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the Customs, the radars, the Coast Guard, with Naval assistance, to try to capture the mother ships bringing drugs into our waters on those fast million dollar "cigarette speed boats”. I don't give a darn about Noriega any more. His days are numbered just as are Namphy's in Haiti. Time will take care of that guy. Namphy is probably not involved in the business of killing our kids any more because he is under the spotlight.
The demand side policy now seems to belong to the liberals in this Congress, but this conservative has not given up that fight.
I was in Jacksonville a week ago Monday, out with four police cars following a beat-up Camaro, with a policewoman, 24, looked 15, a police officer 21, looked 16, in this car buying crack from 12year-old kids on bicycles. One little kid is lying in the dust with handcuffs on.
I said, “What is your name, son?” “Bobby, sir.” “Bobby, where did you get the crack?” “Jefferson Street across town.” “What did it cost you? What did it cost you?” “Five bucks.” “What are you selling it for?" "You got the $20 bill, you know, it is $20.” “Does your mother know where you are?" "No. sir. She would whip me." I said, “Are you going to be back here?” “No, sir. I thought you were going to shoot me.” “You are not going to spend any time in jail, let's face it. You know that, don't you?" "Yes, sir." This little 12-year-old will be back on his bicycle when he is 13, 14, 15.
I thought about the legislation argument, standing there in this poor housing project in Jacksonville, Florida, and I thought to myself, would legalizing it cut the cost? I said, wait a minute, we are not going to let 12-year-old kids in on this. NORML won't. The Libertarian party would say you can have laws to protect the minors. We are back to government regulation, which our chairman pounds on relentlessly which Mayor Schmoke and I am sure the New York Senator is going to agree with. Legalization would put the government in the business of purity control, advertising control, product control, but Customs would still be out there trying to interdict the Black market as will the Coast Guard.
As Mrs. Whitfield said, we are wasting precious energy debating what the government's role should be when we should be trying to wage the war against drugs. So I guess we are at the end of this panel's testimony. Since I wasn't here earlier, I am reading your testimony now.
If anybody wants to comment on what I said, I have run out of time.
Mr. WHITFIELD. This may be out of context from what you said, but the gentleman sitting next to you before said in waging this war, we needed to go into the countries, the various countries, and do this, this and that.
Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Shaw, a former mayor.
Mr. WHITFIELD. As he was saying that, I do not think at least for that part of the population that feels as if they don't have any way into the system, I don't think the war has ever started there, and I am not sure if the government is willing to start the war there.
And as far as penalties, you mentioned about cutting off the two kids' heads in some place, I said before the kids that I am talking about that I know, that I am dealing with, they have been so brutalized and they see violence, that you can't up the ante on them. The only thing that can be done is a time thing where their attitudes can be changed. Because I am telling you these kids do not care. I know, because I was one of them. If you put me in jail, I would say, yes, and I can do it standing on one hand, and if you are going to kill me, I am going to kill you, don't take what belongs to me. That is the way they have to live out there. You cannot sell drugs out in that street if you let someone else take one ounce of drug away from you. Death isn't going to be the answer. So you kill them.
But I tell you one thing, the people that are investing the money to bring it into this country, if you start executing them, then you might have a change because they are afraid of going to jail. They are afraid of being killed. The people that are investing the biggest amount of money in bringing these drugs into this country, they do not have to suffer some of the penalties.
Mr. DORNAN. Does all or part of your panel agree that rich people, meaning that one to two percent of our society in which money just is different than it is to all the rest of us, have so much money that a budget on the personal level means nothing. Aren't rich people always going to be able to buy their own self destruction? Are we ever going to stop rich people from buying cocaine and bringing it in on their personal jet without much chance of them getting caught? We can't let our laws be driven by anything that the super, rich and famous can get away with.
I like it when you say it is a class problem. It utterly destroys the poor economic classes, and it guts the middle class. But sometimes I think that the super rich have almost as tough a road through life as the poorest of the poor. As Jesus said, "It is harder to get into heaven than it is to put a camel through the eye of a needle.”
I am not going to write laws based on what the super-rich can get away with while jeopardizing the disadvantaged and middle class of this country.
Mr. MILLER. We need a reasoned policy, and you know that with Gramm-Rudman-Hollings, there is not a bottomless pit of money. The bill that I provided to the staff and to your chairman today, which I asked be made part of the record, provides a means to raise some money to deal with these problems. The Whitfields are right about people going in there, yes, we will give you your methadone, we don't have a program for you. I know from my own personal experience of people who wait three, four, six, eight months to get into a program, they've got no place to go. Let's separate one drug that is not so harmful from the others, let's use the generated funds and save money to help the people you were addressing and help those little young 12-year-old kids not have to go into the street to do that. Let's be rational, let's be willing to make a change, let's look at it from a different perspective, and I think the availability, control, tax and regulation of marijuana is not going to create the problems.
You heard the Whitfields say they knew people who started on it and went harder, they knew people that did not start on it and went harder. Let's be reasonable and let's work together.
Mr. RANGEL. As we end this panel, I hope the Whitfields would be kind enough to let me know more about their program. I would like to be able to visit there with you, and also if Mr. Moore would send me something about the Scott Newman Center.
[The information referred to was not received at time of printing.)
Mr. RANGEL. Mr. Miller, I just would want you to know that I smoked for 35 years, starting when I was 15 years old. I knew it was against the law, but it was in the cigarette machines, and it didn't take much advertising except one kid had it, another kid wanted it, and when you indicated, you know, that you thought that marijuana could be manufactured the same way and distributed the same way as cigarettes with the exception of the advertising, I just visualize the candy stores where they used to sell the cigarettes when I was buying them for one cent apiece or the vending machines
Mr. MILLER. No vending machines.
Mr. RANGEL. Well, whatever. Where kids would just have to feel they're a little more important than the guy who just had straight cigarettes. And I hope you give a little more thought to it. And I say that in realizing we haven't been fair to smokers generally, especially those who smoke tobacco. If you want to talk about how immoral, how hypocritical it is for us to subsidize tobacco, we can talk about that.
But when you say, and let's give marijuana the same kind of shot, you know, as we have given to cigarettes, with some restrictions, I don't know. I just don't think that is well thought out. In any event, I have never heard anyone from NORML talk about it the way you have, about going the straight cigarette manufacturer route, and that might be interesting, and maybe at the next hearing I will be using that bill the same way I intend to close this one with the Galiber bill.
Mr. MILLER. If there is a reasonable way to make it available that can reduce youthful acquisition of the substance, I am in favor of it. And if we are of a mind that it is worthwhile to change the policy on marijuana, let's reason together and draft a bill that will achieve that and answer our concerns in a successful way, but let's not criminalize the 50 million marijuana smokers in America like we have in the past.
Mr. RANGEL. If it ain't good for you, you shouldn't want to legalize it. Thank you so much.
Mr. RANGEL. And now I would like to bring Senator Joseph Galiber, a long and dear friend of mine, and even more than that a colleague when I had the privilege to serve in the New York State Legislature.
Senator Galiber is a senior member of the New York State Senate, a respected person in his party and in his community. Senator Galiber is no stranger to the problems of poverty, joblessness, hopelessness, because I think it is safe to say that he represents in the State Senate, and has for over 20 years, I believe, one of the poorest, highest unemployed communities that we have in the City of New York.
Congressman Robert Garcia had wanted to be here to introduce him, but I am certain in view of the friendship and the working relationship I have had with you, Senator, he would allow me the privilege as the chairman and as a friend.
Senator, I have taken the liberty of telling other people about your bill. Why don't you just tell us in your own words what you think your bill would do in order to control the problems that we are facing with drugs today.
TESTIMONY OF THE HON. JOSEPH GALIBER, SENATOR, NEW
YORK STATE ASSEMBLY Mr. GALIBER. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for allowing me the opportunity to testify before your committee, and you were correct, as usual, we collectively have been concerned about this problem for some 20 odd years. In the 20 odd years we have seen little or nothing happen in terms of solving the problem. The hearings that we are having today and yesterday and the notoriety attached to these hearings and the notion of legalizing or not legalizing, can you imagine, Mr. Chairman, five years ago? They probably would have run all of us who are suggesting alternatives out of town.
I introduced a bill this year, and the bill is a very simple one, it creates a commission, an authority, if you will, and built into the authority is a commission to study the legalization and decriminalization.
In addition to that authority, it has set up something similar to our liquor authority in the State of New York which may or may not have been working, but is doing better.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to say to those who have not been rewarded, and I certainly have been rewarded by your friendship through the years, give them just a brief background, and I have heard a great deal today about those folks who live on the other side of the track perhaps who look on our side, and I say ours because I lived in the South Bronx for some 60 years, and I have not moved out. I have lived within a radius of five miles for those 60 years.
So when I talk about this problem, I don't dub myself an expert, but I certainly know a little bit about it. And you are right again, the husband and wife that testified here today, they are the experts. They have gone through this experience, and they know a lot more than we'll ever know.
Mr. Chairman, we have got a great country here, and as I have listened I have come to the conclusion, as I had when I was much younger. America, Mr. Chairman, was conceived as the noble experiment, the shining bastion of liberties and freedoms for all the world to emulate and strive toward.
Now in an era when other nations are indeed emulating American's craving for freedom, rising from chains and oppression to shake their fists at ancient monoliths, American officials have begun to espouse rank violations of our civil liberties and freedoms, and this out of frustration.
I realize, of course, that these well-meaning officials say that they are raising their voices for these drastic measures to combat a most pervasive disease, worse than cancer, worse than AIDS: the proliferation oí drug use.
But these officials must see, if they ever hope to combat drugs, that their every effort to escalate the war against drugs is at the same time a concession that the war is being lost, that their incursions into civil liberties are as dangerous to our very foundations as they are important to combat the problem in light of what must inevitably occur.
What must we do? Gentlemen and ladies in the audience within the sound of my voice, is to eliminate drug trafficking through the legalization of narcotics.
I realize there are some who hear my words and look at me as I sit before you, thinking such an idea preposterous, inconceivably simplistic and naive, a monstrous immorality.
As each and every device, plan, expenditure, interdiction thrown into our breastworks fails to hold the deluge of water from rolling downhill, I suggest to you that you mark my words: legalization, the proper channeling of the deluge, the treatment and calming of the waters, is not only the solution, it is inevitable.
And so should it be. When responsible officials suggest arming our police with more powerful weapons in the name of fighting the drug war and when officials suggest that interdiction of and shooting of suspicious planes, and I said, yes, suspicious planes, when Presidential candidates call for doubling the monumental numbers and costs of agents to be thrown into those defenses trying to keep the waters from coming downhill, when plans are made for material law to be enforced in this capital of our republic, when the drum beat for death penalties for drug traffickers are being pounded by otherwise sane and sober leaders, when all this is being espoused despite the fact, and each and every one of you know that the professional, clear, and unanimous opinion of all those engaged in the front lines of that war, is that we are losing that war, that we are falling back further each day, then I say you must sit back now, right now, in your chairs and let this message flow over you like water from a waterfall.
It won't hurt, you can hand tenaciously to your outmoded concept of fighting the losing war, but at least harken to reality.
There is a simple reason why every person engaged in the front lines of the war has reported that the war is being lost. Millions of our citizens are using those drugs. Every day, right this very minute, all over this country, private citizens are using drugs, buying drugs, craving drugs.
No one can seriously suggest that all the drugs that are smuggled into this country each day are being stored somewhere in a vast underground cavern, unwanted, unused.
Hardly. They are being used. Some estimates have the percentage of citizens over the age of 21 years who have at least experimented with drugs to be over 40 percent, 40 percent of our citizens.
The drugs are being used, consumed, by people, by citizens of the United States of America, did one of our Presidential candidates say that our nation, with one-fifth of the world's population, uses 50 percent of the cocaine in the world?
Did another of our Presidential candidates suggest the road to solution is a change in values, education, yes, indeed, treatment, rehabilitation, a diminutive of the craving, the need, the desire, the curiosity?
Will shooting suspicious planes out of the sky and flaying and quartering every person who deals drugs make this craving by our citizens for the white and, yes, black dream disappear?