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the law as you have proposed them. I think some of your suggestions are excellent and I would like to follow through.
I would also appreciate copies of your suggested amendments.
(The information requested was not available to the committee at the time of printing.)
Mr. ROGERS. Your testimony has been most helpful. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. JARMAN. Mr. Nelsen.
Mr. NELSEN. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I wish to join my colleagues in expressing appreciation for the activity of your firm in the area of enforcement and related problems.
It seems to me that it has become a political habit around the Capitol to zero in on the industry and I have often had the feeling that the industry needs to bring to the public's attention what they are doing so that a proper image of their own research could result.
I note by your testimony that you have done just that, and, I think it is very helpful. I might add that in the area of law enforcement one of its very necessary aspects is to make the public aware of the dangers involved.
I am sure that many of our young people who become involved really are not aware of the danger and they should be aware of it. This will probably do more than the policemen can do.
Thank you very much.
Mr. FLETCHER. Thank you very much, Mr. Nelsen. I believe you are exactly a hundred percent on the mark. Many of our young people are not fully aware of the risk and the chances they are taking when they become involved with some of these drugs.
This must be the responsibility of all of us in not having provided that information before they had to make the decision.
Mr. NELSEN. Thank you very much.
Mr. JARMAN. Mr. Carter.
Mr. CARTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I certainly want to compliment you on your presentation.
It is pleasing to know of your interest in reducing the use of illicit drugs. Further, I agree with you that one of the main methods of attack upon the illicit use of drugs is by educating young people of
I think that is something which we must emphasize more and more and more.
Thank you, sir. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. FLETCHER. Thank you very much.
Mr. JARMAN. Mr. Hastings.
Mr. HASTINGS. I have just one question, Mr. Chairman.
I don't mean to put you on the spot, Mr. Fletcher, I appreciate your testimony very much. Dr. Goddard however made a suggestion, that he would advocate that a levee or tax at the manufacturer's level on legal drugs that are however subject to abuse might be one method that the Federal Government could raise and I think his figure again was $160 million to be utilized for the purpose of educational effort. Again I don't want to put you or your company on the spot. I would like to ask you, do you feel there is any merit at least in such a suggestion?
Mr. FLETCHER. Of course, this is a suggestion that we just heard. today. I believe Dr. Goddard, himself, spoke earlier about the dangers of simple solutions to complicated problems. This is one that we would really have to look at and study in some degree. I think we agree and in our statement said that we need more public education in the area of television on drug abuse.
I don't know how we would support that effort. I would hate to say yes or no to Dr. Goddard's sugegstion at the moment.
Mr. HASTINGS. I understand. I have no further questions, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. JARMAN. Thank you very much.
Mr. ROGERS (presiding). Thank you very much, Mr. Fletcher and Mr. David, we appreciate your being here. We would appreciate receiving the material we have asked for.
Our next and final witness is Mr. Neil L. Chayet, counsel for the Committee for Effective Drug Abuse Legislation and lecturer in legal medicine.
STATEMENT OF NEIL CHAYET, LECTURER IN LEGAL MEDICINE AT THE BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, TUFTS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, AND TUFTS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE
Mr. CHAYET. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ROGERS. We are delighted to have you here today, Mr. Chayet. We will be glad to file your statement for the record without objection, if you would, give us the highlights.
Mr. CHAYET. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I first began in this area defending many young people who were arrested and accused of crimes involving drug abuse. We are still struggling in my own State with the current penalty structure, for example, which punishes being in the presence of marihuana without even knowing it with a penalty of 5 years. To knowingly possess marihuana only carries three and a half. I have never been able to understand the reason behind the penalty which punishes presence without knowledge more harshly than actual possession.
Massachusetts law, like that of many States, discourages persons from seeking treatment. Within 72 hours the treating physician or hospital must report that person to the public health department which in turn must make the records available to the police agencies of the State or Federal Government.
If a person wants to do research with marihuana and he goes to the Federal Government and secures a tax stamp under the present law, he then finds that the Massachusetts law prohibits him from possessing marihuana for any reason, and finds it impossible to do the research which the Federal Government has allowed.
We had this problem in two research experiments and what I finally decided to do was to try to contact the commissioner of the Boston police, write to him, and request permission to do this research and inform him we were going to do it at a certain place and time and the university was going to do it at a certain place and time.
He wrote back thanking me for informing him about the research project, but did not give his permission.
We finally did get the assistant of the attorney general, who was at that time Elliot Richardson, who did say they would nolle prosse any conviction or any cases that were commenced against researchers. The present attorney general, Robert U. Quinn, has also cooperated in permitting a second research project.
This process takes many months, however. This is not the way to faciliate research with these substances which are being used by some millions of young people.
Some of these statements are the reasons that we were so glad to see that legislation was filed in the Congress and naturally our first concern was the penalty structure, because so many felons have been created throughout this country and we are now having problems with young people who have no other criminal record but do have felony convictions under narcotics laws.
I defended four dental students shortly before I came down and I am told if they are convicted for possession of LSD they will in all probability not be allowed to take the examination, either the national boards or the State boards.
Here are four careers placed in great jeopardy and while of course we might ask why did they get involved in this situation, I think we have to realize that person's careers are going on the line as a result of conviction for possession of these substances.
A person's right to vote, and to serve in the military service and many things which a person may want to do are in great jeopardy because of these laws. Therefore, we found it difficult to believe that the new legislation which was drafted by the administration and submitted to the Congress contained the original penalty structure just as it is used under the present law.
Again we are pleased that the penalty structure has been changed to a more realistic situation. However, there are certain things in the Senate passed bill and in H.R. 13743 which in many ways are even more deleterious to the system than the former penalty clauses because H.R. 13743 makes significant changes in the entire process of determining which substances shall be controlled.
My feeling is that this, and I should make it clear at this juncture, Mr. Chairman, that I do not speak for every member on the Committee for Effective Drug Abuse Legislation or for the universities whose faculties I serve. This is my own viewpoint but it is shared by many who have testified before you. I feel these health decisions, which have always been health decisions should remain with the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
It is a difficult battle to fight, particularly when I heard Mr. Creed Black state before the Subcommittee on Health of the Senate Labor and Public Welfare Committee testifying just prior to myself, that "we won all the points of the debate with the Department of Justice." I submit if that is true, there was something radically wrong with the debate. Mr. Finch, himself, said in Boston last Friday night, "We can live with the legislation."
It is difficult for me to understand how the head of the health organ of this Government can live with legislation which strips him. of the powers which he so badly needs to make certain that there is
meaningful scientific and medical input in the making of these decisions, rather than having only a weak advisory role in the decision of the attorney general which is final.
I submit that things are slightly reversed. The Attorney General should of course have an advisory role if there is a peculiar law enforcement problem but he should not have the final say with the key to the problem, with the medical and health aspects being relegated to an advisory position.
The second major problem of course is the criteria which are used in scheduling. When the Attorney General makes the decision as to which schedule, he takes into account things such as medical usefulness and potential abuse.
Where are the criteria of danger to the individual user or to the public health or to society in general? The language "medical usefulness" and "potential for abuse," result in scheduling marihuana in the same schedule with heroin.
This is to repeat what we thought could not happen again. It is my hope the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare will be making this decision and when he makes it that one of the key criteria will be the danger that the substance poses to the individual and then to society. I have taken the license of redrafting the legislation and have appended to my statement actual wording changes which I would suggest to bring about some of these changes.
I just have one more major area to mention to the committee. This is the area of research which I mentioned previously in connection with the problems in Massachusetts. Once again the Attorney General is given the responsibility to give the final word on research with substance which are in schedule 1.
He may deny a researcher even when it has been approved by the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare, if he finds that the applicant's past practice or proposed procedures furnish grounds for the belief that "the applicant will abuse or unlawfully transfer sufficient substance or fail to safeguard adequately his supply of such substance against diversion."
I submit that this language should be deleted from the bill because it carries with it the implication that the Attorney General will review research protocols and determine whether or not the practices and procedures within that research protocol are appropriate.
I do not think that this is his function. If he has knowledge about a given researcher, that this researcher will divert the substance, let him come forward and make himself heard and he should be listened to and heard on that point but the final decision on researcher's qualifications and procedures should remain with the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare.
I have other problems with the bill, such as the area registration and recordkeeping. At the moment any physician who gives out a drug, and many physicians do give out starter doses of drugs until a person can get to a drugstore to get a supply, he would have to register and go through all of the complex and time comsuming recordkeeping procedures which this bill provides, merely because he gave out the small dose.
I submit the legislation should be clarified so that the individual who does give the starter dose will be exempted from the legislation
and I have provided for this in the wording I have appended to my statement.
There is also a problem in that I think whoever drafted this legislation was remembering the phrase "He who giveth also taketh away." In one section he states that the subsection which requires recordkeeping "shall not apply to practitioners who lawfully prescribe, administer, control dangerous substances" (the private physician). In the next section it is stated that "such practitioner must comply with section 307" which just stated he does not have to comply, and around and around we go.
Mr. ROGERS. What section is that?
Mr. CHAYET. That is section 308(b), which takes away or appears to take away what is given in section 307.
I have a great deal of difficulty even understanding the last sentence of section 307 which appears to give the immunity.
Lastly, as a lawyer I am opposed to the no-knock provision in the bill. I agree with the statements that have been made that it could be an extremely useful tool, if it were always used with appropriate discretion.
I have heard of addict's homes where there is a slant board with the heroin on the board and with trip lines all around the apartment. The minute there is a knock at the door the trip line is pulled and the heroin goes down the toilet and the toilet flushes, all in a few seconds.
I agree that is a problem. However, one thing I have seen, in my State and in letters that have come to me from throughout the country, is that there the drug laws are not always applied with appropriate discretion. Even under our present penalty laws, most of the time the attorney works out a bargain with the prosecution so that a young person does not go to jail, but is put on probation and receives a suspended sentence and, of course, the criminal record.
But sometimes if you have the wrong police officer, the wrong prosecutor and the wrong judge, you can end up in jail, and people in this Nation have ended up with lengthy jail terms for violations relating to simple possession which many law enforcement officers say, "could never happen in our district." I am concerned that to impose a noknock provision on a national level could lead to great abuses and it is just the thought that when we are in our homes we ought to be able to be secure and not look up to see a Federal agent on the other end of a bulldozer standing over us in our living room.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
(Mr. Chayet's prepared statement follows:)
STATEMENT OF NEIL L. CHAYET, LECTURER IN LEGAL MEDICINE AT THE BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF LAW, BOSTON UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, TUFTS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE, AND TUFTS UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF DENTAL MEDICINE
My name is Neil L. Chayet and I am a practicing attorney with the firm of Chayet and Flash, 15 Court Sq., Boston, Massachusetts. I am also a Lecturer in Legal Medicine at the Boston University School of Law, Boston University School of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine and the Tufts University School of Dental Medicine, and also serve as a member of the Narcotic Addiction and Drug Abuse Review Committee of the National Institute of Mental Health. At the present time, I am also serving as Counsel to the Committee for Effective Drug Abuse Legislation, which has its headquaters at 1629 K Street (Box 572), Washington, D.C. 20006. At present, this group, formed only one week ago, consists of more than 60 of the leading scientists, physicians, and legal experts