Drug Legalization Hearing 2
Or if not acted upon would lead the public to be extremely frustrated that the bill had been enacted the laws were there and you weren't doing anything. So I think that you have to work between these two areas. But we've had the death penalty before having it. As I said no one died but it was added as sort of almost a public relations aspect. But we did have a for a kidnapping of course as you know the effect that the Limburg. I just my friend a drug I don't mean thank you very much. You're right doctor. We've been joined by Mr Oxley a member of this committee has made outstanding contribution on the House floor as well as to select an ecology committee missed Oxley's a former FBI agent and we welcome you. Why thank you Mr. Chairman. Doctor if you were to believe the testimony from some yesterday particularly America's Mocha Baltimore that we've indeed lost the war on drugs. Then if we were to even accept that as a fact. Does his prescription legalization
win us the war on drugs and if so how does it do it. Well my my problem with as I understand Mayor Schmoke proposal to have everything carefully controlled and you go to doctors or people make these decisions. This has almost no relationship to the actual drug user. One of the problems we face. I went over to Amsterdam twice to look into the legal needle business. And how they handle things. And I was very struck by. The extreme difficulty of reaching out to people who have these drug problems and especially in the United States. These are people who will not come near any organization much less a doctor who's going to write a prescription for them. And it's extremely difficult to reach them and it would only deal with a very small number of people. I believe that any time you put a hurdle if you want to legalize drugs you don't have to make them as available as if they were in supermarkets because any hurdle that you put
is going to simply create a black market instantly because there are people who will not go to a doctor to get a prescription or something like this who will not get involved with some sort of bureaucratic organization. So I see the idea that you're going to set up some kind of a clinic system like this as being not related to the people who are having the serious drug problems in the inner city so I don't see how it would work myself. I'm with you on out as well. We had some real problems following that yesterday. There's a lot of discussion also about the difference between alcohol and drugs and those who say alcohol is indeed a drug may very well be correct. But you pointed out that there is a certain degree of a public acceptance of alcohol vse of the hard drugs. Seems to me that at least from the alcohol standpoint that you can use alcohol with it with moderation with little or no damage to one's body or to others.
It seems to me quite a different story as it relates to hard drugs you agree with that premise. Well yes in general that depends on what you define as a hard drug. But I do believe alcohol is a drug I mean there's no way around it. It is a it is a drug but it's one in which we have come and many of our cultures in America to accept as an ordinary every day thing. And I think that although I see increasing signs of turning against alcohol and if I were to make a guess I would say that alcohol in the next decade or so is going to go under a lot of scrutiny. In in the United States as it has been already for the labeling and fetal alcohol syndrome and so on. So I think there's this concern about alcohol. But my point about alcohol is not that it cannot cause some difficulties. It is that it is some it is an impractical to prohibition to prohibit something which has achieved a cultural status in our country and we've tried it twice not just once. We did it earlier in the 19th century
and I think that the evidence on this is pretty straightforward. Well if I could follow that up it seems to me that in the relation of alcohol versus say cocaine or heroin the evidence is rather clear that one can use alcohol in moderation but at least to me there's some question whether one can use cocaine or crack derivative or heroin in moderation it seems to me that it really begs the question when you're talking about the effect that those drugs have. Yes yes. Cocaine and particular. It is a substance which the more you use I don't see any future for a maintenance of cocaine. I mean I don't I don't. That seems a very strange thing we could do that only makes you more twisted in your thinking and more liable to difficulties the more you take the idea that you would simply maintain someone on it. It seems to me to be very peculiar. There was an attempt when we were attacked trying maintenance around World War 1 to maintain people on cocaine and several places and they all dropped
it it just was simply not a workable thing. Although they continued with some morphine maintenance in these areas. What about tobacco. Does that present a more difficult argument for you if there was some discussion yesterday about tobacco and I'm thinking versus drugs. I wonder what your opinion is on this but I'm trying to do is to try to discuss the dynamics of why we control things and what is our experience has been. And with regard to tobacco I believe that in American society in a sense tobacco has undergone that crucial shift from being seen as something which is really essentially harmless or sort of like a beverage to being something that is seen as extremely dangerous and any amount. And so I would say that tobacco has made this transition. And I see that and I anticipate further restrictions on tobacco in the future. Dr. mustard one last question. Have you seen any evidence that the highly
publicized deaths of athletes like Len Bias and entertainers like John Belushi have had any effect on shocking young people into staying away from drugs is there any evidence to that's a very interesting question because I look upon some event like that almost like like an experiment like you're taking the temperature of the public. And if you go back to the early 70s and when some of the rock stars died of heroin or whatever. It didn't seem to have any remarkable effect. It was interpreted as being they got the bad stuff or they used too much or something like that. But as we have changed our attitude toward drugs and these people have died like Len Bias. More recently it's been interpreted as being there you are there. That's what cocaine will do for you. So in a way our reaction to bias and to the football player who died and to John Belushi has been to confirm this new attitude toward cocaine that is bad in itself. And if you go back and look at famous deaths in one thousand seventy or 69 you'll see they were explained
away as being an accident. And so I think that what these deaths do is they tell us where the public is with regard to their attitude toward cocaine and it has become extraordinarily negative toward it. And as I say that's the groundwork for a reduction in demand. Thank you. Thank Mr. I'd like to recognize Mr. Garcia of New York a strong supporter of this like the kind of committee I would just before him and I'll be very brief. But I have a statement with your permission I'd like to enter it into the record as part of this hearing. Thank you. I would just like to say to you Doctor that back in 1967 68 as a young state senator. I received a grant and I went over to England to meet with some of the people who were there. And I remember sitting in the clinic and sitting and watching people shoot up and and I was I was amazed by it because prior to that the only time I ever saw people shoot up on rooftops and in areas like
mind. And I one of the things that came out of it for me was as I sat and I talked to these young people each one of them without fail said to me I want to get off I want to get off. And it seemed to me that the English program as it was then and it was it wasn't so much against the doctors as against the chemists the chemists were finding themselves in all sorts of trouble with prescriptions and and giving out these prescriptions and being brought in by the Home Office and the lawyers law enforcement agencies over there. So here we were treating the people who quote under a legalized system and yet they themselves wanted no part of it. So it just seems to me that the advocates who have been who have been pushing for the question of legalization should understand that as far as I'm concerned from the from that little experience that I had back in 1968. That didn't serve anybody's purpose including the attics they were the first ones to say they
really wanted no part of it. So I'm I was I think my colleague Frank who are really from New Jersey said that this is very interesting testimony and I would I would agree with him on that. I guess it's more of a statement that taking advantage of this this moment that I have with your doctor. The second part of it is is that there's no question I represent the South Bronx. There's just no question that the problem is a major problem today the profit motive is high it's there it's real. But it just seems to me that whether we have the methadone clinics which are quite a few in my district all we have these young people selling crack on a corner. The real problem is as far as I'm concerned it's not really the legalize. The bottom line is to try and our absolute best to educate and to make certain that our young people understand the perils and that's why I think these hearings really been super because we've heard a great deal of conversation about legalization as opposed to
as opposed to the present system that we have now. And I don't think there's any easy solution but I do know that the solution is not really come about by by just opening the floodgates that are just too many young people I think who would fall into that. And so I just want you to know that I'm deeply appreciative. Your testimony and I enjoyed it very much. Thank you. Thank you Mr. Chairman Mr. Schorr you ever New York. Mr. Chairman. We've all enjoyed and appreciated your testimony and learn from it. Doctor Most of you said in passing we ought to do more to mobilize the ghetto. As I recall something like that. Can you give us the specifics obviously and the. Leadership that we can get from the ghetto would be far more valuable than a bunch of us from other communities and other backgrounds sitting around and moralizing how do we mobilize a community of the ghetto how do we use that as the most powerful tool
for getting these young kids off of addiction. You know I want. See if Mr. Wrangler agrees with me on this but I think there is leadership in the inner city. I think you've seen it here in Washington where neighborhoods have demanded and pleaded for help against to free up their neighborhoods their playgrounds where we've had other groups like the Muslims come in and try to clean things up with my following at the Post and The Times seems to me there's been substantial help. Now if you have a community that is pleading for help and someone goes in and helps them this is a wonderful thing. You have a pleading going on and you've got to respond to them. It's this happening in New York City also it's just in can it's inexplicable that you could have had people pleading for some sort of law enforcement in these areas to get people out of these places and they have to bring in some non law enforcement agency or group in order to help and it helps. And it seems to me that there should be no
shortage of locating people who want support. It would seem to me a tragedy if these people in the inner city who are pleading for help for their families and for their kids were to be left adrift and told just fend for yourself we're not going to do anything and I think there's plenty to be done to help them right here in Washington. And I think also in New York City I don't think there's a shortage of people who are asking for organization and help and it's happening in various parts of New York City too but it much more has to be done. And. Just to abandon them is it's a tragedy that reminds you of the thirties and World War 2 abandonment. It would be obscene to see the tens of thousands of homeless people all those who crammed into welfare hotels or even to take a look in to see how our jails of pre-spring with people for us to come in and decide that before we can deal with
rehabilitation providing skills providing homes that our government. Has decided to embark on a program not to give skills not to give hopes not to give jobs not to give homes but we have decided. And to me it's a very political question a very serious political question that for this particular group we have decided to pay for narcotics and to get Doc to stop business so we can't get the take care of common colds you monia. Serious health problems that people in poor communities have. We don't have the neighborhood clinics we don't have the staffs of the public hospitals. We don't have care for everyone who needs it but we have decided that we will underwrite a program to provide legal drugs. I know that a lot of people who think this way do not discuss this on the high moral grounds as Mr. Scheuer but I know that there are certain people that
believe that if these people can be contained which is stupid. That we can move on and deal with the problems of the none addict population and the tragedy is that there's so many people without hope that drugs is the only way that they think that they can survive. That's right without education or job opportunities they lack two of the important reasons why middle class Americans are reducing their drug use. If you don't have a job. Drugs can interfere with your showing up at 8 o'clock in the morning and. And if you're not given up on education or the education is inadequate you won't stop using drugs so you can graduate. I mean the reason is the middle class which is always the first group in our society to stop using drugs because they interfere with the achieving goals is the very reason why you have a problem in the inner city if you leave it alone it will just continue on and it will not resolve and it's it's that's the thing that worries me is that we're going to write off the inner city. So there are a bunch of drug users and not
realize that the reasons the middle class are stopping are reasons that we ought to offer and make possible for people in the inner city. And it isn't just a matter of arresting people it's a matter of providing hope and some goal because drugs mainly are stopped because they interfere with your personal life and the goals you're trying to achieve if you have nothing to work for you have no reason to stop using the drugs. And I think we will be in touch with you. We have agreed that rather than having the television rights of a group of us sort to get together or exchange ideas and as long as other people are looking for new alternatives and I'm not talking about this pence in this poison in a legal way we hope that we can have a discussion your testimony has really made an outstanding contribution and as I promise to you it will be distributed to all of the members thank you very much thank you very much. The next panel would be two panels. I don't know whether they had invited because of their thinking but we will we will
have Dale Massey professor of the University of Maryland School of Social Work and Community Planning David Boies from Cato Institute which. I didn't see return. You know back. During a break here in the testimony a reminder that you're watching Maryland Public Television's gavel to gavel coverage of the House Select Committee on narcotics hearings on drug legalization which will continue in 30 seconds. Sitting on the other side is Dr. Brown from Holland hospital been able to get here yet. Well we're expecting at some point Dr. Lawrence Brown but if he's not here. Dr. Brown is here. Would you come right up Dr. Ray and Gloria would feel a little drug problems are they with us
and pull more development director of Newman's Own. Just briefly while we're changing panels there are there are two panels yet to go today the committee. Went long and hard yesterday. Taking barely a half hour break at lunch time until 6 o'clock last night unusually long day for this panel they're hoping to wrap things up with with one morning session today there are 1 2 3 4 5 6 7. People left to testify or eight people left in two panels. We're anticipating another two to three hours of testimony. Let's go back inside. Separation of people that have a question of her rather than wait to both panels will will will yield to that why don't you start professor and I says to her like I can stay I've been able to make some arrangements so I'll try to stay as long as I can. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Committee members and those assembled. Thank you for inviting me to testify today on this important issue. I
shall address the question only from my area of expertise namely the workplace. I shall provide some facts and several examples about drug abuse in the workplace showing why the workplace cannot afford legalization of illicit drugs. I will then submit recommendations for solutions to the committee. For your information from 1979 to 84 I developed and directed the model Federal Employee Assistance Program from the office of the secretary at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. I am presently a professor at the University of Maryland specializing in teaching and evaluating programs for a variety of employers including national corporations federal agencies and small businesses. I think it's very important because I think most of the speakers I have heard all of the testimony Mr. Chairman and it seems to me that most all of the testimony has addressed very often the youth and looking at drugs is associated with youth. And I think that I would want to emphasize the fact that
adults are also taking these drugs both legal and illicit. Facts in previous testimony before this committee in September of 1984 I stated that I had seen a dramatic need for an increase in drug programs in industry as evidenced by the cases which I shall describe today there is an even greater need for more programs. It is critical to first recognize a few facts first. A majority of legal and illicit drug abusers are in the workplace. These are employed people. It is a mistake to see this only as a problem of the young. Second alcohol legal drug is the primary drug of abuse in the workplace. Third prescription drugs also legal drugs are the second largest group of drugs abused by the American worker. For the most recent night a survey tells us that 19 to 25 year olds are the most frequent users of cocaine with 25
to 35 year olds being the second most frequent user group not the young teenager. Legalize it and it will outdistance the former two drugs. The workplace bears the effects as well as the cost of drug abuse by paying escalating health insurance bills. Many of the nation's costliest industrial problems which result from drug abuse are increasing tremendously absenteeism excessive sick leave accidents rising health benefit claims and increased worker's compensation claims which we now pay for work stress which is often associated with drug addiction. Legalization will not stop these cost to industry it will increase them. The workplace is being forced to address the issue head on. They can't wait. We've got to move. Companies are investing in APC's drug testing and whatever else our experts recommend. The following cases typically represent employees with addiction problems in the American workplace throughout each of the states in our country. They are real life examples taken from my consulting
work. I have seen hundreds of such cases. Legalisation will cause more of the same resulting in an impossible situation for American business. First a subway maintenance worker self referred in seeking help for alcohol and cocaine problems which culminated in the break up of his 15 year marriage. He stated that he did not want to live and wanted to kill a supervisor. Second an air traffic controller self-refer because he had been arrested for a felony and public intoxication charge. There have been continuous problems with the law on personal finances. The employee's roommate was a cocaine user which resulted in violent arguments. Third a data processor who was referred by her supervisor for poor job performance revealed during counseling that she had to care for her grandchildren because her daughter had become a cocaine addict. The daughter goes on rampage is threatening to kill her and the children has become impossible for her to work. Solutions to a CI a drug free workplace. I am advocating a program integration model for the workplace. Human Resources is the center and
driving force and coordinating the drug policy. Drug testing security legal medical and unions towards the common goal. Companies must educate people to the dangers of drugs as we have done with tobacco. Recent studies by cooking her rail reveal that few companies even with health promotion program stressed drug education. The IBM Corporation stands as an outstanding example with the drug and alcohol education program which is offered to all employees and family members throughout the country. Substantive training programs for mental health professionals who staffed these programs are needed immediately I think this information is really going to surprise the committee. It seems unbelievable that schools of medicine social work and psychology really today require a course in alcohol or drug addiction. Today there are fewer schools of psychology that require a course in drug addiction than they did in 1950. Even the Council on social work
education the accrediting board for schools of social work today does not require a single course in addiction for the master's in social work candidates. All managers and supervisors need training in alcohol and drug abuse. We need the concentrate on reaching drug and alcohol abuse employees early. There must be new funds for meaningful treatment especially for outpatient programs at Health and Human Services we funded with Blue Cross the outpatient model for treating drug addiction at the work site of federal employees right down the street here at 200 Independence Avenue in the evening. We had treatment going on interrupt in order to make certain that we can. OK I untie a panel. And people do have time problems and they make sign to members. I'm going to have to ask you what you could and your testimony and you'll be given ample opportunity during questioning sure and it's the thought that you have. Thank you very much I would just sum up to say that the workplace carries a large part of the
burden of drug abuse and we don't want to see this burden increased. Thank you for your understanding of our problem. On the other side of this panel we have Dr. Lawrence Brown a clinical instructed to park in a Madison Harlem Hospital and also associated with the surgeons of Columbia University. Dr. Brown welcome your testimony. Thank you. I have let me offer my sincerest gratitude for the opportunity to talk with you about an issue that you no doubt know effects. I had a large portion of health care providers and their home community. When I consider discussions of legalization it seems to me that at least these are stimulated by two different areas one the mounting evidence that the current response of American society drug abuse is shamefully inadequate and the second is the hypothesis that legalization represents a reasonable alternative to the current American response to drug addiction. Addressing these facts separately I'm going to limit my responses actually to medical issues even
though I'm not because the fact that they are necessarily the most critical issues although you would find it difficult for if have a hearing a physician to say that health care is not one of the most priorities in this country's considerations but rather because there probably are going to be other individual can address those areas more capably than I can from the public health perspective. One can either address our policies in drug addiction from the standpoint of the number of people who consume drugs or the consequences that we see as a result of those who use them. Using the first one I think that even there and our. Professionals at the national drug abuse are still themselves somewhat stymied by and ability to be able to predict how many people are actually using illicit drugs and part that's because many of their databases are actually feed by the fact that they've been unutilized for a number of years. The other issue from the standpoint of what we see at Harlem Hospital is a continuing parade
of patients that come and try hospitals for cancer heart disease meningitis kidney failure and fact when we look at the persons who are admitted for kidney failure and needing dialysis one of the most common diagnosis is a history of drug abuse. It seems to me that from at least those two parameters that our response that is directed at legalization does not really address the problems that we have in this country. Looking at some of those problems I think that part of the problem is the fact that our approach to drug addiction it still seems that we're looking at it more as a stigma and sort of the public health problem that it truly is. We see that as evidenced by the structure of our response where drug abuse authorities are outside of the framework of public health authorities. And New York State and many other states across this country. Now if drug abuse is nothing else it is a clear public health problem that needs to be addressed at least. And those frameworks. I also like to in fact echo the words of Dr.
Massey I find it ridiculous that and this day and age that we still have a paucity of formal as well as post-graduate training that is directed at drug abuse. It should be in fact the role of this country to try to encourage our professional schools I'll help professional schools to include that in the curriculum and include that in their training posts. Graduation. The only areas that deal with the response to drug abuse is the fact that when we look at. Treatment facilities they still continue to be second class facilities. How can we truly expect to have a reasonable response to drug abuse if in fact what we do is we allocate the least attractive facilities for all patients who are addicted to these drugs of abuse. It seems that while there are number of people who are talking about the expansion of treatment I just want to emphasize to the committee that from the standpoint of this position the expansion
cannot be just in quantity but has to be also in quality. We have to be able delivered by full range of services including primary health care services. It seems to me that while we have access to this patient population we can do a lot more in providing preventive care that has its benefits far beyond the drug abuser himself. One particular example that is tuberculosis we have recognized over the last decade that the previously falling trend in a number of cases of tuberculosis has been reversed that reversal has occurred coincidently with the increase in HIV infection. These are the same persons who are likely to be have HIV infection and are likely to come down with tuberculosis or persons who are addicted to illicit drugs. It seems then that if we are going to do anything even if the best interests persons who do not even use drugs. It is important that we make a effective response to deal with all the ramifications of drug abuse.
What I think that is particularly important is that this country must develop a policy that considers drug abuse in the same vein that it considers other major health problems such as diabetes heart disease and hypertension or truly drug abuse is probably going to be chronic in the lives of these patients who are afflicted. This means encouragement of health professionals schools to add drug addiction and the curriculum encourage one of states to include their drug abuse authority within the structure of the public health authorities and the inclusion of the prevalence of drug abuse as a health status indicator and a health care plan. It seems ridiculous that in this state of that we're in that in New York City and particularly Harlem that the number of sites for National Service Corps has actually decreased. How are we expected to be able to respond to this growing dilemma and fact in a hollow It's been an issue for a long time. And closing
these discussions on legalization of drugs provides this country with an ex an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the federal drug policy. It is my considered opinion that these discussions will far exceed their potential. If we also use them as the opportunity to reassess federal drug abuse policy and make bold steps to chart a course that will surely target those factors that promulgated the spread of drug abuse and that will truly enhance the ability of health care providers like many of us at home to provide the medical care that person suffering from this disease of addiction and drug abuse related complications. Thank you. Thank you Dr. David Bellos Cato Institute. Thank you Mr. Chairman. I'd like to thank you and the select committee for holding these hearings I think it's high time we had a full national date on what I think is the failure of our current drug policy and possible alternatives. My argument today is very simple. Alcohol didn't cause the high crime rates of the 1920s prohibition dead. And drugs don't cause today's urban crime rate. Drug prohibition
does. What are the effects of prohibition specifically drug prohibition. The first one is crime. Drug laws drive up the price of drugs and force users to commit crimes to pay for a habit that would be easily affordable if it was legal. Some drug prices may be a hundred times higher because of prohibition. Some experts estimate that at least half of the violent crime in major U.S. cities is a result of drug prohibition and policemen would tell you the same thing if they were free to speak out. The most dramatic drug related crimes in our cities of course are the bloody shootouts between dealers. These are also a result of the drug laws. We don't see shootouts between rival liquor dealers but drug dealers have no way to settle their differences. They have no recourse but violence because they can't go to the courts they can't use the legitimate ways of settling differences. The second effect of prohibition is corruption. Prohibition raises prices which leads to extraordinary profits which are an irresistible temptation to policemen customs officers and so on.
When briefcases full of cash are casually offered to policeman making $35000 a year we should be shocked not that there are some Miami policeman on the take but that there are some Miami policemen not on the take. A third effect of prohibition and one that I think is widely overlooked is bringing buyers into contact with criminals. If you buy alcohol because it's legal if you don't have to deal with criminals. But when you buy drugs you're often dealing with criminals real criminal types. One of the strongest arguments for legalisation is to divorce the process of using drugs especially among young people from the process of getting involved in this criminal culture. A fourth effect of prohibition is the creation of stronger drugs. Richard Cowen has identified what he calls the iron law of prohibition. The more intense the law enforcement the more potent the drugs will become crack for instance is almost entirely a product of prohibition. It probably would not exist if drugs had been legal for the last 20 years.
Crack is a result of prohibition not an example of what legalization would me a fifth effect of prohibition is civil liberties abuses. When you try to stop people from voluntarily engaging in a peaceful activity you are almost certain to run into civil liberties problems in trying to enforce that law. The six the fact and I won't necessarily say the final effect of prohibition is futility. The drug war simply isn't working. Some say that much of today's support for legalisation is merely a sign of frustration. Well frustration is a rational response to futility. If a government is involved in a war and it isn't winning it has two basic choices. One is to escalate and we've heard proposals to get the military involved to make massive arrests of users to strip search tourists returning to the United States to seize cars and boats on the mayor allegation of drug possession. I think the more sensible response is to decriminalize to de-escalate to realize that trying to wage
war not on chemical substances but on 23 million Americans is not going to be any more successful than prohibition was in the 1920s. It's counterproductive. To decriminalize is not to endorse drug use not to recommend drugs. It is merely to recognize that the cost of this war billions of taxpayer dollars runaway crime rates the creation of criminal institutions and civil liberties abuses is too high. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Thank you Mr. Schorr has to leave but when I make a unanimous consent request Mr. Chairman Yes I would like you know on its consent request that all members of the committee be enabled and this is the same and I was a consent request I made yesterday being able to direct further questions at the at the various witnesses in writing and that the record be held open for perhaps two weeks to enable the witnesses to submit answers. We
have an enormous number of highly talented witnesses and with five minutes per member to address questions to tend with this it is really impossible to do it. I think it's this hearing has been a marvelous contribution to the discourse and that it would help if we could address individual questions individual members would be a major part of the no objection. And I hope the General might consider staying just for five more minutes as we listen to two former addicts rather bray and Gloria Whitfield who suffered the pains of being addicted to drugs and having their family affected by it and I'd only. We're able to find recovery but have dedicated their lives and in helping other people and so to the Whitfield's you more than any of the witnesses we have had in two days the basic question is not only for you and your family but for those that you're trying to help. Do you see any sense at all in making drugs available to these people.
Only a number of some phone companies have a tremendous amount of stock of them that you may proceed with your testimony if you don't mind it my for my website. I yield to Mrs. Whitfield. Thank you Mr. Chairman. Members of this committee and interested persons. I'm employed with Rehabilitation Services Administration for the District of Columbia and the capacity of vocational rehabilitation specialist Rehabilitation Services Administration provide services to handicapped and disabled persons in an effort directed towards getting them back into the workforce. My office is located in the drug and alcohol abuse section of rehabilitation services. Drug addiction and alcoholism are considered disability under the codes and policies of Rehabilitation Services Administration and person suffering from such are entitled to certain services. My caseload of clients during a
fiscal year sometimes exceed two hundred persons from referral sources such as a DAS or what is the alcohol and drug abuse Services Administration. Halfway houses around the district hospitals Rapp incorporated and other treatment redeemed located in DC. In addition I receive walk and referrals. That is a person seeking rehabilitation services on their own initiative. The person seeking assistance are supposed to be drug free completed or currently in residential or outpatient treatment and ready for the vocational rehabilitation process. Drug addiction and alcoholism causes unpredictable behavior in individuals and as a result only a small percentage of my clients sucessful A complete the rehabilitation process. My training has afforded me the expertise of working with person suffering from many different types of disabilities. But
as a vocational rehabilitation specialist in the drug and alcohol abuse section I tremble to think what my caseload would be if drugs were legalized. Our government in America is often accused of fixing things that are not broken and or enhancing a problem rather than finding a viable solution to eliminate the problem. We all agree that drug abuse is a serious problem in our midst but how can anyone who has any insight or any perception on drug addiction believe that by legalizing drugs we would solve the problem of drug abuse. Or perhaps I'm naive in believing that the problem of drug abuse holds even the slightest interest to those persons who would push for legislation to legalize drugs. Perhaps the main interest is in taking the mega profit out of the sell of illicit drugs. Well to me that's the same as our government saying
Hell I want to piece of that action. Why it would make Uncle Sam the biggest dope pusher of all time. Is that not truly adding to our problem. Think about it. Drug use is killing generations of young Americans by destroying their minds. Their motivation to secede and their will. Addicts are motivated only towards achieving their next high. And drug addiction does not discriminate between my kids or your kids race or religion young or old rich or poor. Families are being destroyed generations of families are being destroyed and America is being weakened. Yet America is assisting in its own destruction. Every time we make a deal with or support in any way those countries whose main source of income comes from exporting cocaine and heroin. We are aiding and abetting in self destruction. Legalization of drugs would simply make the
demand for their product even more appealing to such countries. Our promise a catching hell trying to grow tobacco and collard greens. So where are we going to get the poppies and coca plants and cannabis needed to process heroin cocaine and marijuana. We would have to import. America would certainly become partners with Noriega in the distribution of drugs. The Golden Triangle would become superpowers and all of those other little countries whose gross national product is heroin and cocaine would suddenly have access to nuclear warheads. A broken exaggeration. Not really. Think about it. Where do we draw the line. Uppers and downers amphetamines and barbiturates can be found in most households of medicine cabinets. Drugs are already legal in this country and fraudulent prescriptions are big business. Yet some of our legislators will say To hell with it let's make it even easier for them to drop
off beam up and freak out. But keep in mind those all we're talking about. That they're talking about happens to be our future because America's future rests with our young legalization of drugs calls for forecasts of a very dim future. It would ensure America a future of space cadets that Nasser wouldn't touch. Nor would med school laws who Science and Technology aviation or any other institute of higher learning and achievement because drug addicts are detrimental to themselves and to others. And believe me I know drug addiction is a sickness in which there would not be enough hospitals in America to treat. If legalization existed then too. What drugs are we talking about legalizing heroin cocaine. What about PC PC. Maybe a little acid. Where would the line be drawn and why would it be drawn there. There are many people who fought like
hell against the head of legalizing reefer. Yet suddenly the thought of putting the real thing on the market isn't too far fetched. It is really frightening. Have we seriously looked at the long and short term ramifications of such a move. First of all doctors would be in demand like never before. Even though there is a shortage of doctors and not to mention nurses all across this country little clinics would spring up like liquor stores on every corner. Ready to distribute bricks prescriptions for poison the wine also we see every morning on corners in front of liquor stores waiting for them to open. What whole no comparison to the line of dope things that would be waiting outside of the little clinics and doctors offices on any given day hit the pike or take a fix and call me in the morning would be a routine response. Finally compared to the percentage of our population who abuse drugs only a small percentage are
as fortunate as I am to find the strength to prevail and overcome my addiction and to grow. For anyone to speak in favor of any legislation which would legalize this deadly poison and a false attempt to control the supply and demand shows a critical lack of perception and insight into the problem of drug abuse it further shows an insensitivity equal to those who currently controls the flow of drugs into this country. Legalization of drugs would be one more step towards perpetuation of evil influence over the people and stead of a more progressive step towards addressing the socio economic problems facing the people such as poverty lack of education lack of sufficient health care lack of adequate housing and poverty stricken communities which are a dumping grounds for drug dealers. All of these things which makes a person eager to Xscape the tranquil oblivion eager to Xscape
into the tranquil oblivion of drug abuse teen pregnancy child abuse incest and oh yes the very rich but very bored. Depression mental illness mental retardation I could go on and on not to address these conditions is certainly a sin against mankind but to add to these problems would be a sin against God because it would be an overt move towards destruction of mankind. Drug abuse weakens the mind and destroys the will of those who fall victim to it. America should wage a real war against drugs using any means necessary to prevent them from entering our ports and crossing our borders. Think about it. She continued It was a more eloquent statement. Let us now hear from Richard Carroll. Northern Virginia journalist.
Thank you Mr. Chairman. I was recommended for this hearing following my participation in the drug policy workshop in August of this year. As a student years back I tutored inmates in prison for drug offenses to help them receive their high school diplomas. I'm very sensitive to these things that were just discussed. As a journalist I've covered drug trials interviewed law enforcement officials and prosecutors examine the issue of urine testing and seen the daily impact of substance abuse on a growing suburban community. Although my views have evolved over 15 years of observation the policy paper submitted to this committee was formulated in direct response to Representative wrangles tough questions in my unabridged paper which I request of the chairman to be entered into the record. I have addressed in great detail regulation taxation and control of drugs. Let us soberly examine the possibility that a sensible and morally defensible approach to psychoactive substances must focus on legitimate distinctions based upon the intrinsic
pharmacology of each substance and the application of regulatory and fiscal mechanisms designed to protect the public health. As so eloquently said the war on drugs should be led by the surgeon general not the attorney general. I believe I share the goals of Representative wrangle and others and believe sincerely that current policy is highly counterproductive. Legalization What Representative Shore has called the L word is an emotionally charged word implying for many legitimization. My approach in fact is not across the board. Legalization indeed. I suggest that the more dangerous forms of illicit drugs remain prohibited to various degrees and that we focus on ways of making legally available less harmful forms of some substances. I also recommend restrictions on age advertising and points of distribution and in some instances rationing amount sold per person within a set period of time and brief. My
recommendations are merely a variation on the old theme of using both carrot and stick. The carrot would be a legalization of less harmful forms of certain currently illicit drugs in order to draw people away from more harmful substances. The stick would be retention of legal penalties on use and sale of other drugs and forms of drugs. Whenever the issue of legalizing any of the currently illicit drugs arises people point with fear to the high costs of alcohol legalization and the supposedly forgotten lesson that despite crime and violence public health improved dramatically during prohibition. There is however Mr. Chairman another even more dimly recalled lesson of the prohibition era. And that is that during the same period we in America were criminalizing alcohol to fight the negative health consequences of abuse. Great Britain was attacking the same problem through a combination of higher taxes rationing and limited hours of distribution. When the valse debt Act
was repealed in America it did not take long for alcohol abuse to rise once again and with it alcohol related health problems such as the residence of the liver. And Great Britain on the other hand alcohol related health problems declined steadily during our prohibition era and leveled off. They have remained relatively low ever since. Interestingly the most recent study on cirrhosis in the United States indicates a steady decline in the last decade. We are not sure exactly why but speculation centers on the general American trend toward exercise and health in the United States we have seen education leveling enforcement of restricted sales of tobacco to minors greatly cut tobacco use and related health problems. No prohibition is necessary and few think it advisable. Let us keep this evidence in mind when we consider regulation and control of illicit drugs. My recommendations are based on the concept of making regulatory distinctions between different drugs and forms of drugs and applying a
combination of fiscal and regulatory mechanisms to protect the public health with prohibition focused on keeping substances such as crack and PCP away from the public particularly children and on keeping clinically controlled drugs from being diverted. Law enforcement would finally have both a moral justification and a practical focus working in its favor. I would be happy to provide examples of my specific regulatory approaches to interested members. Thank you very much. Thank you. We've been joined by Robert Dornan of California member of the Select Committee we welcome you to suppression. Let us hear from Poole more development director of the Scott Newman Center. Thank you Chairman Rangel committee members chairman cochairman. My name is Paul Moore I'm with the Scott Newman Center. Since 1982 the center has been dedicated to preventing drug abuse through education. Our efforts
include media education and the development of prevention films drug prevention films school curricula and books aimed at young people and more and more also at their parents. Our center's headquarters is in Los Angeles and as an Angelino I'm intimately aware of how smog affects us. At its most benign it observes it obscures a clear view of reality at its worst. It is damaging to our health even to the point of death. The same can be said about the notion of legalization. The center is unequivocally opposed to the legalization of drugs. The more time we spend debating this polluted idea the more currency we give it and the greater risk we run of permanently damaging our society. Why are we not spending this time in the more constructive task of developing sound prevention treatment and rehabilitation policies. Well the answer of course
is the topic of legalization is media glamorous. You're not going to get this many cameras for a prevention meeting and makes for a facile sensationalized discussion on talk shows in op ed pages in news magazines. We as a society seem addicted to hype to miracle solutions that look good but don't work in arguing for the legalization of drugs. Proponents mistake effect for cause in their simplistic world view of crime and official corruption here and abroad seem to have been invented by illegal drugs. Only the magic word legalization or some form of decriminalization is needed for these problems just to suddenly disappear. Well do they really think the American public just fell off the turnip truck. Drugs drug abuse and associated crime are the ugly visible source of deep rooted problems in our society in our nation
and in our world. They are the chickens of neglect come home to roost. Drugs did not invent poverty broken homes and neither did drug prohibition invent poverty and broken homes. Gangs are unstable profiteering foreign governments drugs did not invent greed latchkey children nor the human desire for a quick fix and an easy out. Nor for that matter did drugs invent the general breakdown of moral and ethical values without drugs. These problems remain and remain to be resolved with legalized drugs. They become more insidious more intractable as society will have deemed one more set of poisons legally acceptable. There is a darker underlying current in the arguments for legalization that somehow if only we would let the ghettos somebody else have the drugs we assume that
they want their druggies won't be breaking into the homes in the apartments of the rest of us. We will have sanitize the problem. The facts are of course that drug use and abuse extend well beyond a ghetto somebody else. The suburban living rooms and backyards. Well even so the gold medal stand at the Olympics. Not only is such a thought immoral and irresponsible it except real suffering from drug use and abuse as a cost effective tradeoff for an imagined decrease in crime. We at the center do not believe in benign neglect. The center already deeply concerned about media influences is horrified at the possibility of sending a whole new set of mixed messages to our young people. Let's be honest with ourselves. Drugs already have a glamorous and sexy image. If we legalize then we won't be able
to know more than we've been able to keep alcohol and cigarettes out of the hands of our kids. We're not that smart as a government are not that smart as a people. If we legalize drugs our national efforts in the past decade which have resulted in a measurable effect decrease in drug consumption and more importantly a change in the attitudes of our young people. You know people throughout our country will suddenly be thrown away and one moment ultimately whether we legalize drugs or not is the litmus test for our society and its values. Will we abdicate our responsibility to our children because the going got tough. We must not let us instead get ourselves in gear. Thank you. Marvin Miller a member of the board of directors of Nome.
Thank you Mr. Chairman. I appreciate the intelligent and sanguine effort that this committee has made in the last day and a half to try and address this problem. Everybody agrees that drugs are a problem in our society and crack and heroin addiction are creating tremendous drains on our financial resources. As you have pointed out repeatedly Mr. Chairman has other members of this committee are aware and as the witnesses have said there is no funding for the educational and training programs that we should desperately need. And what are we doing with this underground economy we're letting it run rampant and letting it control the marketplace and letting it control purity. We're treating all drugs the same. They are not all the same and no one will agree that they are the same. Everyone agrees that they are different. People say that we need education and training but the first and foremost approach is to use law enforcement police jail cells arrest court time. We spend a combined state and federal budget of 10 billion
dollars a year fighting drugs. All of that amount most of it goes to marijuana possession. Of all drugs marijuana represents the largest number of arrests 40 percent. Of the remainder is spread out among all of the drugs combined. Of that 40 percent 93 percent are for simple marijuana possession. There are 50 million marijuana smokers in the United States today that are criminals simply because of their choice of back substance otherwise they are law abiding. They're productive. They pay taxes. What we are talking about here is an enormous waging of war on our American population. There are twenty eight hundred DEA agents FBI agents are not included in that number. Costumes are not included in that number. The local and state police forces and those local and county sheriff's departments all the prime law enforcement people in this country. We are not a government of national police we are a government where crime is controlled by local states. And that's where the biggest wars fought and that's where a lot of money and
coordination goes. And what we're doing is having this 10 billion dollar budget and 5 percent goes to education and training there's no national education program as you pointed out there's no national treatment program as you so well more aware. And there's no money for it either. The last bill that was passed a week or so ago was underfunded and the funding will likely not be there. Where's the money going to come from to deal with training treatment and education. Well I have a suggestion. We put together a bill to make marijuana regulated controlled availability as was pointed out by my colleague at this table in this panel. Mr. Carroll. When alcohol prohibition ended all the breaks were removed. And so the problem increased. In Britain they didn't remove the breaks they left the breaks when they left the brakes on in Great Britain the problem did not increase to the degree it did here. And the problem there is less marijuana is a different substance. It's a benign substance a DEA law administrative judge recently ruled after
considerable litigation that it is the most benign therapeutic substance known to man. It's not addictive it doesn't generate violence. What we're talking about here is change. Dare to question. We of all countries in the world have become great because we don't sit there on our hands and look at solutions we always question we always examine. We always look at old ideas and try and find new solutions. I'm suggesting a new solution. Let's not march like the Light Brigade and do what Margaret truckman would call our march of folly into a policy that law enforcement says does not stop drugs in our streets. Mr Keating and testifying before this committee when asked by Congressman Rangle in December of 87 whether or not all of these efforts had stopped one ounce less from hitting the streets answered you Mr Chairman with the truth. He said no it had not stopped one ounce less of hitting the streets. So let's not continue to march on a failed policy. Let's look at new ways. We can't legalize everything. That's true and that's reasonable. But why should
- Drug Legalization Hearing 2
- Producing Organization
- Maryland Public Television
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- Maryland Public Television (Owings Mills, Maryland)
- AAPB ID
Copyright Holder: MPT
Host: Durian, Dave
Producing Organization: Maryland Public Television
Speaker: Rangel, Charles B.
Speaker: Garcia, Robert, 1933-
Speaker: Moore, Paul
Speaker: Boaz, David
Speaker: Brown, Lawrence
Speaker: Oxley, Michael
Speaker: Masi, Dale
Speaker: Whitfield, Ray
Speaker: Whitfield, Gloria
Speaker: Karel, Richard
Speaker: Miller, Marvin
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Maryland Public Television
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- MLA: “Drug Legalization Hearing 2.” 1988-09-29. Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 18, 2022. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-394-91fj726c>.
- APA: Drug Legalization Hearing 2. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip-394-91fj726c