of Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), as read by Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minnesota),
June 21, 2000
WELLSTONE. Mr. President, I have a copy of Senator Leahy's statement. I
am going to read a little from Senator Leahy's statement. This is just a
portion of his statement:
I have repeatedly expressed
concerns about the administration's proposal, particularly the dramatic
increase in military assistance. I am troubled about what we may be getting
into. The administration has yet to give me sufficient details about what
it expects to achieve, in what period of time, what the long-term costs
are, or what the risks are.
That is, of course, part of
the position that a number of us have taken today. I thank Senator Leahy,
who has a tremendous amount of expertise in this area, for his statement.
He goes on to say:
I commend Senator Wellstone
for his amendment. It would provide $225 million for substance abuse prevention
and treatment programs in the United States.
According to the Office of
National Drug Control Policy, drug abuse kills 52,000 Americans each year.
It costs our society nearly $110 billion annually. It has strained the
capacity of our criminal justice system and our medical facilities, and
brought violence and tragedy to families, schools, and communities throughout
I could not have said it better.
Mr. President, 80 percent of adolescents who need treatment--those who
will, if not provided treatment, sustain the demands for drugs in the
future--today in our country cannot get it. Some 50 percent of adults
in our country who are in need of a drug treatment program are not receiving
it. Many treatment programs have lines out the door.
And the conclusion of Senator
We should help Colombia. I
support President Pastrana's efforts to combat the violence, corruption,
and poverty which plagues his country. But I am not convinced the administration's
request for `Plan Colombia' will effectively address those problems, nor
is it likely to reduce the flow of drugs into our country or ameliorate
the drug problem here at home.
We do know, however, that
substance abuse treatment and prevention programs work. A frequently cited
Rand study showed that, dollar for dollar, providing treatment for cocaine
users is 10 times more effective than drug interdiction efforts, and 23
times more effective than eradicating coca at its source. Scientific advances
promise to make treatment and prevention programs even better. Ultimately,
reducing the demand for drugs--which is what these programs do--is the
only long-term solution to reducing the flow of illegal drugs from Colombia
Mr. President, I commend Senator
Nice of him to say--
for his leadership on this issue and I urge other Senators to support
I urge other Senators to support
I yield the floor.
As of June 25, 2000, this document
was also available online at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?r106:S21JN0-228: