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Last Updated:3/20/00
Speech by Rep. Cass Ballenger (R-North Carolina), March 16, 2000
COLOMBIA AID PACKAGE (House of Representatives - March 16, 2000)

[Page: H1080]

(Mr. BALLENGER asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)

Mr. BALLENGER. Mr. Speaker, let us face it, illegal drugs are killing our kids at an alarming rate. Every year we lose 52,000 young lives to drugs, nearly equal to the number of Americans killed in Vietnam over 10 years.

According to the U.S. drug czar, one of every two American kids will try illegal drugs by the time they reach the 12th grade; many will become habitual users, leading to a life of crime, or worse, death.

This is staggering. The cost of drug abuse to our society is estimated to be $110 billion per year. Not to mention the cost of countless lives lost and dreams broken.

Each day that we put off consideration of the Colombia aid package, more of our kids will fall victim to the estimated 14 metric tons of heroin and 357 metric tons of cocaine which enters our country each year.

With our strong support, Colombia could be successful at slowing the flow of drugs from their country to ours. Failing to provide this important aid now may result in the loss of Colombia to the drug cartels and future generations of Americans to the drug addiction.

I urge support for the Colombia aid package.

As of March 18, 2000, this document is also available at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H16MR0-14:

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