don"t f--- with me or I"ll kill you. I"ve killed people for less.". Under the professors" approach, this inmate would be counted among the minor offenders who are clogging up the system.
Even if all their assumptions were accepted as true, at the heart of Rasmussen & Benson"s study is the false notion that either the democratic process doesn"t work or the public doesn"t know what"s good for them. [???] The people of this nation have made a determination that drug use & drug trafficking are injurious to the common good. When law enforcement attempts to convert the will of the people into reality, they are not exercising "unbridled" discretion. They are simply discharging their duty as representatives of the people. If there is any break-down between the will of the people & the actions of the criminal justice system, it is not that government is being too tough on drug offenders but that it is not being as tough on them as the public would like.
The authors see the issue as a question of whether the public would prefer that a drug dealer go free in order to keep a known killer in prison. The more pertinent question is whether given the option the public would prefer that both the known killer & the drug dealer stay in prison. As countless public opinion surveys confirm, that is the clear will of the public.
Rasmussen & Benson take special aim at presidents Reagan & Bush for their part in expanding the so-called war on drugs. Ironically, these presidents were responsible for restoring to the federal criminal justice system the type of integrity & confidence which the authors find so lacking in the state"s. When I began service as an Assistant US Attorney in 1980 May, federal prisoners served less than a third of their sentences. Thanks to the Reagan & Bush administrations, federal prisoners now serve at least 87% of their terms, parole has been abolished, & violent offenders face tough mandatory sentences. Americans undoubtedly would sleep better at night, & work in more safety by day, if every state"s sentencing scheme were as tough on crime as the federal system.
For all their criticism of the drug war, the professors over-looked some telling evidence of its impact. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that, by the time president Bush left office, illegal drug use among all age groups had plummeted from its peak in 1979 to its lowest level since the surveys began.
many of the beneficiaries of the Reagan/Bush war on drugs will never be known. They are the untold millions who managed to avoid being victimized by drugs & their inherent violence because of the many drug lords & traffickers who served the better part of their time in the "war" behind bars. Not a bad legacy to law enforcement professionals & other "abusers" of the common good. ----------------------------------------------------------------
From 1990 to 1993, Kenneth W. Sukhia served as president Bush"s appointment as US attorney for N FL. Today, he is director of the Criminal Justice Project of the James Madison Institute for Public Policy Studies & is a partner with the Fowler, White law firm in Tallahassee. ---------------------------------------------------------------- Transcriber"s note: I met KW Sukhia at a JMI forum. As the meeting was breaking up, one of the others asked him the subject of his most important current case. His answer was that they were prosecuting some women for wearing tonga swim suits in public.
There are several problems with his "objections".
He misunderstands what B&R "ask us to believe". They have pointed out that the incentive system created by the legislators, police, prosecutors & judges has the effect of discouraging them from optimizing the use of the resources available to them, and causes them to neglect some of the costs. B&R did not suggest that the members of the justice system are evil or solely motivated by their budgets and egos.
Between 20% and 67% of arrests are for "crimes" which have no victims (the wide range is due to the coarseness of the data as well as variation over the past 20 years). Considering the more than 1M prisoners in federal & state prisons and, about the same number in local jails, it is not unreasonable to say that a significant number of inmates are likely to be people who should not be there. Of those there for "drug offenses", it would be very surprising if the vast majority were major wholesalers rather than users and 2 bit traffickers. The fact remains that violent offenders ARE sometimes released early due to "over-crowding" while victimless "criminals" are newly incarcerated is well established.
In his discussion of sentencing and time served, he carefully neglects to mention the mandatory minimums on federal drug "crimes", nor does he notice the automatic additional penalties such as loss of right to vote, to petition for changes to the constitution, to carry fire arms, etc. which come with a felony conviction, regardless of time actually served in jail or prison. It is ironic that we"ve given these public officials the power to disenfranchise a major portion of their opposition.
Violence is, indeed, an inherent feature of the *illicit* drug trade. A point KWS misses is that it is largely caused by the fact that the trade is illicit. The supposition that less than 1/3 of violent criminals were taking illegal drugs at the time of their violent acts is irrelevant. It is the violent act which is to be condemned. He goes on to confuse assertion with evidence.
Federal judges & state legislators have been stating at least since 1986 that the prison/jail system is "over-crowded". If there is 1 inmate there for a victimless "crime" while a violent offender is set free, that is 1 victimless "crime" prisoner too many.
His story of a minor drug "offender" who felt it necessary to defend himself with a submachine gun on one occasion and a hand gun on another does not indicate that he initiated force with either, merely that he warned the other person that he was ready to defend himself. Note that, if not for the drug war, and government violation of the 2nd amendment, this person would not be an "offender" at all, minor or major, based on the information related.
Many of the victims of the FDR/Truman/Eisenhower/Johnson/Nixon/ Ford/Carter/Reagan/Bush/Clinton... war on drugs will never be known. They are the untold tens of millions who have been victimized through murder, kidnapping, torture, home invasion (even nation invasion), bodily invasion, loss of financial & personal privacy, civil asset forfeiture... all prompted by that state of "war" itself. -- jgo firstname.lastname@example.org
From: email@example.com (Richard v.d. Horst) Date: Sun, 23 Oct 1994 21:22:00 PST Newsgroups: alt.drugs,talk.politics.drugs,alt.drugs.pot,alt.drugs.psychedelics Subject: Found the Dutch legalization proposal...
Ok, I now have the report on legalization made by the union of highly placed policemen, Dutch healthcare workers and business officials. The actual report was written by eight persons. I'll hereby post the index, description of the working group and a summary of the information. Later on I'll probably post more about the medical and juridical consequences if people are interested, and if I suddenly feel the urge I might even translate the whole thing for you. Well, here's the first part, enjoy...
DRUG CONTROL BY MEANS OF LEGALIZATION
-A plan for regulation of the drug problem-
Summing-up Chapter 1 : The urgency of legalization Chapter 2 : The Netherlands can legalize independently Chapter 3 : Distribution softdrugs Chapter 4 : Distribution other drugs Chapter 5 : Drug use after legalization Chapter 6 : Notion of criminality after legalization Conclusion
Appendices: a. Drugs : What are they and which effects do they have. : How addictive are they b. Drug prohibition : The costs of criminating c. Distribution : The medical alternative d. Relief work : The results of legalization e. Distribution : A model of costs and prizes
The working party which has redacted this nota consists of the following persons:
1. mr R. Dufour, Agency Ecostad b.v., member Inittiative party Drugsdiscussion, redaction
2. J. van der Haar, General secretary Arta- National centre for addict care; vice-chairman Dutch association of institutions for addict-care (NeVIV)
3. mr. R. van der Hoeven, Public Prosecutor in Rotterdam
4. M. Lap, Dutch Institute for Alcohol and Drugs (NIAD)
5. F. Polak, Psychiatrist, drugs department GG&GD in Amsterdam
6. T. Reitsma, Superintendent of Police in Rotterdam-Rijnmond
7. ir. R. Steinbuch, Staff member Akzo-Nobel; treasurer Community of Interests Drug users MDHG in Amsterdam
8. ir. G.J. Verhoef, Deputy director Dutch association of institutions for addict-care (NeVIV).
All join the working group _on_personal_title_.
This is the first version of the nota. In the next months the nota will be handed to persons and institutions for comment. The working group has the idea to publish a second version afterwards, in which the comments are processed.
Utrecht/Heemstede, September 1994.
Chapter 1 : The urgency of legalization
Drug addiction is in size only 7% of alcohol addiction. The criminality due to the _drug_prohibition_ is nevertheless enormous: 50% of the jail cells are occupied by drug delinquents. The growing criminality threatens to flood the society. Fighting against criminality with the traditional method is unfeasible. The reason is the drug prohibition: gold mine and motor of crime.
Chapter 2: The Netherlands can legalize independently
International treaties nor international political pressure are in the way of factual legalization in the Netherlands with the opportuneness principle (non-prosecution). Our land will not become a magnet for drug tourists, and the remaining illegal export can be fought better than now.
Chapter 3: Distribution softdrugs
The Netherlands has 15 years experience with the semi-legal sale of softdrugs. This hasn't resulted in an invasion of drug tourists, nor in more consumption or problematic use than in foreign countries. Therefore the step to legalization is small. A National Drugsbureau will be founded, which will control the production and sale by about 1500 coffeeshops. Sale is free to people over 18 or 16 years old. The prices will only slightly decrease.
Chapter 4: Distribution other drugs
For the other drugs the National Drugbureau will found about 150 drug-shops. The personnel will get a fixed income from the Bureau, the shops are non-profit. For every kind of drug there will be a fixed maximum one is allowed to buy per week. When one wants more one has to go to relief workers. These only check if there's no illegal reselling, advises about safe(r) use, and determines the by the user requested higher limit for him personally.
Every citizen can get a drug-pass with which he can buy the drugs within the normal maximum amounts. The drug-pass is a non-transferable chipcard with which, respecting the privacy protection rules, the use is registered.
The drug-pass opposes a flood of drug tourists. The prizes drop to a normal economic level: for about f10-20 a day one is done. With this, the obtaining-criminality will be history.
Chapter 5 : Drug use after legalization
Properties of the current market: -consumption urge (market pressure) -unreliability -high prizes
Scenario-A: only legalization of softdrugs Scenario-B: also: provision of harddrugs to the 21.000 drug addicts. Scenario-C: complete legalization
Conclusion: -complete legalization with the proposed system hardly influences the consumption. Negative and positive results neutralize each other. The health situation of the users improves, as well as the possibility for addressed education. -Only taxing the drugs raises at least f150 million a year for the government; -A campaign for less and safer drug use can be financed with this. The campaign of dr. Meinsma decreased smoking by half.
Chapter 6 : Notion of criminality after legalization
Drug criminality consists of production, trade and use. The direct results of legalization are traced for scenario A, B and C.
Conclusion: complete legalization will give the following result: -most of the jail space for traders and users will be freed; -because the cell shortage will disappear, the other criminality will drop by 10-20%; -by doubling the capacity of police and justice, another drop; -expected: 50-80% drop of total criminality. Yearly "health profit": -Now 200-300 violent killings a year; of which 30-50% because of drug trade; with 50% decrease: 100-150 less murders a year. -Now 3000 grievous violent crimes a year; of which 1500-2000 by gangs; with 50% decrease: 1500 less grievous batterings. Yearly profit for the society: at least f4-6 milliard.
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Date: 11-20-1994 Author: Joe Harrington HARVARD.DRUG - review of a drug-policy conference at Harvard
Bob Cain asked about the recent Harvard Law/Harvard Medical-sponsored conference titled "Drugs, Health, and Crime, Unchaining the American Way of Life" : >Was there any good new news coming out of the conference? How's about >a brief report for us ignorati?
I attended the conference. I took some notes, but they're packed away as a result of moving last weekend. I'm going to list some impressions that I came away with in bullet-item form. I would like to compose a comprehensive report on the conference, but I cannot, owing to time limitations, and the enormity of information presented. It was an exhilarating, though exhausting, day. A saying that I have often heard regarding one of the fine technical institutions in Cambridge seemed appropriate: "Trying to learn something there was like trying to get a drink of water from an open fire hydrant". There were at least fifty speakers in 16 or more panels, held in four time slots, with opening, luncheon, and closing addresses.
Yes, Bob, there was good news presented at the conference. I left feeling very optimistic about changes, for the better, in the nation's drug policy by the end of the century. Most of the hard information presented was the sort of stuff that is well-known to regular readers of alt.drugs and talk.politics.drugs. For that reason, the following not-so-brief list of impressions and recollections may not be all that informative, but I'll try to convey a sense of the collective attitude present at the conference.
o First impression: of the 250 or so people at the opening talk, at least a third were over the age of 55. This surprised me. I anticipated mostly young people, mostly ACLU-members and libertarians, all preaching to the choir. I was pleased and surprised to find support for re-legalization among older folks. (minor point: I don't think I heard reference to "re-legalization" all day, in the panels I attended.)
o The opening speaker, Dr. Thomas Sasz, author of "Ceremonial Chemistry", and "The Right to Take Drugs", enlightened us about the reality that illegal drugs aren't just the ones we usually talk about here, they are all the drugs that we cannot go to the store and purchase. Valium is an illegal drug in this regard. We live in a capitalist society where we are entitled to have anything we wish, as long as we have the means to purchase it and don't use it to harm others or their property. (I'm paraphrasing here) When you go down to the automobile dealer, he doesn't ask why you need a new car, or why you need six cylinders. You shouldn't have to justify to anyone why you want a bottle of Valium, and you shouldn't have to go visit a member of the government sanctioned mononpoly to get a piece of paper, at considerable expense, which grants you the privelege to purchase Valium.
o The first panel I attended featured Rufus King, a lawyer from Washington; Mr. Salerno, retired chief of detectives, NYC; and Chief of Police Pastore of New Haven, CT. Mr. King is an older gentleman, and mentioned that he had been counsel to the Kefauver Committee in 1952, and has been knocking on doors for four decades talking about legalizing drugs to anyone who would listen. (If anyone is familiar with the activities of the Kefauver Cmte., please enlighten me.) He is the author of a book, the title of which I cannot recall, which is frequently referred to my R.L. Miller in "The Case for Legalizing Drugs". He said something, not at that panel but later in the day, that made a big impression on me. Paraphrasing, "I may be the only one here old enough to remember what happened after Prohibition was repealed. People didn't go out and start drinking immediately. Those that had been drinkers continued to do so, but a great deal of social stigmatism had become attached to drinking in the previous couple of decades. It took a few years before drinking became socially acceptable." Mr. Salerno was a terrific speaker. He pointed out that he had once believed in the drug war. In the 60's the Federal law agencies (paraphrasing) "told us if we could just get the Turkish farmers to stop growing opium poppies, and just put the handful of heroin 'mills' operating around Marseilles (the French Connection) out of business, and just take out the few top men in the organization that was importing and distributing heroin, we could wipe out the heroin problem. Well, we did all of those things." He went on to liken that line of propoganda with the 80's when "they told us if we could just put the Medellin cartel out of operation, we could eliminate the cocaine problem. Well, we have, and the Cali cartel stepped right in and took over". He called for immediate legalization of marijauna as a first action. He said you could buy bags of pot on Broadway right now, in sight of a cop, no problem. Small pot transactions were effectively decriminalized in NYC. Chief Pastore was the first cop I ever met that I respected. He talked about a role for the police in which they helped the community in positive ways. He fought the system and got a needle exchange program implemented in New Haven. I *think* the police may even be handing them out in the areas where heroin users congregate, but I may have that wrong. Someone asked him about civil seizure, he replied "yeah we're all forfeiture junkies." He didn't elaborate any more, and the panel was breaking up. I asked him about forfeiture in the hallway, he said very emphatically "Oh, we'll lose it. We have to, there's no way it can continue the way it's being abused" Hoo-ray, I thought.
o The next panel I attended was chaired by Eric Sterling, head of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation. Mr. Sterling is another terrific and inspirational speaker. The point with which he most impressed me was that Congress has no authority to assume jurisdiction over "our brain cells, any more than they have jursidiction over our genitalia or our lips". I wish I could remember more from that panel, but I cannot. I believe it was at the end of this panel that Chris Palmer, who posted previously about this conference, held up a copy of the Pittsburgh Press reprints. Mr. Sterling gave a brief summary of the series, praising the reporting. The subject of forfeiture raised a lot of interest. It seemed clear that many people in the room were unaware of how it works. Kudos to Chris for bringing his copy of the reprints and mentioning it. Many folks wanted to know how to get a copy. Also, there was discussion about mandatory minimums sentencing guidlines. A woman stood up in the back of the room, mid-40's in age, and valiantly told how her 22 y.o. son, senior at Brown, no previous arrests, had just that week been sentenced to 10 years for selling LSD. I believe it was at the Dead shows in Boston last September. He plead guilty, because he was threatened with prosecution of a more serious charge which would carry a 30 year mandatory minimum, and prosecution of his girlfriend. Effectively, the prosecuter determined the sentence, not a judge. There were many misty eyes in the room as the woman recounted the story, mine included.
o After lunch all attendees convened for addresses by U.S. District Judges Thomas C. Paine and Robert Sweet. The things they said were consistent with most of the debate that goes on here in alt.drugs and talk.politics.drugs, which is to say they mentioned nothing that you wouldn't know about if you read a.d or t.p.d for a few months. One thing that Judge Paine said stuck in my mind. Paraphrasing, "I've been told that my advocating for legalization is just the result of frustration. Well, frustration is a rational response in the face of futility." Judge Paine came to his position of advocacy for legalization only in the past two years, and, interestingly, independent and ignorant of Judge Sweet's similar change of position. I had spoken with Judge Paine in the morning before the conference began, and he told me that he had only recently learned of Judge Sweet and had only spoken to him by phone for the first time that week. I think it is significat that members of the Federal judiciary are arriving at this position independently of one another.
After lunch, I attended two panels, and they're mixed up in my mind. Here are a few highlights.
o Arnold Trebach, head of the Drug Policy Foundation, said that "a lot of people" were very pleased with the work his group had done and were now encouraging him to do more, to go further. He didn't say who these people were but gave the impression that they were deep-pocketed supporters of DPF. The odd thing about Mr. Trebach's talk was that he said little that was specific but successfully coveyed the impression that there was much to be optimistic about and that we could anticipate bold action in the near future. Okay, I thought. I asked what "we", meaning really the DPF, could do in the face of the massively-funded PDFA propaganda and mis-information campaign. He apparently understood me to mean myself and the others in the room, and quickly said that rebutting the PDFA was what the DPF was trying to do, and to support the DPF. He also mention a television program or series of programs that the DPF either produces or is associated with, and urged us to lobby our local PBS outlet to broadcast it. I didn't catch the name. Any DPF members know more? I suppose if I had been more familiar with the DPF I would have a better sense of why Mr. Trebach is optimistic. I mean no disrespect to him, he was a fine and motivating speaker. As I said, I came away with little specific knowledge about what he plans to do. In fairness, I have to point out that *all* speakers *all* day were under a tremendous time constraint.
o Dr. Nancy Lord made what I thought was a campaign speech. A good speech, a rehash of all the well-known legalization and libertarian viewpoints that have been expressed in this forum. She made a good point in rebuttal to someone's proposal for licensing drug use that no one needs another license. Driver's licenses, as an example, do nothing to guarantee good and sober drivers. She also made a succinct response to someone in the audience who started on a wandering thread about how we need a new government and a new spirit of citizenry and a new constitution and so forth. "I agreed with about 70 percent of what you said, till you got to the part about a new constitution."
o A professor of economics from Boston University presented a brief summation of research he'd done about the economic growth previous to the start of drug-prohibition, which he dates from 1914 (Pure Food and Drug Act). He pointed out that the U.S. economy had grown tremendously in the 70 years previous to 1914, with the country expanding across the continent, and industry spanning it with railroads and telegraph. The U.S. was poised on the threshold of being a dominant world power when prohibition of drugs began. All this was accomplished during a time that morhphine, cocaine, and cannabis were widely available and widely used.
o A state senator from New York talked about the legalization (all drugs) bill he introduced into the NY state senate very recently. He related an anecdote about how a cop in his district (the Bronx) stopped him on the street and said that only one quarter of his constituents supported his bill. "Twenty five percent? That's terriffic! I never thought it'd be that many!" The bill is still in committee, and probably will die in committee, but a courageous state legistlator is taking positive action.
o Mark Kleiman, professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, was a dissenting voice. I beleive he was a member of the Reagan adminstration in the area of drug policy. Does anyone recoginize the name? He proposed the drug use license mentioned above. He took the podium saying that he appreciated the conference organizers allowing a dissenting voice to be heard from someone who was not on the legalization bandwagon, "yet". He made a great deal about needing a model to handle the practical details of legalization, rejecting the existing alcohol model. "Alcohol, as has been mentioned several times already, kills over 100,000 Americans each year. You're proposing this as a model for the legalization of drugs?" A valid point, I think. Dr. Lord rebutted by pointing out that the pattern of alcohol use since the end of Prohibition has shifted from spirits to light/low- alcohol beer and wine coolers, and cigarette use is shifting to low tar brands. Extrapolating from that model, we could expect the use of powdered and rock cocaine to diminish and see an increase in the consumption of coca tea and weakly cocaine-based soft and alcoholic beverages.
o A Cambridge city councillor talked about the recently enacted Mass. medicinal cannabis legislation. I had thought that this was a dead issue, since it clearly allows for the prescription of medicinal mj in accordance with federal guidelines. (The legislation was passed late last year, before the feds said no more medicinal mj). He apparently feels otherwise, and said that his group which was influential in securing passage of the legislation was very close to testing it in court, by find a "brave doctor to presribe it and a brave farmer to supply it".
More recollections are coming back as I type this, but I must wrap it up. I apologize for the length. I reiterate that as a long-time reader of these appropriate newsgroups I learned little new "factual" information. For me, the benefit was to meet and hear some of the the heavy-hitters in the War: Eric Sterling, Rufus King, Arnold Trebach, Judges Paine and Sweet, Dr. Sasz, Detective Salerno, Chief Pastore, Dr. Lord, et al. The overall impression I came away with was that there is a group of influential people out there who are firmly committed to acheiving a change in this nation's drug policy. I don't yet know what I can do as an individual except to write letters to legislators and representatives, and support, with dollars, the DPF, Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, Families Against Mandatory Minimuns, and the like. Most important, educate the people around me.
I'll close this on a final note. Det. Salerno, an irrepressible optimist, thinks we've already won the battle for the hearts and minds of the people. He pointed out that two years ago, you couldn't pick up a copy of Time, Newsweek, any major newspaper, or turn on any network news show without a headline concerning the War on Drugs. Now, what little mention the WoD recieves is increasingly negative. Why? The other side has given up. He can't get Bob Martinez to debate him. Why do you suppose Bill Bennett got out that job in a hurry? It's a loser. The position is favor of drug prohibition is indefensible. The public is beginning to realize it, and support for it is steadily eroding. Det. Salerno cautioned, however, that when the bandwagon is still out on the outskirts of town, and stuck in the mud, those of us who are on it now have to get off and muscle it free to get it rolling. As it gets in to town, people begin to jump on, and it gets crowded. More folks jump on, space gets tighter, and those of us who were pushing it out of the mud now get squeezed off the back. When that happens, he advised, just get up, dust each other off, and pat ourselves on the back. A whole different bunch of people will take credit when the battle is won, but that isn't important now.
Transcript of Remarks by President Clinton in Announcement of Lee Brown as Director of Drug Control Policy To: National Desk Contact: White House Office of the Press Secretary, 202-456-2100
WASHINGTON, April 28 -- Following is a transcript of remarks by President Clinton in annoucing the appointment of Lee Brown as director of Office of Drug Control Policy:
The Rose Garden 12:30 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. Please be seated. I want to thank the members of the Cabinet who are here and the members of the Congress who are here, and express my apologies for the Attorney General who is with the Congress. And that's why some of them and why she is not here.
I want to thank the representatives of law enforcement, people who are involved in drug treatment and drug education, and other citizens who are here with us today, as well as those who have been working in the Office of Drug Policy who are here.
It is a great pleasure and honor for me today to announce the appointment of Lee Brown, the first police officer ever to hold the job of Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
A few weeks ago I elevated this office to Cabinet-level status because I believe drug abuse is as serious a problem as we have in America and because I believe that this office cannot work effectively on its own no matter how many people it might have. The real ability of this office to make a difference in the lives of the American people is the ability to work with all the departments of the national government and with others who care about this issue to maximize our resources, to focus our efforts and to make sure we're all working together. Lee Brown shares that view, and I am proud that he has agreed to join us in this administration.
As Americans who care about our future, we can't let drugs and drug-related crimes continue to ruin communities, threaten our children even in schools and fill up our prisons with wrecked and wasted lives. We have to do a better job of preventing drug use and treating those who seek treatment, and we must do more to protect law-abiding citizens from those who victimize them in the pursuit of drugs or profit from drugs.
I'm committed to winning this struggle, as all Americans are, and I'm convinced that there is no better American to lead this effort than Lee Brown. He's been the chief law enforcement officer in Atlanta, in Houston and New York. He's a policeman with a PhD in criminology who brings to this tough job a truly extraordinary record of innovation in crime reduction, and a sensitivity to the problems of real people who want to walk home safe at night and who want to be free of the problems that we're trying to combat.
To reduce drug use and drug-related crimes we have to do many things at the same time. It has to start with community policing, with more police at the local level, working with our neighbors and the children and the friends to prevent crime and to quickly punish criminals. There must be better education and prevention efforts starting at the earliest ages. These work; I know that. And there must be treatment for those who want to get better.
Dr. Brown knows a little something about community policing. It's nearly his invention. He turned the Houston police force into a model of community policing. And for many serious crimes the crime rate there dropped. In New York he added thousands of officers to foot patrols; men and women whom he empowered to solve problems, not with the federal program but with a commitment to a better life in a particular neighborhood. And reports of serious crime fell where that was done in New York.
He's had the vision to seek conditions clearly and the courage to change what doesn't work. Most importantly, he gets results. And this is exactly what we need in the war against drugs. I pledge to him and to the American people an exceptionally focused and carefully executed antidrug effort from the national government. At the heart of our efforts will be more funds for local police officers. More for treatment and more for prevention. We will continue to work with other nations who have shown the political will to fight illegal drugs. They will continue to get our full support and our cooperation.
But it's time we turned our attention home and built a strategy to make the neighborhoods of America safer and more drug- free. We want to close the gap between those who want treatment and available treatment. Treating addiction is good urban policy and good anticrime policy and good health policy. We ask for a 10- percent increase in treatment funds for 1994. And we'll make drug treatment an important part of the national health care plan that will be presented to the Congress and the American people. Our goal is to work toward treatment on demand.
I believe the parents of American want and deserve more help in educating their children about drugs. We can prevent drug abuse. School programs work. Public service programs work. But they aren't miracles. They require a commitment and a consistency year in and year out. We've asked for a 16-percent increase in drug prevention funding.
Finally, we're determined to put more police officers on the street and to expand community policing. It's a local program -- old-fashioned law enforcement, but it works. It means less crime. I think it's time to go back to the basics. I asked the Congress to approve $200 million in the jobs stimulus package for community policing. And I proposed almost $600 million in policing and other initiatives similar to that in 1994.
The most basic responsibility of the government is to protect the American people. It's our sacred duty to do our best. I believe we have a good program. It can be a great program if it can come alive in America in every community in this country. It's basic -- more officers, more education, more treatment. And with the leadership of Lee Brown it promises to be effective.
I look forward to working with him and with the other members of our Cabinet and administration to meet and to master the challenges ahead.
MR. BROWN: Thank you, Mr. President. Let me begin by expressing my sincere appreciation to the President for the confidence he has expressed in me by appointing me to the position of the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. I also want to assure him that, if confirmed by the U.S. Senate, I will devote all of my effort and energy toward addressing the problem of illegal drugs in this country.
I come here today after spending most of my adult life in local law enforcement. It is from that vantage point that I know firsthand the problems caused by illegal drugs in America. I have seen the despair brought about by drug abuse. I've seen the misery caused by illicit drugs. I've even seen the deaths caused by illegal drugs.
The problem of drugs has destroyed individuals, families, and indeed, entire communities. The problem drains our economy; strains our health care system; impacts our schools; reduces productivity in the workplace; contributes to crime, violence and fear; and diminishes the overall quality of life for our citizens. It is a problem not only for our urban areas, but for our suburban and rural areas as well. It is a problem for the affluent as well as for the poor.
So I come here today with a firm, firm belief that illegal drugs must be controlled in America. I come here today with a strong, strong commitment that illegal drugs can be reduced in America. It is to that end I look forward to joining this administration and developing for the President and the American people an effective national drug control strategy.
I look forward to working with other members of the Cabinet, the Congress, the various federal agencies that are involved in this country's drug control effort. I look forward to working with state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, the private sector, community organizations, religious leaders, the media and others in designing an effective national drug control strategy. I look forward to working with our sister countries who share our concern about the shipment of drugs into America. It will be my goal to develop a balanced, comprehensive approach to the drug problem. Our national strategy must include law enforcement, yes, but also education and prevention and, equally important, treatment. Let me close by saying, Mr. President, that I know the American people have both the spirit and determination to address this problem. I know we can make a difference. I look forward to joining you in providing the leadership to this very important undertaking.
Thank you, Mr. President. (Applause.)
Q Mr. President, you talked about the need to -- resources to education and treatment from some of the law enforcement efforts. Why then did you pick someone with a background in law enforcement?
THE PRESIDENT: Because I don't think it's an either-or thing. I think having the right kind of community-based education and treatment programs, if they work, also requires having the right kind of community law enforcement strategy. One of the things that I have learned in the many years I served as Attorney General and Governor and talking to other people who have been involved in that, is that if you do it right, all these things go hand in hand.
I wish the Attorney General were here today to talk about the drug courts she started in Miami and what the relationship of law enforcement there is to integrating a treatment and education program.
That's why I wanted someone who had a background in law enforcement and credibility on that issue, but who believed in innovation and education and treatment to do this job. I wanted someone who could put together a policy that makes sense. If you try to pick one or the other, you're never going to get the job done.
Q Mr. President, you met last night with a bipartisan group of congressional leaders on the situation in Bosnia. And by all accounts, they seem to have given you some conflicting advice. Many of them appear to be more moved by the lessons of Vietnam than they are by the Holocaust. Did you emerge from that session more confused about what the United States should do as far as the situation in Bosnia is concerned?
THE PRESIDENT: No, I didn't. I still believe the United States has to strengthen its response. But the meeting was helpful because of the practical issues which were raised and the specific suggestions I got from people, many of whom have different views. But some who were there last night are here today, they can make their own comments. But I think it was a very helpful meeting and there were a lot of very specific things that came out of that and that I think will come out of our consultations over the next couple of days.
Q Do you feel that you can continue, though, to consider military options now that so many members of Congress have strongly expressed their objections? Would you proceed if you felt it was still the right thing to do and if you had allied support?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I will decide what I think the right thing to do is and then see if I can persuade the Congress and the allies to go along. Right now, what I want to do is hear what they think the right thing to do is and then the people with whom I consulted last night were good enough to tell me and we agreed that they would set in motion a process to go back to their committees and try to solicit some more views.
Q Mr. President, is it accurate --
Q plan to continue with the policy of hot pursuit like in the Machain case, or how are you going to deal with cases like that? Are you going to come to other countries and kidnap or to bring to justice in this country a person suspected of a crime in a drug situation, like in the Machain case? How are you going to deal with that situation?
THE PRESIDENT: I'm not sure I heard you -- the plane flew over. But you asked about the abduction out of Mexico? Is that what you asked about?
Q That's right -- if you are going to continue with that type of policy.
THE PRESIDENT: I think I've made my position clear on that. I don't think that -- I think the present ruling of law is too broad there. I don't believe that the United States should be involved in that unless there is a clear and deliberate attempt by a government in another country to undermine extradition or undermine the enforcement of its own laws and our laws on that. And I think that -- so that's been my position for months and months; I haven't changed that.
Q Mr. President, do you expect to get bipartisan support from Congress for the money you're going to need? The two predecessors of Mr. Brown accomplished certain things, but not much. How will you make sure that Mr. Brown has the money to accomplish --
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I think there will be bipartisan support. Keep in mind this is partly a money problem and partly a resource problem. We're going to try to do some different things and attract people who have thought about this issue. I don't think this is a Republican or a Democratic issue. There's hardly a family in America that hasn't been touched directly or indirectly by this problem. So I feel very hopeful about it.
Q in the budget, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we recommended more funds in the budget, and it's very critical to the whole health reform area. I mean, a big part of our strategy in this is embodied in the proposals we'll make on health care to deal with the whole treatment issue.
Q When do you think you will have a decision -- do you have Yeltsin on board now to do more? And do you think the American people will support a military -- use of military force?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, you asked me three questions. I think there will be a decision soon. We are working very hard on it. There are a lot of very practical questions that have to be asked and answered. As you know, it is a very difficult matter.
I believe that when we do make a decision, we will be, as we have been all along, consulting with our allies in the United Nations. And I think there is a fair chance that we'll be able to get the U.N. to go along with what we decide to do if we have some consultations as we go along, as we have.
I think President Yeltsin -- I don't know what he would say. It depends in part, obviously, on what we recommend. But I'll tell you this: I've been very pleased by the positions that he has taken both publicly and privately recently. And even in the midst of his own election, when it might have hurt him politically, Russia did not veto our attempts to get much tougher sanctions. And I think he's been pretty clear since the election that he's not at all happy about the continuation of Serbian aggression and the refusal to negotiate in good faith and try to settle this war and stop the ethnic cleansing. So I feel pretty good about that.
Q Mr. President, how are you going to tell the American people --
Q Mr. President, a former drug czar, Bill Bennett, said today that you have gutted the office by cutting it down, cutting the personnel. How do you answer that?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, my answer to that -- maybe I should refer you to Congressman Rangel. I spoke with him when we were trying to figure out what to do about this budget. And what I perceived happened in that office before is that it was a large office that operated basically separate from the rest of the government. It has no legal authority to compel the behavior of any law enforcement officials, and it obviously has no legal authority over all the state and local people and the nonprofit people who are involved in drug education and treatment. So the real issue is whether it has the mechanisms necessary to pull all the levers in the federal government and pull people together.
And I think by putting the office in the Cabinet, by coordinating all of our national policies throughout the federal government, and by having a staff that can support that function it's much more likely that we're going to be effective.
And I also would tell you that I believe in rhetoric in the war against drugs. I know that works. I think the education programs work, the prevention programs work, but it needs to be more than rhetoric. And I think it will also be perceived that I have appointed the most experienced person with the best record and the least political person who ever held this job. And I think that will count for something, too, with the Republicans and the Democrats. (Applause.)
* * *
Q Where's Chelsea?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we discussed it this morning and she said, you know, it's easier for me -- you work where you live. I know what it's like. She said, I missed a lot of school last month so I'm going to school.
Q Would she have gone to work with you or Hillary?
THE PRESIDENT: Actually, she thought it was just for mothers to take their daughters. I said, no, no, fathers can, too. She said, well, you both work where you live. I'm going to school. (Laughter.) But she's spent some time with us over here.
Q Have you firmly decided not to delay health care because it might risk your budget proposal, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: I think what we're talking about is not a risk.
Any part of this publication may be reproduced without express permission from the Drug Policy Foundation, provided that appropriate credit is given.
The Drug Policy Foundation is an independent forum for drug policy alternatives. It is the leading organization dedicated to research, education and public information related to the international war on drugs. It is not a legalization organization. though some of its members support such an alternative to current drug policies.
Our support comes from across the political spectrum, helping demonstrate the middle-ground consensus that has evolved favoring health-oriented alternatives to the last decade's harsh law-enforcement-dominated drug war. This report represents another in a long series of educational efforts by the Foundation to spell out possible reforms to our national drug policies.
The Foundation is a charitable corporation under the laws of the District of Columbia and section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. All contributions to the Foundation are tax-deductible. To maintain its independence, the Drug Policy Foundation neither seeks nor accepts government funding. It is supported by the contributions of private individuals and organizations.
The Drug Policy Foundation
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President: Arnold S. Trebach
Vice President: Kevin B. Zeese
Director, Public Information: Kennington Wall
Deputy Director, Public Information: Dave Fratello
Assistant Director, Public Information: Rob Stewart
President Clinton has the opportunity to choose compassionate and effective drug control strategies. With record murder rates, increases in drug purity and decreases in price, the law-enforcement-dominated policy of the past has been an expensive failure. Ending the war on drugs does not mean ending the control of drugs. Public health strategies offer the best hope for the future. President Clinton can make significant progress by merely changing the tone of drug policy from one of intolerance and hate to one of acceptance and assistance. He can begin to allow development of pragmatic drug policies in the middle ground between a destructive drug war and outright drug legalization.
In the immediate future, President Clinton should shift emphasis to public health controls by putting health officials in charge of drug control and directing them to seek practical solutions to drug-related problems. To develop a long-term drug control plan for the 21st century, a presidential commission should be appointed to take a fresh look at all drug control options. Movement away from law enforcement toward a public health strategy will not only be more effective, it will also be less expensive and politically popular with the American people.
1. Emphasize Public Health Strategies Rather than Law Enforcement Strategies
* Shift the federal budget emphasis toward health-based programs including treatment on demand, health care for drug users (emphasizing AIDS, tuberculosis and prenatal care); and expand methadone maintenance, and develop new maintenance drugs.
* Integrate law enforcement programs into health strategies.
* At the federal level, funding should be provided for prison-based drug treatment and rehabilitation programs as well as programs for people arrested for drug offenses. Stop abuses of drug enforcement, including kidnapping of foreign nationals, using the military against US citizens, abusing forfeiture laws and overusing harsh mandatory sentences.
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 1
* At the state and local level, the federal government should support intensive supervised probation for drug offenders, joint community outreach programs by police and health officials, treatment as an alternative to prosecution, and prison-based treatment programs.
* Make AIDS prevention a top priority in drug control by easing access to sterile syringes, funding needle exchange programs as well as other outreach programs to injecting drug users.
* Get the police out of medical practice; recognize the medical utility of marijuana; de-emphasize prosecution of doctors; and encourage research on Schedule I drugs.
2. Eliminate Duplication in the Drug Enforcement Agencies
* Move drug czar's office to the Department of Health and Human Services; reduce the size of its staff and budget; and put HHS in charge of drug control.
* Eliminate DEA; move its responsibilities to FBI, FDA and State Department.
* Take the Defense Department out of drug control; use the Coast Guard and Customs Service for scaled-down interdiction and eradication activities.
3. Recognize the Ineffectiveness of Militarized Interdiction and Eradication Programs
* Reverse anti-drug funding priorities in Latin America; do not make the drug war a higher priority than stopping abuses of human rights; and stop pressuring Latin American countries to adopt the US drug war.
4. Develop a Drug Control Plan for the 21st Century
* Appoint a presidential commission to develop public health strategies; integrate drug treatment into national health care and examine basic questions about whether prohibition or legal controls are more effective.
2 The Drug Policy Foundation
Drug Policy in Transition:
An Opportunity to Choose Compassion and Effectiveness
During the first presidential debate on Oct. 11, 1992, President-elect Clinton defined "insanity" as "doing the same old thing over and over again and expecting a different result." For most of this century, and with particular intensity over the last 12 years, the United States has pursued a law enforcement dominated drug control strategy. However, America is no closer to eliminating drug abuse. In fact, today there is more drug trade violence and drug-related disease, and tens of millions of Americans violate the drug laws every year.
President Bill Clinton is faced with a historic opportunity. He can choose one of two paths - the continuation of the current law enforcement dominated strategy or pragmatic compromises that would minimize the harms caused by drug abuse to society, as well as to the individual user. Only the latter offers the hope that this nation and much of the world will finally start to deal more compassionately and effectively with the agonizing problems of drug abuse and the related problems of disease and crime. In addition to being the more effective policy, pragmatic compromises have also become politically palatable to the American public and drug policy experts from many backgrounds.
The Law Enforcement Solution Has Been an Expensive Failure
The law enforcement solution has created a martial atmosphere resulting in record drug arrests and imprisonments (1) all in the name of controlling drugs. In addition, the law enforcement approach has allowed diseases - particularly AIDS and tuberculosis - to spread rapidly among drug using populations. At the same time, violent crime has reached record levels and the most hazardous forms of drug abuse have not been significantly reduced.(2)
While the drug war has waxed and waned for most of this century, it reached new heights during the Reagan-Bush era. One measurement of the heights of the drug war is its direct monetary cost. President Reagan
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 3
Crime Rate Rises with Prison Population Rate
Figure 1, (1)
dramatically increased the pace of the drug war when he came into office in January 1981 and managed to spend $22.3 billion on drug control during eight years. Mr. Bush escalated spending to $45.2 billion out of federal coffers during four years, making him the biggest drug-war spender in our history.(3) If this pace of increased spending continues, Mr. Clinton could easily spend $70 billion during his first term in office on drug control. Assuming that the states follow the federal lead and match Washington roughly dollar for dollar as they have been doing, then direct governmental outlays for the drug war could reach $140 billion over the next four years.
More Spending Has Not Slowed the Killings
Figure 2, (2)
4 The Drug Policy Foundation
The treasure devoted to the current drug war has failed to buy a safer or healthier society. In addition to increasing the tax burden on all Americans in the short term, it ensures a greater long-term financial burden. The country currently spends $20 billion annually to incarcerate 1.2 million Americans.(4) Since most drug offenses involve mandatory sentences with no parole, this ensures a prison population approaching 2 million by 1996 and costing $40 billion a year to maintain. The Office of National Drug Control Policy estimates that by 1996 two-thirds of all federal prisoners will be drug offenders.
In addition, the uncompromising drug war approach ensures the spread of disease. During the 1980s intravenous drug use became the source of one-third of all AIDS cases because drug policy-makers refused to allow pragmatic policies to curtail the spread of the disease. Adopting AIDS prevention policies like needle exchanges will slow the spread of this illness, save lives and save money. All of these substantive and political facts should force consideration of a reformed drug policy.
Public Health Policies Offer the Best Hope for the Future
In the best pragmatic traditions that have held the Republic together, a reformed drug policy will involve a series of compromises between legalization and a harsh war on drugs. Its major themes would be health-based policies that seek to reduce drug-related harms. Under this approach, the criminal prohibition laws that make certain drugs illegal would for the most part stay in place. However, the tone and emphasis of drug policy would change and local governments would be encouraged to develop practical solutions to drug-related problems in their communities.
Change the Tone of Drug Policy from One of Intolerance and Hate to One of Acceptance and Assistance
Perhaps the most effective step President Clinton could take is to apply his philosophy of inclusion of all Americans to drug policy and move away from the demagoguery and extremism that have dominated drug policy, particularly over the last 12 years. During the Reagan-Bush era, extremist rhetoric resulted in extremist policies. It did not matter that AIDS was spreading out of control among intravenous drug users. Policy-makers avoided consideration of policies to stop the spread of this epidemic because they were inconsistent with the philosophy of "zero tolerance."
When President Bush first focused on drug policy, he scared the nation into submission with his infamous white lie. In his first televised address on Sept. 5, 1989, the president held up a bag of crack and stated that the "poison" was seized in Lafayette Park, across the street from the White House. The vision of drug dealers peddling their wares dangerously near the seat of government was firmly implanted. Mr. Bush did not tell the public that undercover agents lured the dealer to Lafayette Park, where there are no
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 5
drug dealers, to give the president the perfect photo opportunity. The unknowing player was a Washington, D.C., high school senior who needed directions from the undercover agents because he did not even know where the White House was. This national falsehood primed the engine for a rapid expansion of the drug war machine.
The president's ability to lie on national television to achieve a "higher" objective gave other people the green light. Any drug user was fair game. William Bennett, the first director of national drug control policy, commented on national television that he had no ethical problem with beheading drug dealers. Los Angeles Police Chief Daryl F. Gates said in testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Sept. 5,1990, "The casual user ought to be taken out and shot...."
The president's tone encouraged extremist rhetoric, which, in turn, allowed extremist policy. In this atmosphere of hatred, the United States became a nation that incarcerated more of its citizens than any other, ignored international law and kidnapped citizens of other countries.
Changing the tone of drug policy merely means applying the tone of the Clinton-Gore campaign to the drug issue. When Candidate Clinton called for a "New Covenant" at the Democratic National Convention on July 16, 1992, he said: "It is time to heal America. And so we must say to every American: 'look beyond the stereotypes that blind us. We need each other. All of us, we need each other. We don't have a person to waste.'" He called for an end to divisiveness between "us and them." He called for government to bring people together - to be all-inclusive. We urge President Clinton to apply that philosophy to the tens of millions of Americans who use illicit drugs. Stop calling them the enemies in a domestic war and start calling them fellow citizens who, whatever their tastes or problems, are welcome and needed members of the American family.
The move to pragmatic health-based policies away from failed law enforcement policies is consistent with the overall philosophy of the Clinton-Gore campaign. When Mr. Clinton announced his run for the presidency in Little Rock, Ark., on Oct. 3,1991, he promised: "A Clinton administration won't spend our money on programs that don't solve problems and a government that doesn't work. I want to reinvent government to make it more efficient and more effective."
No government program has failed more dramatically than the war on drugs. When the drug war kept producing failure, the solution of Presidents Reagan and Bush was to spend more. Rather than re-evaluating the policy, they threw more money at it, resulting in massive waste. We urge President Clinton to let the reinventing begin. Rather than blindly pursuing the drug war, make components of the drug war justify themselves and look to alternative strategies that are more pragmatic and hold the promise of being more effective.
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Put Public Health Officials in Charge of Drug Control
Doctors and educators should become the main directors of a public health drug policy. The Office of National Drug Control Policy should move to the Department of Health and Human Services, and its director should be experienced in drug control. Where health officials determine it essential, certain measures should be adopted even though they might involve deviation from the rigid drug-free rhetoric of the war on drugs. Such public health measures would operate on the assumption that it is impossible to make the society "drug free," but that it is possible to set up a series of practical steps that reduce the harm from drug use.
Public health officials should focus on specific problems like the spread of AIDS, tuberculosis and violent crime. They should then adopt public health solutions to each problem rather than taking a broad-brush drug war approach. Law enforcement, which would be diminished but would continue to have a significant role, should be integrated into health policies as even violent crime has now been recognized as an issue with public health solutions.(5) Law enforcement should be guided by the principle expressed by President Jimmy Carter in 1977 to a joint session of Congress: enforcement of drug laws should not be more damaging to the individual than use of the drug itself. Because education and treatment are much less expensive than arrest and imprisonment, this is one of the few problem areas now facing the president where less is more. Thus, the more effective choice could save billions of taxpayer dollars.
A Public Health Approach is Politically Popular
In addition to being the more sensible policy option, the public health approach is also a politically popular approach that will gain in popularity as it is successfully implemented. We base this political judgment on a wide array of information, some anecdotal and some scientific.
The Drug Policy Foundation is in a unique position to hear the opinions of citizens and experts throughout the country and the world on the drug issue. There never has been such high-level and lay support for major change in drug policy. The Foundation regularly receives letters and calls from conservative federal and state officials, especially judges, who declare that they are sick and tired of being part of a system that destroys the lives of petty offenders with barbaric sentences, while worsening the problems of drugs and crime worse.
We are also frequently informed of events that symbolize this reformist trend in what may be termed unlikely circles. At a recent major conference of the National League of Cities, Minneapolis Deputy Chief of Police Dave DeBrotka declared, "I think we need to rethink the metaphor for dealing with drugs," and then went on to criticize the phrase "war on drugs." This critique was met by cheers from the plenary audience of 2,500 city officials. Chief Deputy DeBrotka explained that the new administration had to get away
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 7
from the tough, lock-em-up philosophy that now dominates the country. As a law enforcement agent he stated that they had to resist community pressures "to behave as if we are in a totalitarian society."(6) During the mid-1980s, such utterances by a high-ranking police officer might have been booed, but now American officials and voters are starting to realize that the war on drugs has been an expensive failure.
Scientific evidence of the political feasibility of reform comes from a survey conducted under the auspices of the Foundation. A national survey of 1,401 Americans was carried out in early 1990 by Targeting Systems Inc. in a project funded by noted Chicago philanthropist and commodities broker Richard J. Dennis. According to the survey, 68 percent of Americans favor treatment and counseling for drug users while only 21 percent favor punishment. Also, 70 percent felt that the government has done too little to support drug education and treatment. Fully 74 percent opted for less expensive methods than imprisonment when asked about the cost factor in drug control. They said that they preferred that more of their tax dollars be allocated to education and treatment rather than to imprisonment of drug users. The highest pro-medicalization response followed the question as to whether or not physicians should be allowed to prescribe heroin for pain; 76 percent said yes. On a similar question about prescribing marijuana in medicine, 69 percent responded in the affirmative.(7)
On the question of providing sterile needles to prevent the spread of AIDS, the answers were equally divided: 47 percent for and against, with 6 percent not responding. However, since the survey was conducted, the evidence on the effectiveness of needle exchanges has mounted as well as the support for needle exchanges. A more current survey would show majority support for this key strategy to curb the spread of AIDS.
It is also worth noting that 36 percent of the sample went so far as to support outright repeal of many drug laws. Thus, advocates of drug decriminalization or legalization remained a minority in 1990, but were a significant and growing minority, far bigger than anyone had previously thought.
During the Reagan-Bush era the drug policy debate was polarized between proponents of legalization and proponents of the drug war. One effect of this polarization was to avoid discussion of the broad range of middle ground policies that are available. However, due to policy changes in Europe and projects of local governments in the United States, a consensus of support for harm reduction strategies has developed among drug policy professionals. This includes proponents of decriminalization models as well as prohibition models.(8) Thus, President Clinton has a historic opportunity to lead the nation toward a pragmatic drug policy that has the support not only of drug policy experts, but also of the American people.
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Appoint a National Commission to Plan Drug Policy for the 21st Century
This report recommends short-term steps that could be taken to begin to move drug policy toward a public health strategy. However, no matter what policy is chosen, drug use will be with us forever. Human beings have always used intoxicating substances and will continue to do so. The United States should begin to plan now for a long-term policy to control drug abuse. This should include alcohol and tobacco use, which has been much ignored by the federal government. While these two drugs are legal they present a variety of policy issues and problems for American society.
President Clinton should follow the advice of Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and create a blue-ribbon commission that will analyze the drug problem and offer policy changes. Legal, medical and academic experts who are willing to take a fresh look at the problem should serve on this commission.
The commission should tackle the following short-range issues: adapting public health strategies to drug-related problems (including both legal and illegal drugs); including drug treatment in the national health plan; and changing law enforcement's role in drug control.
The commission should also develop a long-range drug control strategy for the 21st century. This should include answering the critical questions of whether or not prohibition policies are counterproductive to drug control and whether or not there are alternatives to prohibition that could be more effective.
This country needs a forum for a rational discussion of an issue that has been used for political grandstanding. In the spirit of the economic summit in Little Rock, the new president should open the commission's initial proceedings with a public hearing.
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 9
Summary: Redefining Drug Enforcement
1. Use Criminal Justice Funding for Public Health Strategies
* At the federal level, shift funding from law enforcement to health-based solutions. Make enforcement efforts consistent with health controls by increasing funding for treatment and rehabilitation in prisons as well as for individuals arrested for drug offenses. Allow offenders who complete treatment and rehabilitation programs to have their sentences reduced.
* At the state and local level, support: pilot programs for intensive supervised probation where a probation officer has no more than 20 probationers rather than 75 or 100 (which is currently common in many jurisdictions); programs that bring local police and health officials together in community outreach to drug abusers; programs that provide for treatment as an alternative to prosecution; and programs for prison-based treatment projects.
2. Eliminate Duplication in the Drug Enforcement Agencies
* Move the drug czar's office to the Department of Health and Human Services, reduce its size and put health officials in charge of enforcement efforts.
* Eliminate Drug Enforcement Administration, move its responsibilities to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Food and Drug Administration and the State Department.
* Take the Defense Department out of the drug war, and use the Coast Guard and Customs Service in a scaled-down interdiction program.
3. Curtail Abuses of Drug Enforcement Bureaucracy
* Modify mandatory minimum penalties to give judges flexibility
* Stop the misuse of civil forfeiture laws
* Stop using the military against U.S. citizens
* Stop kidnapping of foreign nationals
* Stop the erosion of the attorney-client relationship
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Redefining Drug Enforcement
The criminal justice approach to the drug problem looks good on paper. Cut the supply of drugs to drive up the price to the consumer, thereby discouraging consumption. Jack up the penalties until people get the message that drugs are bad. Arrest dealers to clean up the streets.
Unfortunately, the United States is no closer to winning the drug war today than it was four years ago, 12 years ago or 20 years ago.
During the Bush administration, over 1 million Americans were arrested each year for drug violations, over 1.2 million Americans lived behind bars each year, and record amounts of drugs were seized. According to the criminal enforcement theory, we should have turned the corner. However, even with the highest levels of incarceration in the Western world,(9) things got worse. Hard-core drug abuse increased, while occasional use remained stable. Drug importation rose, causing a drop in price and an increase in purity. Violent crime, particularly homicides, reached record levels.
The Reagan-Bush drug war, with its record levels of spending on police, prosecutors, prisons and interdiction, proved that no amount of law enforcement can solve the drug problem. Presidents Reagan and Bush incorrectly assumed that law enforcement officials could eliminate a problem that has roots in social and health concerns. Inadequate housing, unemployment and underemployment, and the breakdown of the family led to despair, leading to drug abuse, among other problems.
The Congress deserves some of the blame for the pursuit of this failed drug strategy. Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.), the chairman of the Judiciary Committee, has led the charge. He has played politics with the crime issue, trying to position the Democrats as "tough on crime." In each election year since 1984, the Democrats passed harsh crime bills. This may have served political ends, but certainly did not serve any practical purpose - as evidenced by the worsening violent crime and drug problems during the decade. Continuing to play politics with a failed tough-on-crime strategy will no longer provide political benefits as the public will see it for what it is.
It is time to stop playing politics with this issue and get practical. The United States needs to move toward public health approaches to drug abuse. This will require less reliance on law enforcement, and the constructive use of
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 11
law enforcement as part of a public health strategy. Rather than spending more money on more police, the government should focus on preventing and treating drug abuse; rather than spending money on constructing prisons, we should be building health care facilities.
Mandatory Minimums Distort Justice
Mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenders is the centerpiece of this failed strategy. Mandatory sentencing has created a tremendously overburdened prison system that has become very expensive to operate and needs continual expansion to meet capacity. In 1991, the federal Bureau of Prisons estimated that prison construction costs nationwide would soon approach $100 million per week and that total
Average Sentences for Violent & Drug Offenses
Figure 3, (12)
prison-related fiscal obligations could be almost double the current national deficit within five years. Steps must be taken now to begin to relieve this pressing burden. One step that should be taken is to repeal mandatory sentencing statutes. Mandatory minimums have been opposed by every federal judicial circuit that handles drug cases plus the U.S. Sentencing Commission and the Federal Courts Study Commission. (Sadly, Congress has ignored these top-level judicial commissions.) Mandatory sentencing statutes demonstrate that society does not trust the decision-making ability of judges. Currently, judges cannot take into consideration the personal background of a defendant, e.g., whether a defendant has left the drug trade, completed drug treatment or gotten a legitimate job prior to being sentenced. The only factor is the weight of the drug involved. Thus, whether an individual is a peripheral participant or a drug kingpin makes no difference; whether the person obstructed justice or accepted responsibility makes no difference. As a result, defendants in markedly different situations and backgrounds can receive the same sentence.
Mandatory sentencing has moved discretion from the open courtroom to the back rooms of the prosecutor's office where decisions are made about how an offender will be charged. This has resulted in significant racial
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disparities. According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, defendants plead to lesser charges in 35 percent of the cases that initially warranted a mandatory sentence. The Sentencing Commission found that mandatory sentences were more likely to be used against African-American defendants than white defendants; 67.7 percent of blacks received sentences at or above the mandatory minimum, while 54 percent of whites received such sentences.(10) However, since charging and plea negotiation are not open to public review nor generally reviewable by the courts, it is impossible to determine why this racial disparity exists.
Mandatory sentencing statutes create disparity based on the amount of drug involved by creating what the Sentencing Commission calls "cliffs." For example, current law mandates a minimum five-year term of imprisonment for a defendant convicted of first-offense, simple possession of 5.01 grams of crack (about a teaspoon full). However, a first offender convicted of simple possession of 5.0 grams of crack is subject to a maximum sentence of one year.(11,12)
There are two ways to reform mandatory sentencing to weave judicial discretion into sentencing, even if no move is made now to repeal mandatory minimums. First, prosecutors and judges should be given the authority to go below the mandatory sentence if the individual successfully completes drug treatment or other rehabilitation programs prior to being convicted. Second, legislation should be passed that allows a judge to consider reducing the sentences of prisoners who successfully complete treatment and rehabilitation programs while incarcerated. Currently, a federal prisoner gets no benefit for completing rehabilitation while incarcerated. The mandatory sentence remains the same whether the person does nothing to prepare for life after incarceration or works hard to improve. Legislation should be enacted encouraging rehabilitation by making it available and by rewarding inmates who complete such programs. Without such changes, we will merely continue to warehouse people.
Moreover, the Clinton administration can instruct U.S. attorneys to encourage rehabilitation by requiring prosecutors to seek sentences below the mandatory minimum for individuals who seek help after their arrest. Prosecutors can do this by charging defendants without mentioning a specific amount of drugs in the indictment. In this way, the administration can begin to relieve the burden of prison overcrowding and can begin to encourage treatment and rehabilitation.
Finally, with regard to mandatory minimum sentencing, the Clinton administration should take a fresh look at the 1992 crime bill vetoed by President Bush. Even though criminal justice professionals at every level oppose mandatory sentencing, that bill contained a record number of new mandatory sentencing statutes. Now that the election is over, the Democrats should stop playing crass politics with the crime issue and seriously reconsider crime control strategies.
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Curtail Abuses of the Drug Enforcement Bureaucracy
In addition to weaving drug enforcement into a public health strategy, the Clinton administration needs to curtail some of the abuses that have arisen during the last decade of aggressive law enforcement.
* Stop the Use of Civil Forfeiture Laws. Current federal law allows the forfeiture of property prior to a criminal conviction based on a mere showing of probable cause. The funds seized go back into law enforcement activities. Thus, police officials are encouraged to seize more assets. This has resulted in individuals having all their property and assets seized without ever being charged with a criminal offense and individuals having property seized prior to prosecution, making them unable to afford an attorney. Legislation should be sought to prevent these abuses. Such legislation should not allow forfeiture prior to conviction and should channel forfeited funds to the U.S. Treasury, not to law enforcement agencies that stand to profit from asset forfeitures. In the meantime, President Clinton should instruct U.S. attorneys to use criminal forfeiture authority instead of civil forfeiture.
* Stop Using the Military against U.S. Citizens. The Bush administration broke a barrier in law enforcement that has existed since the founding of our republic - they used active duty military troops against U.S. citizens. Traditionally, the U.S. military has not had a role in domestic law enforcement. However, the Bush administration used some of the same troops it used to invade Panama to invade Northern California in search of marijuana gardens and to participate in the arrest of people allegedly growing them. A lawsuit is currently pending against such action.(13) District Judge Fern Smith, in ruling against the government's motion to dismiss, found that, if the military was so used, it was done illegally. The Clinton administration should enter into a consent agreement in this suit agreeing not to use military troops domestically against U.S. citizens.
* Stop the Kidnapping of Foreign Nationals. The United States has disgraced itself in the eyes of the world community by ignoring the sovereignty of other nations and going into foreign countries to kidnap their citizens. Requests for extradition of U.S. citizens who are accused of past kidnappings should be granted. The Clinton administration should issue an order saying that it will abide by international treaties and seek extradition of foreign nationals rather than unilaterally kidnapping citizens of other countries.
* Stop the Erosion of the Attorney-Client Relationship. During the Reagan-Bush era, tremendous pressure was put on the constitutional right to counsel in drug prosecutions. While funding increased for prosecution of drug offenses, the Criminal Justice Act, which funds appointed counsel, received insufficient funding. Private defense attorneys who handled drug cases were faced with a variety of pressures, including subpoenas forcing them to testify against their clients, threatened seizures of their legal fees and requirements to report confidential fee information to the IRS. The
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Clinton administration should use these law enforcement tools very carefully and instruct U.S. attorneys' offices to honor Sixth Amendment guarantees.
Eliminate Duplication in the Drug Enforcement Agencies
As part of the increased emphasis on public health solutions to drug-related problems, the Office of National Drug Control Policy should be moved to the Department of Health and Human Services.(14) The National Drug Control Policy Director should be given the authority to ensure that law enforcement aspects of drug control are consistent with public health strategies.
The reason for having a drug czar has been called into question. Outgoing Attorney General William Barr commented recently that because the drug czar's office does not have any executive authority to implement any programs, it cannot actually coordinate and direct the federal anti-drug effort.(15)
In spite of its limitations, the drug czar's office mushroomed during the last four years. In 1989, the ONDCP was a White House office with a budget of $3.5 million; by 1992, it grew to 110 employees and spent $126.7 million.(16)
The ONDCP has a history of political cronyism. Almost half of all
Figure 4, (16)
ONDCP personnel are political appointees, a luxury no other executive branch office enjoys. The latest director, former Florida Gov. Bob Martinez, was a Bush campaign fund-raiser who ascended to drug czar after losing reelection. No one thought of him as having any drug policy experience, except for the fact that South Florida became a cocaine trafficking hub during his gubernatorial administration.
Under Bob Martinez, the ONDCP looked more like an extension of the Bush campaign than it did a drug policy office. The drug czar admitted he improperly used office stationery to collect money owed to him by television stations, which he then donated to the Republican Party for the Bush reelection effort.(16.1) Martinez worked to rally the Republican faithful to the Bush cause in 1992. Alarmed at the political course the drug policy office was taking, Congress passed legislation to bar ONDCP personnel from political campaigning.
The new drug policy director should be someone with experience in drug policy, not political campaigning.
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 15
DEA Budget Authority, 1981-1993
Figure 5, (17)
The Drug Policy Foundation urges President Clinton to close down the Drug Enforcement Administration (17) and move the domestic activities of the DEA over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. DEA's international activities should be moved to the Bureau of International Narcotics Matters at the State Department. Its activities related to prescription drugs should be moved to the Food and Drug Administration.
Disbanding the DEA may seem controversial, but the proposal enjoys the support of high-ranking Justice Department officials. During his confirmation hearings, FBI Director William S. Sessions said the idea deserved serious consideration.(18)
In addition, the Foundation recommends removing the Defense Department from the drug war. Law enforcement is better suited to agencies like the FBI, Coast Guard and Customs Service than it is to the blunt instrument of the military. (See pages 24-28.)
One of the problems in drug control efforts has been competition and duplication of efforts among the many agencies involved. There have been consistent reports of multiple agencies claiming responsibility for the same seizures as well as fights between agencies over confiscated property. Taking the DEA and the Defense Department out of the picture will resolve many of these problems and will result in significant savings for the federal budget.
If President Clinton makes all of these streamlining moves, the federal government would save close to $2 billion annually.
Integrate Law Enforcement into Public Health Controls
As part of the gradually increased emphasis on health-based policies, law enforcement programs should be tied into prevention, treatment and rehabilitation. This can be done for individuals who have been arrested for drug offenses, as well as for those convicted. In addition, police can play a positive role in allowing needle exchanges and prevention programs to develop.
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The first step in weaving criminal justice into the health strategy is to use criminal justice funding for public health strategies. Currently, the federal government grants 10 times more money to state and local law enforcement programs than it does to state and local treatment programs. This discrepancy should be changed. In addition, law enforcement funding should be used to encourage pilot projects that move law enforcement closer to a public health-based drug policy. State and local programs supported by the federal government should include:
* Intensive, supervised probation programs where a probation officer has no more than 20 probationers rather than 75 or 100 (which is currently common in many jurisdictions). These intensive probation programs should also include funding for employment training, education and social services for offenders.
* Pilot programs that bring local police and health officials together in community outreach The message from the police should be that arrests are not their goal, instead they want to protect the health and safety of the community, including the health of drug users. Therefore, as they have in New Haven and other cities, police would be supporting needle exchange programs and working closely with treatment and rehabilitation programs. These programs should be conducted in urban areas where recent reports indicate half the young black men are under the supervision of the criminal justice system (i.e. in prison, on probation or on parole) on any given day, thereby preventing them from getting good jobs and developing healthy family relationships.
* Pilot programs that provide for treatment as an alternative to prosecution should also be funded. This should especially be encouraged in the cases involving pregnant women. More than 20 states have prosecuted women who use illicit drugs during pregnancy for drug distribution. This practice is discouraging women from seeking prenatal care and treatment. President Clinton or his drug czar should speak out against such prosecutions and provide funds that would divert such people from the criminal justice system into the public health system.
* Pilot programs for prison-based treatment projects. Just as the federal penitentiaries have had problems in providing treatment, so have state prisons and jails. Funding should be provided to encourage treatment and rehabilitation programs in state institutions.
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 17
Summary: Developing Public Health Strategies
1. Make Treatment on Demand a Reality
* Shift the federal budget emphasis from law enforcement to treatment and health services
* Include treatment in the national health care plan
* Encourage use of methadone and development of other maintenance drugs
* Tie arrests for drug offenses to treatment and rehabilitation, instead of prosecutions
* Make treatment and rehabilitation available in prisons
2. Make AIDS Prevention and Treatment a Top Drug Policy Priority
* Remove legal barriers to the purchase and possession of injection equipment
* Announce support of all AIDS prevention efforts including needle exchange programs
* Clarify federal law so research on the effectiveness of needle exchanges can be adequately funded
3. Provide Health Services to Drug Users
* Focus on AIDS prevention and treatment
* Focus on preventing the spread of tuberculosis, particularly in prisons
* Focus on prenatal care to pregnant women using drugs
4. Get the Police out of Medical Practice
* Recognize the medical use of marijuana. DEA should reschedule marijuana to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act, HHS should re-open the compassionate Investigational New Drug program
* DEA should de-emphasize prosecution of doctors for their medical practices
* HHS should encourage research on Schedule I drugs for their medical purposes, particularly MDMA in psychotherapy and heroin in treatment of pain
18 The Drug Policy Foundation
Developing Public Health Strategies
President Bill Clinton should move away from a drug strategy dominated by law enforcement towards a strategy dominated by public health. The new administration should focus on two priorities, both of which President-elect Clinton pledged to support during the presidential campaign:
* Make treatment on demand a reality.
* Make AIDS a top health concern of drug control policies.
Make Treatment on Demand a Reality
Fulfilling these campaign promises requires reallocating the drug control budget, emphasizing health-based solutions to drug abuse. President Clinton must include substance abuse treatment as part of the national health care plan, making treatment as available to the uninsured poor as it is now for those with adequate health insurance.
Treatment should be defined broadly to include not only programs of abstinence, but also the use of maintenance drugs, availability of clean needles and the availability of basic health services, particularly those to prevent the spread of AIDS and tuberculosis. Financial support should be given to outpatient as well as inpatient programs. The United States should also emphasize voluntary, user-friendly treatment, as opposed to coercive treatment.
While coercive treatment - particularly civil commitment of drug users - has a history of failure, there is room in our criminal justice system for ties to treatment programs. For example, people arrested, but not yet convicted, of drug offenses should be given the choice of treatment instead of incarceration. Unfortunately, this seemingly compassionate approach does have great potential for misuse. Arrestees choosing treatment are easy prey for coerced treatment, a greater punishment than incarceration. In addition, not everyone arrested for drug offenses needs treatment.
The second area where treatment can be tied to the criminal justice system is in prisons. Currently treatment and rehabilitation programs in both state and federal prisons are not as widely available as they need to be, according to recent GAO reports.(19) Offenders need to be given the opportunity
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 19
to be successful upon their release. They need to be rewarded with early release for successfully completing rehabilitation programs.
Treatment options have narrowed in the last decade. While abstinence programs have continued, new limitations have been placed on methadone maintenance. At a time when heroin use is expanding, methadone programs should be expanding rather than contracting. There is strong evidence that availability of methadone reduces crime by addicts.(20) Thus, in addition to being a sensible drug policy, methadone maintenance is a sensible crime control policy. Other maintenance drugs should be researched and used in addition to methadone.
If the only acceptable treatment program is an abstinence one, then treatment will surely fail. This narrow interpretation of treatment would be the equivalent of a doctor prescribing the same drug to all of his patients. Addicts are individuals who need a whole range of options.
The Bush administration has opposed providing sterile syringes to injecting drug users at a time when HIV is spreading rapidly through the injecting drug using community. Refusal to consider needle exchanges has been part of the zero-tolerance demonization of drug users by federal political leaders. We need to move from harsh demonization to inclusive humanization of drug users so that they can become productive members of society.
Developing a plan for treatment on demand is an essential first step. Mr. Clinton has advocated providing college loans in return for community service. This should include providing medical school training, as well as training in other health fields, in return for working to provide health services to drug users. Similarly, as the Department of Defense shrinks, personnel trained in providing health services should be redeployed in health departments to provide health care to drug users. This is particularly true today when the health care emergencies of AIDS and tuberculosis are spreading through the United States spurred by drug use.
Shift Budget Emphasis from Law Enforcement to Health-Based Solutions
President Bush and the drug czar talked about fighting the drug war on all fronts, but the proportions of the drug budget pie tell a different story: two-thirds for supply reduction and one-third for demand reduction.(2l) What used to be a 50-50 split between compassion and punishment (before 1981) was transformed into a windfall for the enforcement agencies and starvation for treatment, prevention and education programs. During the Bush administration, the federal government spent $30.5 billion on drug law enforcement out of a total budget of $45.2 billion.(22)
The Drug Enforcement Administration nearly quadrupled its size since the beginning of the Reagan era. The DEA budget increased from $216 million in 1981 to $817 million for 1993. The more the drug war failed, the more funding the DEA received.
20 The Drug Policy Foundation
Moving to treatment on demand and away from arrests and incarceration will be a budget saver. The cost of arrest and incarceration is enormous - with estimates for holding an inmate in jail at an average per-bed cost of $50,000 per year.(23) That much money could provide one year of treatment and rehabilitation to dozens of people. Arrest and incarceration turn citizens into the unemployed and underemployed, whereas providing treatment, education and job training will develop productive citizens.
The budget for fiscal year 1993 provides only $1.05 billion for treatment services to the states, while the budget for the least successful drug control program - interdiction efforts (including Coast Guard, Customs Service, Defense Department, State Department and DEA) - is $3.1 billion.(24) (See pages 24-28.) Thus, we spend an average of $150 million per country in the Andean region to try to prevent cocaine from coming into the United States, while spending an average of only $20 million per state to help addicts get treatment - a seven-fold disparity. Moving away from the law enforcement model will save money both in the short and long terms.
A federal government grants program to aid state drug treatment initiatives already exists, but it is woefully underfunded. An average of $20 million is budgeted for each state, with funds distributed based on a population-related formula rather than on the relative needs of the states or any programs they are initiating. Also, many of the federal grants depend on state contributions, and if the states - many of which are in fiscal crisis - are unable to put up their share, little of the federal money is delivered.
A first step to making treatment on demand a reality, especially in the hardest-hit communities, is to initiate a thorough nationwide review of drug treatment availability and the needs of each state. Reducing reliance on forced treatment and allowing volunteers to join programs first would also be a sensible early step.
Once the review is completed, the Clinton administration should determine how much it is willing to increase federal subsidies for drug treatment services. The new president should then make his proposal to the Congress and ensure that it is quickly implemented, so results are visible before the end of the first presidential term.
Make AIDS the Top Priority in Drug Control - Support Needle Exchanges and Medical Marijuana
The Bush administration placed the unreachable goal of a "drug-free America" above pragmatic policies to prevent and treat AIDS. This view was summed up by drug czar Bob Martinez in a July 1992 report on needle exchanges where he said: "We [cannot] allow our concern for AIDS to undermine our determination to win the war on drugs."
This view - and the resulting inaction - has allowed the uncontrolled spread of a deadly epidemic. The Centers for Disease Control reports that
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 21
IV Drug Use a Factor in 1 of 3 AIDS Cases
Figure 6, (24.1)
one-third of all newly diagnosed AIDS cases in the United States each year are related to intravenous drug use. (24.1)
During the presidential campaign, Governor Bill Clinton endorsed the recommendations of the National Commission on AIDS. In July 1991, the commission issued a report, "The Twin Epidemics of Substance Use and HIV," which recommended:
We must take immediate steps to curb the current spread of HIV infection among those who cannot get treatment or who cannot stop taking drugs. Outreach programs which operate needle exchanges and distribute bleach not only help to control the spread of HIV, but also refer many individuals to treatment programs. Legal sanctions on injection equipment do not reduce illicit drug use, but they do increase the sharing of injection equipment and hence the spread of HIV infection.
The AIDS commission concluded: "Any program which does not deal with the duality of the HIV/drug epidemic is destined to fail." The Commission urged the federal government to move away from a law enforcement approach to controlling drugs toward a public health approach that to date has "been seriously neglected." Thus, making AIDS prevention a top priority is consistent with moving toward a public health drug control strategy.
Since the Commission report, the most controversial aspect of AIDS prevention among drug users - needle exchanges - has become accepted by local and state governments, public policy advisory commissions and private organizations concerned about AIDS. Among the public officials who have come to support needle exchanges are: New York City Mayor David Dinkins, New Haven Mayor John Daniels, Hartford Mayor Carrie Saxon Perry, District of Columbia Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly, Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and Baltimore Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke. In addition, Hawaii and Connecticut have passed laws authorizing needle exchanges. The California legislature passed a needle exchange bill in 1992, but drug czar Martinez pressured Governor Pete Wilson into vetoing the bill. The momentum is clearly in favor
22 The Drug Policy Foundation
of needle exchanges, allowing President Clinton to fulfill his campaign pledge and implement the recommendations of the National Commission on AIDS
Just as AIDS prevention took a back seat to "zero tolerance," so has AIDS care. When evidence began to develop that marijuana was a useful medicine for people with AIDS, the Public Health Service, under the direction of James O. Mason, summarily closed the compassionate Investigational New Drug (IND) program, which for 15 years allowed a small number of patients access to a legal supply of medical marijuana. Even though the program was in existence since 1976, Dr. Mason recommended the program be closed without holding any public hearings or even allowing a public comment period. At the time, the FDA was receiving hundreds of IND applications, primarily from doctors treating AIDS patients, for medical marijuana. While civil servants working in the IND program were expressing sympathy for such patients and approving INDs, political appointees of the Bush administration put the drug war first and denied care to these patients.
DEA Administrator Robert Bonner has been as obstinate as Dr. Mason. In a caustic and inhumane ruling in the Federal Register, Mr. Bonner rejected the therapeutic value of marijuana, ignoring the advice of the chief administrative law judge of the DEA.(25) The Drug Policy Foundation, in concert with many doctors and patients, is suing the DEA to move marijuana from Schedule I to Schedule II, thereby allowing doctors to prescribe marijuana. Schedule II, which includes substances like cocaine, carries severe enough restrictions so that diversion is not an issue. It is ironic that marijuana, which most people recognize as a lesser drug than cocaine, is considered so dangerous by the DEA that it cannot trust doctors to prescribe it legitimately.
The Clinton administration can take steps to resolve the medical marijuana issue by doing two simple things: (1) appoint an assistant secretary of health who will listen to the civil servants of the FDA and re-open the compassionate IND program; and (2) appoint a DEA administrator who will follow the advice of its chief administrative law judge, Francis L. Young, and reschedule marijuana to Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act. These two steps will require no change in law and will make it possible for AIDS patients, and others suffering from serious life-and-sense-threatening illness to acquire marijuana for their treatment.
Related to the medical marijuana issue is the more general question of the role of drug enforcement officials in the practice of medicine. Pressure from police officials has resulted in bans on the medical use of MDMA in psychotherapy, no progress on the medical use of heroin to treat pain and prosecution of doctors for their practice of medicine. As part of the move to a public health strategy of drug control, the police need to be taken out of the business of controlling medical practice and research.
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 23
Summary: De-militarizing the Drug War Abroad
* End the experiment of using the Defense Department in drug enforcement and de-militarize the international drug war
* Do not make the drug war a higher priority than stopping abuses of human rights
* Reverse anti-drug funding priorities in Latin America; recognize that demand reduction at home and economic development abroad are more effective
* Stop pressuring Latin American countries to adopt the U.S. drug war
* Stop ignoring international law and the sovereignty of nations
24 The Drug Policy Foundation
De-militarizing the Drug War Abroad
The U.S. war on drugs is a bad export. Fighting the drug war south of the border has led to a dangerous deterioration in inter-American affairs and no decrease in the flow of drugs. During the last decade, the United States has emphasized a militaristic drug war abroad, where U.S. troops were sent to the Andean region, DEA operatives acted like military troops and the U.S. forced Latin American countries to use their military against their own people. The latest government reports show that drug production and importation are on the rise. Thus, not only are we pursuing a failed drug strategy, but we also are discouraging the development of democratic and sovereign nations.
Eradication and Interdiction Have Failed
The history of drug control efforts demonstrates that cutting off the flow of drugs from one source gives rise to another source. For this reason eradication, interdiction and crop substitution programs have never been successful. Among examples of such failure in current drug war history are:
* In the early-1970s, President Nixon focused on poppy cultivation in Turkey. He succeeded in diminishing the Turkish poppy crop, but Mexico became a major supplier, by 1974 its share of the expanded heroin market jumped from 38 percent to 77 percent.
* During the Carter administration when herbicides were sprayed on marijuana and poppies growing in Mexico, the marijuana crop moved to Colombia and the United States while the poppy crops moved to the Golden Triangle (a section of Southeast Asia that includes Burma, Laos and Thailand). Supply and use of both drugs increased.
* During the Reagan administration when Vice President Bush headed the South Florida Task Force, interdiction of drugs coming into Florida was militarized. This resulted in the cocaine trade spreading from South Florida to the Gulf Coast, West Coast and Northeast.
* During the Bush administration the focus was on the Andean strategy, which attempted to destroy coca in Latin America. However, according to
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 25
* Metric tons. Since 1988, production figures have included multiple harvests from "mature" coca plants.
** In 1989, the U.S. government raised its estimate of Mexico's marijuana crop by a factor of 10. This figure has decreased since, reflecting either increased crop eradication or an initial overestimate.
Source: National Narcotics Intelligence Consumers Committee, The NNICC Report 1991 (July 1992), pp. 15, 29 & 47, and The NNICC Report 1989 (June 1990), pp. 13, 38, 46, 49 & 55-56.
the State Department, coca leaf production increased from 293,700 metric tons in 1988 to 337,100 metric tons in 1992. This history of failure should be enough to convince policy-makers that destroying drugs at their source and attempting to seize drugs before they cross U.S. borders is a strategy doomed to failure. It is time for us to enter into a partnership with the source countries in this hemisphere. For example, what the Andean region wants from us is economic assistance, not anti-drug assistance. Just as the root causes of drug trafficking in the United States are economic and social so are the roots of drug trafficking abroad. Rather than focusing on symptoms, the Clinton administration should focus on the economic problems that foster the rise of drug production and trafficking in producing countries.
Human Rights and International Law Have Deteriorated
Not only has the United States continued to pursue an obviously failed strategy, it also has been willing to ignore widespread human rights violations in source countries and ignore international law. In the end, the United States will have failed to control drugs and encouraged the development of undemocratic governments that abuse the rights of their citizens.
The failure of the international drug war has resulted in desperate actions by the United States including the kidnapping of foreign nationals and even the invasion of one country in order to arrest suspected drug criminals. Extradition treaties, territorial integrity and international law are no longer hurdles that stand in the way of drug enforcement.
The United States has sacrificed any credibility it has in spreading democracy in Latin America by making the pursuit of the drug war a higher priority than spreading democracy and human rights. We have been willing to provide massive military assistance to countries with a history of human
26 The Drug Policy Foundation
rights abuses and anti-democratic governments. For example, after Alberto Fujimori ended democratic rule in Peru, the DEA continued to operate there. The DEA operations remain active to this day, placing the United States on the side of a dictator. Similarly, the United States is funding the Colombian military with hundreds of millions of dollars - whose human rights violations are well known.
DOD Drug-Fighting Budget
Figure 7, (26)
The United States Wastes Billions on the International Drug War
In the international war on drugs, the United States gets the least bang for its anti-drug buck. Our country spends hundreds of millions of dollars to operate AWACS planes, Black Hawk attack helicopters and other fancy pieces of hardware, but nets precious few drugs. The Department of Defense drug war budget went from zero in 1981 to $901 million in 1992.(26) As can be seen from the increased availability of drugs, their increased potency and decreased prices, our experiment with Defense leadership in drug control has been a failure. It is an experiment that should no longer be pursued.
Critics of the U.S. anti-drug strategy abroad, including the respected Center for Defense Information, accuse the Defense Department of using the drug war as a means of maintaining its bloated budget. President Clinton must use a firm hand to rein in the free-spending Defense hawks, especially when the public clearly wants the government to spend more time on pressing domestic matters.
Not only has the Defense Department increased its funding of the international drug war, so have all other federal agencies fighting the drug war. The DEA international budget has increased from $31 million in 1981 to $530.1 million in 1993; the State Department Bureau of International Narcotics Matters increased from $34.7 million in 1981 to $173 million in 1993. Overall the interdiction budget for the eight agencies involved in that effort increased from $349.7 million in 1981 to $2.2 billion in 1993.
Choose Health, Not War: Drug Policy in Transition 27
The Drug Policy Foundation makes the following recommendations:
* End the experiment of using the Defense Department in drug enforcement and de-militarize the international drug war. The Defense Department's role in law enforcement has become an expensive failure. The Clinton administration should order home all Defense personnel and other quasi-military operatives of other U.S. agencies fighting the drug war.
* Do not make the drug war a higher priority than stopping abuses of human rights. The practice of providing aid in spite of ongoing human rights violations only encourages such abuses and involves the United States in activities inconsistent with its policy of encouraging human rights and democracy.
* Reverse anti-drug funding priorities in Latin America. Current funding heavily favors military and law enforcement assistance rather than economic development. Future funding should focus on the root causes of drug trafficking - economic and social injustice.
* Stop pressuring Latin American countries to adopt the U.S. drug war. In particular, the so-called "certification standard" requiring compliance with all U.S. drug initiatives for economic aid should be abolished. Andean nations should not be forced to use their militaries against their citizens.
* Stop ignoring international law and the sovereignty of nations. The Clinton administration should announce that it will no longer allow U.S. drug enforcement agents to kidnap foreign nationals to force them to stand trial in the United States. Similarly, the United States should not invade a country in order to arrest its leader on drug charges. Instead, the U.S. should rely on extradition treaties.
28 The Drug Policy Foundation
1. Increased incarcerations have not led to a decrease in crime.
Totals 100,000 Totals 100,000
1972 8,248,800 3,961 196,092 93
1973 8,718,100 4,154 204,211 96
1974 10,253,400 4,850 218,466 102
1975 11,292,400 5,299 240,593 111
1976 11,349,700 5,287 262,833 120
1977 10,984,500 5,078 278,141 126
1978 11,209,000 5,140 294,396 132
1979 12,249,500 5,566 301,470 133
1980 13,408,300 5,950 315,974 138
1981 13,423,800 5,858 353,167 153
1982 12,974,400 5,604 394,374 170
1983 12,108,600 5,175 419,820 179
1984 11,881,800 5,031 443,398 188
1985 12,431,400 5,207 480,568 200
1986 13,211,900 5,480 522,084 216
1987 13,508,700 5,550 560,812 228
1988 13,923,100 5,664 603,732 244
1989 14,251,400 5,741 680,907 271
1990 14,475,600 5,820 738,894 292
1991 14,872,900 5,898
Sources: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States: 1991 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992), p. 58; and Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics: 1991 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992), p. 636.
2. More spending has not slowed the killing.
Federal Drug Budget Total Murders
1981 $1.464 billion 22,520
1982 $1.652 21,010
1983 $1.935 19,310
1984 $2.298 18,690
1985 $2.68 18,980
1986 $2.826 20,610
1987 $4.787 20,100
1988 $4.702 20,680
1989 $6.592 21,500
1990 $9.693 23,440
1991 $10.841 24,700
Sources: Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Drug Control Strategy: Budget Summary, January 1992, p. 214; and Federal Bureau of Investigation, Uniform Crime Reports for the United States: 1991 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992), p. 58.
3. The Bush Drug War Record, The Drug Policy Foundation, Sept. 5,1992
4. States and localities spent $19.1 billion on corrections in 1988, or 31 percent of the total 60.9 billion they spent on criminal justice that year. The total spent in 1990 was 64.3 billion, of which 31 percent is $19.9 billion, providing the estimated $20 billion figure. Figures for 1991 and 1992 are expected to be higher. U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics, BJS National Update, January 1992 and July 1992 editions, p. 2 and p. 4 respectively.
5. M.L. Rosenberg, P.W. O'Carroll, KE. Powell, "Let's Be Clear: Violence is a Public Health Problem," Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol . 267, No. 22, pp. 3071-3072, June 10, 1992.
6. Denise Baker, "Panelists Tackle Dilemmas Confronting the Human Side of Cities," Nation's Cities Weekly, Dec. 7,1992, p. 6.
7. This finding is consistent with votes in San Francisco in November 1991 and Santa Cruz in November 1992 on the medical marijuana issue which found 78 percent of voters supporting marijuana's medical use.
8. Mark A.R. Kleiman, Against Excess, Basic Books, 1992; Mathea Falco, The Making of a Drug-Free America, Times Books, 1992, Peter Reuter, "Hawks Ascendant: The Punitive Trend of American Drug Policy," Daedalus, Summer 1992; P.A. O'Hare, R. Newcombe, A. Matthews, E.C. Buning and E. Drucker, eds., The Reduction of Drug-Related Harm, Routledge, 1992; Arnold S. Trebach and Kevin B. Zeese, Drug Prohibition and the Conscience of Nations, The Drug Policy Foundation, 1990.
9. Marc Mauer, "Americans Behind Bars: One Year Later," The Sentencing Project, 1990.
10. Special Report to the Congress: Mandatory Minimum Penalties in the Federal Criminal Justice System, U.S. Sentencing Commission, August 1991.
11. 21 U.S.C. Sec. 844
12. Because of mandatory minimums, the time served for violent offenses is almost the same as the time served for drug offenses, which are non-violent.
Average Length of Prison Sentences
Violent Offenses Drug Offenses
1985 135.4months 58.2months
1986 132 62.2
1987 126.2 67.8
1988 110.7 71.3
1989 90.6 74.9
1990 89.8 81.2
Bureau of Justice Statistics, Sourcebook of Criminal Justice Statistics: 1991 (Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1992), p. 506.
13. Drug Policy Foundation v. Martinez, formerly Drug Policy Foundation v. Bennett, No. 90-2278 FMS (Northern District of California)
14. This idea was suggested by Vernon E. Jordan Jr. in Al Kamen et al., "Clinton May Relocate the 'Drug Czar,'" Washington Post, Dec. 15, 1992, p. A21.
15. Ronald J. Ostrow, "Barr Urges Closing of Drug Control Office," Los Angeles Times, Dec. 16, 1992, p. 34.
1989 $3.5 Million
Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Drug Control Strategy: Budget Summary, January 1992, pp. 212-214.
Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Drug Control Strategy: Budget Summary, January 1992, pp. 212-214.
18. Drug Enforcement Top Priority for FBI under Sessions,~ Drug Law Report, Vol . 1, No. 30, November/ December 1987, p. 359, Kevin Zeese, editor.
19. Drug Treatment: Despite New Strategy, Few Federal Inmates Receive Treatment," General Accounting Office, September 1991; "Drug Treatment: State Prisons Face Challenges in Providing Services," General Accounting Office, September 1991.
20. Studies of six methadone programs in Baltimore, New York and Philadelphia in 1986 found that addicts in treatment longer than six months reported committing crimes an average of 24 days a year, compared with 307 days a year when addicted to heroin. In addition, methadone patients are more frequently employed and pursuing education than are heroin addicts. Falco, The Making of a Drug-Free America, pp. 126-127 (1992). See also, the Effectiveness of Drug Abuse Treatment: Implications for Controlling AIDS/HIV Infection," Background Paper No. 6 (Washington, D.C.: Office of Technology Assessment, U.S. Congress, September 1990) pp. 67-77.
21. Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Drug Control Strategy: Budget Summary, January 1992.
22. The Bush Drug War Record, The Drug Policy Foundation, Sept. 5, 1992.
23. Projections for U.S. Corrections, U.S. Department of Justice, July 15, 1991.
24. Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Drug Control Strategy: Budget Summary, January 1992.
24.1. Centers for Disease Control, HIV/AIDS Surveillance Report, January 1990, January 1992, p. 9.
25. Currently the Drug Policy Foundation, the Physicians Association for AIDS Care, the National Lymphoma Foundation, the Alliance for Cannabis Therapeutics and the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws have litigation pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit challenging Mr. Bonner's decision. DPF v. DEA, No. 92-1179 (D.C. Cir.); ACT u. DEA, No. 92-1168, D.C. Cir.). The parties would be willing to withdraw this litigation if DEA agreed to reschedule marijuana.
26. DOD Drug Enforcement Budget
1981 $0 million
Source: Office of National Drug Control Policy, National Drug Control Strategy: Budget Summary, January 1992, pp. 212-214.