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Last Updated:3/31/00
Speech by Rep. Gary Condit (D-California), March 30, 2000
Mr. CONDIT. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of this motion to recommit. I do this out of respect for the other side and not to lecture anyone. But I, like many of my colleagues, have traveled through Colombia and Peru and Bolivia, took the drug routes, the roads that the drug traffickers took, and met with coca leaf farmers, met with law enforcement and a variety of different other individuals and groups in those countries.

I came to the conclusion that the drug problem is our problem, and for us to solely blame it on those folks is misplaced. Today, we have an opportunity, I think, to correct that. We could do a great service to this country by making sure that we fight the war on our terms and in this country and not in somebody else's country.

Now, for us not to believe that this is our problem, I believe we are sort of like an individual that is addicted. We are in denial. We are in denial that we have to come to grips with this problem.

For us to pick a group of people, whatever country one wants, talk about interdiction, which we ought to do some, but we ought to have drug treatment programs for people in this country.

We as a Congress, Republicans and Democrats, we can do one good thing before we leave here this year, and that is provide a safety net to families, to individuals in this country so that they do not go through the dilemma of, where do I send my young child, where do I send my spouse. We have all been confronted with that. This is a problem that has probably touched every life in this Chamber and probably most families throughout this country.


[TIME: 1400]

So I am here today not to just lecture anyone, but simply say that for us to think that it is someone else's problem, that it is not our problem, is misplaced. And if we want to do a service for the people of this country, I think we should recommit this bill, send it to committee, put a program in for people across the country, and I think then we can really talk seriously about a drug war within our borders, not somebody else's.

As of March 31, 2000, this document was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:H30MR0-20:

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