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This provision seems to represent a sincere effort to protect narcotics addicts from both invasions of privacy and other governmental surveillance which might result from being listed in this Registry. However, although the statute seems to bar release of identifying information without the Secretary's consent and the consent of the person, the next sentence seems to contemplate that in the absence of Secretarial action, persons engaged in such research will not be required to protect this information and may not even be authorized to do so. In a time when various agencies of the government seem to be expanding their reliance on computer-stored information on the activities of individuals, it should be made even clearer that this information cannot be made available to federal and state law enforcement officers. Moreover, the person whose name is erroneously listed on such a registry should be given an opportunity under established procedures to correct that error.
I would like to conclude by emphasizing once again the point which I have been making throughout my testimony. The solution to the drug abuse problem requires the commitment of resources, both financial and human, to the tasks of research, education, and treatment of drug users. This Committee should, therefore, direct its attention to the best use of federal resources to stimulate action in these areas on all levels. The problem of drug users should be viewed solely as a health problem and not a problem of law enforcement. The tools of law enforcement should be directed solely at those who profit from the importation, manufacture, and distribution of dangerous drugs.
I have outlined in detail my objections to the specific law enforcement techniques contemplated by H.R. 13743. I believe that they give unwarranted power to law enforcement officials which will not solve the growing drug abuse problem in this country.
First, the problem of drug users, as I have said is one which demands treatment not additional police power.
Second, law enforcement officials already have adequate weapons to seek out and prosecute those who deal in drugs. To the extent that drug abuse occurs among large numbers of our young people, the willingness of the drafters to bend the constitutional limits on government power could increase, rather than eliminate, disrespect for the law.
Moreover, these enforcement provisions constitute real infringements on the constitutional protection of the individual from the arbitrary actions of the government. Neither purity of the intentions nor the desirability of the goal are sufficient to cause us to ignore the Constitution which, after all, is the foundation of the society we are so earnestly attempting to protect against the divisive effects of drug abuse. We must find ways to solve this one problem without creating other possibly more serious and long lasting ones.
Mr. ROGERS. Thank you very much for your testimony. We appreciate your presence here, and it might be helpful to the committee if you would submit suggested changes in the drafting of the law.
Mr. SPEISER. I will try, Mr. Chairman. You have quite a few bills before you, and
Mr. ROGERS. Well, perhaps H.R. 13743.
Mr. SPEISER. All right. I will attempt to. Can you give me some idea. as to your deadline?
Mr. ROGERS. Well, as soon as we can get it.
Mr. SPEISER. All right. I will try very diligently.
(The information requested was not available to the committee at the time of printing.)
Mr. ROGERS. Thank you. Dr. Carter?
Mr. CARTER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. Did I understand you to mention my name? I didn't understand what it was.
Mr. SPEISER. As I understand in your comments to Congressman Mikva, Dr. Carter, you suggested that, since the Justice Department had come before the committee and made a statement that, in their view, the bills, particularly H.R. 13743, were constitutional, this should
obviate the necessity for Congressmen to take on the determination of the constitutionality of bills.
Mr. CARTER. You have confused me with my colleague, Congressman Skubitz, who made that statement.
Mr. SPEISER. Excuse me. I beg your pardon.
Mr. CARTER. There is another question. You said something about marihuana. You don't think we should have any penalties for use or sale of marihuana?
Mr. SPEISER. No; I restricted myself to use and possession. On the question of sale, that is something that the Civil Liberties Union has not yet taken a position on. It is currently under study, but we have only restricted ourselves to use and possession at the present time. Mr. CARTER. For use and possession.
Mr. SPEISER. Yes, sir.
Mr. CARTER. You think that they should carry with them penalties, then, for use and possession. Is that right?
Mr. SPEISER. No, we believe that the penalties, the criminal penalties imposed on use and possession, should be eliminated.
Mr. CARTER. Entirely?
Mr. SPEISER. That is correct.
Mr. CARTER. Do you know the history of marihuana?
Mr. SPEISER. I know some of the history of marihuana.
Mr. CARTER. How long have we known of it?
Mr. SPEISER. Pardon?
Mr. CARTER. How long have we known of marihuana?
Mr. SPEISER. I think it goes back to prehistoric days. It is a fairly
Mr. CARTER. Not prehistoric.
Mr. SPEISER. Not prehistoric, but many, many years, back to older historic days.
Mr. CARTER. What was it called in India, when it was used?
Mr. SPEISER. Hashish? Is that what you are referring to?
Mr. SPEISER. I am not certain.
Mr. CARTER. Assassin. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. ROGERS. Thank you very much for your testimony. If you would let us have your suggestions.
Mr. SPEISER. I will try. Thank you very much.
Mr. ROGERS. Thank you for being present.
Our next witness is Dr. Jonathan O. Cole, who is superintendent of the Boston State Hospital and chairman, Committee for Effective Drug Abuse Legislation, in Boston, Mass.
Dr. Cole, we are delighted to have you, and will be pleased to receive your testimony.
STATEMENT OF DR. JONATHAN O. COLE, CHAIRMAN, COMMITTEE FOR EFFECTIVE DRUG ABUSE LEGISLATION, AND IN BEHALF OF THE AMERICAN COLLEGE OF NEURO-PSYCHO PHARMACOLOGY
Dr. COLE. Mr. Chairman, I have some prepared testimony, which I have submitted for the record.
Mr. ROGERS. Without objection, it will be made a part of the record following your oral presentation. You may proceed to highlight your testimony.
Dr. COLE. I come wearing two hats. I represent the American College of Neuro-Psycho Pharmacology, an association including many of the major scientists working with the effects of drugs on the brain and behavior.
Mr. ROGERS. Yes, sir.
Dr. COLE. And as a representative of a newly formed group called the Committee for Effective Drug Abuse Legislation. For 11 years, I was head of the psycho-pharmacology research grant program at the National Institute of Mental Health, until I left to run a State hospital, about 211⁄2 years ago.
I thought I would talk first about the history of all this. I think since the Harrison Narcotic Act passed, sometime ago, there have been at least two problems in the field of drug abuse that, I believe, are tied to the way the act was enforced, and perhaps to the act itself.
First, the Harrison Narcotic Act made it rather difficult for a scientist to get access to marihuana or hashish for research. It required a special stamp; many doctors were somewhat afraid of the Bureau of Narcotics; research on marihuana languished badly over the last 20 years. With the exception of the LaGuardia report, almost nothing has been done since 1930, on marihuana, and I think our current ignorance about the drug is attributable in large part to the fact that scientists really felt uncomfortable about getting into this enforcement arena. Only when it became an obvious national scandal have investigators begun to try to get tax stamps, and to begin to do research. For this reason, research in marihuana really is only about 3 years old in this country at this time.
The other problem, though, is the treatment of the addict, and there has been a lot of misinformation among the medical profession as to what you can and can't do with the addicts, and many doctors, for example, have been afraid to give an addict enough drug to carry him until he could get to Lexington to the Public Health Service Hospital, because they thought it was illegal.
In point of fact, it is not, but it has never been very clear what you could do and what you couldn't do, and doctors have been afraid to give any opiate to any addicts, for fear that a Bureau agent would be down their necks before they knew what hit them.
A recent development, over the past 5 years, which is working out really rather well, is the use of methadone, a long-acting narcotic, as a maintenance treatment for addicts.
It clearly substitutes a benign medically-controlled addiction for a socially much more dangerous addiction, and it is interesting that the Bureau of Narcotics has sort of inched along with this. It hasn't really stopped very many doctors from doing it, but doctors who carry on methadone clinics are chronically somewhat jumpy about whether they will be hauled into court for maintaing the addiction of an addict, which is illegal.
Treating an addict is all right; maintaining his addiction is not, and which methadone maintenance is has never been quite clear.
I learned last night from a colleague of mine who may be testifying today, Dr. Jaffe of Chicago, that the Department of Justice has been promising guidelines for maintenance of methadone programs for about 9 months, but these guidelines have never appeared, and one wonders a little whether the Department is waiting for the Senate
bill 3246 to pass, which gives the Department of Justice real control, before they write guidelines.
So this area has a shadow over it. Some people are doing it, some of them with good cooperation from the Bureau of Narcotics.
Methadone programs are also being done by some physicians with a long history of hostility toward the Bureau of Narcotics, and this strain has been between the medical profession and enforcement for many years.
When the Reorganization Act of, I believe, 22 or 3 years ago, brought together in the Department of Justice the Bureau of Narcotics and the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control from the Food and Drug Administration, I think there was some optimism on the part of the medical and scientific community that this would work out well. The Bureau of Drug Abuse Control in the Food and Drug Administration had scientific participation in it, and there was a hope that science and law enforcement would marry and live happily ever after. I think, unfortunately, the history of the preparation of S. 3246, and the bill now before you, which shares many of its words, has been very discouraging. A couple of key scientists within the Department of Justice, who moved over from Food and Drug, have left, apparently unhappy about their lack of impact.
The Department of Justice has consulted with scientists singularly and in groups about the bill, but as far as we can make out, nothing any scientist of physician has said had any impact on the bill's language. Justice has listened and heard motions and one thing and another, but really, the responsiveness to the scientific and medical community has been essentially zero.
The penalties have come down, but no changes in the control provisions or the classification of drugs or the impact on research have occurred.
In terms of attempts to change the bill in the Senate, Mr. Neil Chayet testified yesterday, and I, and a number of other people, attempted to testify before the Dodd Committee and were unable to get an opportunity to do so, and it was our impression that that committee heard mainly people who were in favor of the legislation before it, as it stood. For such reasons, attempts to change the bill, both within the Department of Justice and within the Senate, have really not helped.
The current schedules in S. 3246, and also to some extent in the present bill, I think, reflect some ignorance of what drugs are like, and how they might be well classified.
Within the scheduling proposed in your bill, and in the Senate bill, there is a category I, which includes all drugs without an approved medical use, which are under the highest level of control.
This sounds really very sensible, but in point of fact, there are lots of drugs without approved medical use which have some abuse liability. Some are very dangerous, like heroin; some are possibly inert, like bufotenin, a hallucinogen that is currently listed in this bill as being under schedule I and there is really a good deal of scientific controversy as to whether the stuff has any activity or not.
In between there is a drug I would like to mention, acetylmethadol, which is early in schedule I in the Senate bill. This is a very longacting methadone-like drug, which Dr. Jaffe is now using in Chicago.
The peak effect occurs after about 8 hours, and is very mild, and addicts really do not get any joy out of it. It will control abstinence, and if it works out well, as it appears likely to do, it will provide an alternative for methadone which can be given two or three times a week, rather than every day. This would be very useful.
I think the abuse liability of acetylmethadol, given its lack of a rush and a peak experience is low enough to make it more appropriate for schedule II, for example, than for schedule I, because I think it is not a dangerous drug that heroin addicts would greatly desire, but only something they might want to get medically to keep themselves from getting withdrawal symptoms.
So I think the abuse liability, and the danger to the population, would make placement in schedule II more appropriate than schedule I for acetylmethadol.
The place of marihuana in a schedule of danger to the public health and mind and body is a matter of great controversy, but I don't think it is bad enough for the penalties in schedule I, and probably belongs in II or even, you know, conceivably, III.
The Senate bill lumps together methamphetamine (speed), which is, I think, quite a dangerous drug, and may well belong under schedule II, with minor tranquilizers like Miltown and Valium and Librium, which, you know, you can get chemically dependent on, but are not drugs of abuse in the usual sense. People become addicted to (dependent on) them by taking too much of what the doctor gave them, rather than by going out and buying them on the street from pushers, so that there are things in the scheduling part of the bill which need to be unscrambled, and some fairly urgently.
There is also the problem of new drug development, and as I read the bill, if a company were to make a new tranquilizer and have it begin to be studied in man, and there was a little evidence that it resembled the barbiturates or amphetamine, it would come under control under this act, and would go in schedule I. There are already a whole set of stringent controls under the Food and Drug Administration, for investigation of new drugs, a good deal of recordkeeping and reporting and other things. If the investigators also had to get a special registration from the Department of Justice, in addition to going through all the Food and Drug Administration paperwork, I think it would discourage drug development substantially, and add a second burden on top of an already possibly somewhat overcontrolled area under the new drug act.
Mr. ROGERS. Well then, as a matter of fact, you are saying that this, under the Senate bill, this would in effect stop research on any tranquilizers or anything like this, or new products, new drugs.
Dr. COLE. It would slow the development of new products badly. Mr. ROGERS. Because they would immediately fall under schedule I. Dr. COLE. That is right.
Mr. ROGERS. Because it has no
Dr. COLE. It has no proved medical use.
Mr. ROGERS. It has no proved medical use, until it has gone through the investigational stage of a new drug.
Dr. COLE. That is right. That is exactly the problem I see, and which worries me.
Mr. ROGERS. I share your concern.