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Despite the "War on Drugs" and the recent tripling of the

resources committed to it, drugs are still as available as ever.

During the 8 December 1987 hearings conducted by this Committee,

the Honorable Chairman of this Committee asked Mr. Francis A.

Keating, II, Assistant Secretary of the Treasury (Enforcement),

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efforts in the increase of expertise, technology, and

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1

Hearing, 8 December 1987, Select committee on Narcotics Abuse and control, House of Representatives, p. 43.

Mr. Keating was correct.

Availability is unchanged by current

policy.

The State Department reported a 25% increase in foreign

marijuana production during

1987

and

the

Drug Enforcement

Administration estimated a 50% increase in domestic production,

after eradication, during the years 1986 to 1987.

Mark Dion from

the

Department of

State

in

earlier Congressional testimony

estimated that as much as nine thousand metric tons of marijuana

were imported into the United States in 1986 alone.

There are indications that the government figures on

the number of metric tons available in the United States, as high

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Organized Crime (1986) which noted that in 1984, the Mexican

police, in raids on only five farms, seized over two thousand

metric tons of marijuana.

This was eight times more marijuana

than Mexican and American authorities had previously claimed

was

being produced annually throughout all of Mexico.

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what many in law enforcement will admit, if they can speak off

the record, and that is that marijuana cannot be controlled.

It

is a weed that can be grown anywhere.

One can grow it in her

bathtub, in his flowerpot, their outside garden or anyplace else.

The

greatest

amount

of marijuana

actually destroyed by

eradication, as

a practical matter, is that which is grown wild

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Eradication will not stop the people from smoking marijuana.

At present marijuana is part of an unregulated, untaxed

underground market.

If allowed to surface, marijuana

could be

better controlled and at the same time, turned into an asset to

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Commission on Organized Crime in 1986 that one-half of organized

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It is estimated that the domestic marijuana crop is the

largest cash crop, overall, in the United States.

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estimated value of thirty three billion dollars.

Revenue from

this large cash crop could be used to improve our economy.

The

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1980's, like in the 1920's, Prohibition and the application of

increased penalties increases the risk which, in turn,

increases the price and the profit.

Since the actual costs of production

remains about the same the profit margin increases.

Interestingly, Prohibition's inclusion of drugs such as

marijuana with hard drugs such as crack/cocaine and heroin, has

also contributed significantly to the prevalence of hard drugs in

our underground markets and in our society.

One can obviously

smuggle

a smaller amount of cocaine at a significantly greater

value with less chance of detection than it would take to smuggle

a larger amount of marijuana of comparable value.

Smaller is

easier.

Drug Enforcement Administration reports indicate that

the costs of bulk cocaine in Florida has gone down dramatically

while the cost per unit on the street has remained the same.

An

obvious effect of this is to increase the margin of profit.

It

is also demonstrative of the increased volume.

The underground

market has

an interest in turning people toward more harmful

drugs since they are easier to handle and produce easier profits.

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