by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-California), March 29, 2000
Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Chairman, I move to strike the requisite number of words.
Mr. Chairman, I rise in support
of the Pelosi amendment, and I thank the gentlewoman for offering this
amendment because we desperately need to address the growing demand for
drugs here in our own country, and we must address drug treatment programs.
Today, we are spending time,
a lot of time, debating whether to appropriate funds to fight the supply
side of the narcotics problem in Colombia. This debate is not complete
unless we also tackle the connection between America's growing demand
for drugs from other countries, like Colombia. In order for our international
drug control policy to succeed, our drug policy must be balanced. It cannot
focus only on supply reduction.
We must also include demand
reduction right here at home. To do this, we must incorporate the Pelosi
amendment, as it rightly addresses the treatment gap on this side of the
hemisphere. This amendment will expand our country's existing infrastructure
for treatment. This investment will leverage additional local and State
funds. It will strengthen State and local coordination and help to integrate
service delivery. This funding will help our youth avoid a life of drugs
and treat current drug users to help them turn their lives around. The
amendment focuses on youth, while allowing communities to invest these
funds according to local priorities.
Every day our children are
bombarded with suggestive messages and opportunities to take drugs. Effective
prevention programs engage youth interactively, involve parents and families,
and start at a young age to build skills and reinforce a message over
the long term. While children are only 25 percent of our population, they
are 100 percent of our future. We must address their future. We must address
the future of all children, particularly those involved in or at risk
of drug abuse.
Mr. Chairman, this Congress
needs to refocus its priorities. Each $1 invested in drug abuse prevention
will save $15 in reduced health, justice and other societal costs. Each
$1 invested in drug use prevention will save communities $4 to $5 in costs
for drug abuse counseling and treatment.
Mr. Chairman, we need to put
people before weapons systems. For the total cost of each of the requests
of 30 Blackhawk helicopters, we could treat 5,173 substance abusers or
provide prevention services to 111,494 American children. If this Congress
can fund $1.3 billion for `Plan Colombia' to reduce supply internationally,
we can surely afford to fund treatment services and prevention programs
to reduce demand here in America.
I urge my colleagues to support
the Pelosi amendment and support our youth.
As of March 30, 2000, this
document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H29MR0-173: