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3 Short Cong. Record articles re: Drug Legalization
[Note: It is alleged Rep. Solomon has a serious drinking problem]

in the House of Representatives

Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, I would like to bring attention to the truth about proposed legalization-decriminalization policies. Members have recently heard from the CATO Institute announcing a policy forum questioning the usefulness of continuing 'the unwinnable war' on drugs. This forum is clearly just a thinly-veiled attempt to legitimize CATO's own prolegalization position.

However, what CATO refuses to publicly acknowledge are the devastating results of legalization-decriminalization policy, as evidenced in the Netherlands, where such a policy has been in place since the early 1980's. The president of the Dutch National Committee on Drug Prevention, K.F. Gunning, M.D., reports that crime and drug use have skyrocketed since the implementation of legalization in the Netherlands. According to the Dutch Government, their legalization-decriminalization has resulted in: A 250-percent increase in drug use since 1993; a doubling of marijuana use by students since 1988; armed robberies up by 70 percent; shootings up by 40 percent; car thefts up by 60 percent.

The number of registered addicts in the Netherlands has risen 22 percent in the past 5 years, and there were 25,000 new addicts in 1993 alone. In addition, the number of organized crime groups in the Netherlands has increased from 3 in 1988 to 93 in 1993. For good reason, the American public has zero tolerance for legalization schemes.

Mr. Speaker, drug legalization has clearly been a disastrous mistake for the Netherlands. If organizations like CATO achieve their goals, drug legalization will worsen the crime and drug problem in America as well.


Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, in a June 21, information release the Drug Enforcement Administration [DEA] denounced a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA] which advocated the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Thomas Constantine, administrator of the DEA, stated:

I am very concerned about the JAMA commentary that advocates the medical use of marijuana . Marijuana is listed as Schedule I under the Controlled Substance Act because it has a high potential for abuse and no currently accepted medical use.

There is very little evidence of positive medicinal uses of marijuana . According to Constantine, organizations such as the American Glaucoma Society have expressed 'concern over the harmful effects of marijuana and the lack of solid research demonstrating that its use would do more good than harm.' And this is not due to lack of research. Since 1971, the DEA has registered 1,605 applicants as qualified to do research with marijuana .

With the drug problem growing at tremendous rates, we must not legitimize marijuana by using it in our hospitals. As Constantine states:

At a time when drug use represents a major threat to our society, in particular our youth, it is extremely important to rely upon sound medical studies rather than anecdotal information to determine the proper place of marijuana under the Controlled Substances Act.


Mr. SOLOMON. Mr. Speaker, for the remainder of this Congressional session I intend to offer several amendments prohibiting Federal funds from being used for any study or research on the legalization of drugs. These votes will serve to put the House on record in opposition to drug legalization. The U.S. Congress, In An Overwhelmingly Vote, Going To Oppose The Legalization Of Drugs.

Those who support legalization would have us believe that we ought to decriminalize drugs because we have lost the war on drugs. We are not losing this war.

The truth is that during the Reagan-Bush years drug use dropped, from 24 million in 1979 to 11 million in 1992. Unfortunately, those hard fought gains have been wasted. Under President Clinton's watch this trend has been reversed and drug use is again increasing.

The only lasting legacy of the Clinton Presidency will be a dramatic increase in the use of illegal drugs and the consequences of escalating violence and misery associated with them.

As a country, we have never really waged an all out war on drugs. It is time we declared such a war and I am pleased the Speaker is talking about altering the rules of engagement.

He should start this campaign by pulling the tax free status from organizations which are encouraging young people to take drugs. Organizations like the Drug Policy Foundation, whole sole purpose is to lobby for the legalization of dangerous drugs operates under a tax free status.

In other words, America's parents who are struggling to make ends meet and trying their best to raise their children drug free, are required to pay extra taxes to subsidize the Drug Policy Foundation.

Listen to what the Partnership for a Drug Free America says about teenagers' views on drugs:

Most recent trends among teens indicate a reversal in the attitudes that distinguish non-users from users--perception of risk and social disapproval--and the consequences are an increase in the use of marijuana, LSD, and cocaine.

But even this administration is now opposed to legalizing drugs. In a recent speech entitled 'Why the U.S. Will Never Legalize Drugs', our Nation's Drug Czar, Lee Brown called drug legalization the moral equivalent of genocide.

Listen carefully to his words,

When we look at the plight of many of our youth today, especially African American males, I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that legalizing drugs would be the moral equivalent of genocide.

Legalizing addictive, mind altering drugs legal is an invitation to disaster for communities, that are already under siege. Making drugs more readily available would only propel more individuals into a life of crime and violence.

Contrary to what the legalization proponents say, profit is not the only reason for the high rates of violence associated with the drug trade . . . drugs are illegal because they are harmful, to both body and mind.

Those who can least afford further hardship in their lives would be much worse off if drugs were legalized. Without it laws that make the laws that make drug use illegal, we would easily have three times as many Americans using cocaine and crack.

According to the Drug Czar, legalization would create three times as many drug users and addicts in this country. And what does this translate to on the streets? It means hundreds of thousands of additional newborns addicted to drugs.

According to the Partnership for a Drug Free America, 1 out of ever 10 babies in the U.S. is born addicted to drugs. I guess the advocates of legalization must not think this percentage is high enough

I challenge anyone in this chamber to go down the street and tell the nurses at D.C. General, who care for these children, that we need to legalize drugs. You will end up with a black eye! And here is another shocking fact * * * today in America over 11 percent of pregnant women use an illegal drug during pregnancy, including heroin, PCP, marijuana , and most commonly, crack cocaine. A sure fire way to worsen this problem would be to legalize drugs.

According to a recent University of Michigan study of 50,000 high school students, drug use is up in all grades. Drug use is up among all students for crack, cocaine, heroin, stimulants, LSD, and marijuana.

Increased drug use also contributes to domestic violence. In fact, drug use is a factor in half of all family violence, most of it directed against women, And over 30 percent of all child abuse cases involve a parent using illegal drugs. Legalizing drugs will mean more violence against women and children.

And look at the problem with education in this country. The dropout rate in the United States is over 25 percent, and 50 percent in the major cities. A recent study of 11th graders showed that over half of the drug users dropped out--twice the rate of those drug-free. Drugs rob kids of their motivation and self-esteem, leaving them unable to concentrate and indifferent to learning. Millions of these kids end up on welfare or in prison.

Drug abuse in the workplace, crack babies, welfare, high dropout rates, escalating health care costs, crack babies * *

Could it get any worse? If we legalized drug it would get much worse.

These problems are all interrelated but the common denominator is drug abuse. Legalizing drugs would be to say that all of this is acceptable * * * it is not acceptable.

My amendments will send a strong and long overdue message to the young people in this country, that under no circumstances is the U.S. Congress ever going to legalize drugs.

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