MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
SUMMARYFederal drug control efforts have been a public policy concern and the focus of legislative efforts for over a century. Although state and local governments are active participants and collectively provide the largest funding for national drug control efforts, the federal government has assumed a growing part of the responsibility for controlling such substances since 1914. Current federal anti-drug strategy relies on activities and programs in these major areas: (1) regulatory and law enforcement efforts; (2) support for international drug control efforts; (3) education and other prevention activities; (4) treatment and rehabilitation for drug users; and (5) drug-related research. The first two are usually described as "drug supply" control efforts and the other three, as "drug demand." This issue brief reviews supply control policies and pending legislation.
Although the basic policy of restriction has been criticized, it enjoys general national support. A renewed discussion of the merits of legalization of drugs among scholars and policy analysts has not yet been reflected, to any significant degree, in congressional debates over drug matters. Present policy considerations are more likely to focus on the degree of priority assigned to the problem, the level of resources devoted, the emphasis given to each of the major components of the drug control strategy, and the effectiveness of policy implementation (including coordination and direction).
Director Lee P. Brown resigned as head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in December 1995 and retired general Barry McCaffrey was sworn in as the new Director on March 1, 1996.
The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322), signed by the President September 13, 1994, included provisions to enhance penalties for selected drug-related crimes and to fund new drug-related programs.
During the 104th Congress, the House approved several drug-related bills, including H.R. 728, passed on February 14, 1995. This bill replaces the police ($8.8 billion), prevention ($4 billion), and drug courts ($1 billion) provisions of the 1994 Crime Act with a $10 billion block grant program. The Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings on S. 3, which contained drug-related provisions similar to those in H.R. 728.
On May 1, 1996, Director McCaffrey of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the new National Drug Control Strategy, released by ONDCP on April 29. The 1996 National Drug Control Strategy is composed of five goals: (1) motivate America's youth to reject illegal drugs and substance abuse; (2) reduce drug-related crime and violence; (3) reduce health, welfare, and crime costs resulting from illegal drug use; (4) shield America's frontiers from the drug threat; and (5) break foreign and domestic drug sources of supply.
On September 30, 1996, President Clinton signed into law the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act for 1997 (P.L. 104-208). FY1997 totals provided increased drugrelated funding for the two leading drug law enforcement agencies in the Department of Justice: the FBI ($2,838 million) and the DEA ($1,001 million). Other drug-related legislation of the 104th Congress included the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-237) and the Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act (P.L. 104-305), to combat methamphetamine trafficking and to stop drug-facilitated rapes, respectively.
MOST RECENT DEVELOPMENTSOn December 19, 1996, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna E. Shalala released the latest Monitoring the Future Survey, including reported findings of an increase in marijuana use among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders nationwide. Joining Secretary Shalala in releasing the results of the survey, ONDCP Director General McCaffrey stated, "Increased use among students in eighth and tenth grades is a wake-up call for America. Because marijuana use by youth is highly correlated with future use of addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin, we must step up our efforts to prevent drug abuse among children of all ages."
In response to resolutions passed in November 1996 by voters in California and Arizona to ease restrictions on the medical use of some illegal drugs, especially marijuana, ONDCP Director General McCaffrey announced on December 30, 1996, that physicians who prescribe illicit drugs for patients in those states may lose their Drug Enforcement certification, even when state law may permit the writing of such prescriptions. General McCaffrey noted that these doctors may also leave themselves vulnerable to prosecution. Attorney General Reno said that violations may be prosecuted on a case-by-case basis.
BACKGROUND AND ANALYSIS
Federal drug control efforts have been a public policy concern and the focus of legislative efforts for at least a century. Although state and local governments are active participants and collectively provide the largest funding for national drug control efforts, a large part of the responsibility for controlling such substances has been assumed by the federal government. The current federal drug control strategy relies on activities and programs in the following major areas: (1) regulatory and law enforcement efforts; (2) support for international drug control both collectively through international organizations and with individual drug-producing and drug-transitting countries; (3) education and other prevention activities; (4) treatment and rehabilitation for drug users; and (5) drug-related research. The first two areas are usually described as "drug supply" control efforts and the other three, as "drug demand." This issue brief primarily reviews supply control aspects, including pending legislation.
The use of illicit drugs has been a public policy concern in the United States since the late nineteenth century. Policymakers by law and custom usually define the word narcotics as products of the poppy plant or opiates (heroin, morphine), as well as products derived from the coca leaf (cocaine, crack) and the cannabis plant (marijuana).
Illicit drug use patterns tend to change over time; some suggest that there are cycles in popular drug use. The history of opium use for medicinal purposes dates back to ancient times. Morphine, the chief active ingredient of opium, was isolated in 1803 and began to be used as a painkiller and calming agent by U.S. physicians about 1832. Opiate use increased in the mid-nineteenth century with the rise in the opium trade with China, the advent of the hypodermic needle, and the liberal use of opiates by physicians during the Civil War. Heroin, a semi-synthetic narcotic derived from morphine, was first synthesized in 1874 and was offered as a medical remedy for coughs and chest pains around 1900.
The history of the use of coca leaf for medicinal purposes dates back at least to the mid-nineteenth century, when European chemists derived cocaine from it in the late 1850s. From 1870 to 1920, use and abuse of opiates and cocaine spread in the United States, due in part to a lack of knowledge about the negative effects of these drugs. Statistics on the number of U.S. narcotics addicts in 1920, though generally unreliable, ranged from 300,000 to 1.5 million.
From the mid-1800s until the 1930s, cannabis, from which marijuana is derived, served as an ingredient in paint products, oils, birdseeds, and household medications such as corn plasters, mild tranquilizers, and veterinary medicines. Policymakers expressed growing concern over a perceived rise in marijuana use during the 1930s and acted to restrict it. Reported statistics vary widely and are unreliable. One press account estimated in 1937 that there were 100,000 marijuana addicts, mainly adolescents and college students. Commissioner Harry Anslinger of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics estimated that the states had made 800 arrests of marijuana users in 1936.
Despite stiffer federal penalties for drug offenses enacted during the 1950s, popular use of psychedelic substances, such as LSD, in addition to heroin, marijuana, and cocaine saw a resurgence in the 1960s and early 1970s. The estimated number of heroin users rose from approximately 50,000 in 1960 to about 500,000 by 1970. Methadone, a synthetic drug created by German scientists during the second World War due to a shortage in morphine, was introduced in the United States in 1947 and was widely used in the 1960s to treat heroin addicts. In 1971, an estimated 24 million Americans reported use of marijuana at least once, and others reported experimental use of cocaine. At the same time, press accounts noted a growing use of marijuana and heroin by U.S. soldiers in Vietnam.
The use of most illicit drugs has generally declined since the late 1970s, with marijuana remaining the most commonly used illegal drug. In the 1980s, popular use of cocaine and later, the smokeable cocaine base called crack, grew. The National Household Survey's revised estimates of the percentage of those age 12 and older reporting current or past month use of cocaine declined from 3% in 1985 (the first year any data on crack were included) to 1% in 1990, and has remained at 0.7% for each year, 1992Ä1995.
Other drugs came into greater use during the mid 1970s to late 1980s, including hallucinogens such as PCP (phencyclidine) and MDMA (Ecstasy), designer drugs (analogues chemically and pharmacologically similar to substances regulated under the Controlled Substances Act), and methamphetamines such as Speed and Ice. In the early 1990s, authorities noted the growing use of Cat, an analogue of methamphetamine, in the Great Lakes region of the United States.
Various indicators show that recent drug use is on the increase. On December 19, 1996, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Donna E. Shalala released the Monitoring the Future Survey, which surveys the use of tobacco, alcohol, and illicit drug use by 8th, 10th, and 12th graders nationwide. (The survey was administered in the spring of 1996.) According to the HHS press release:
The survey showed increases in lifetime, annual, current (use within the past 30 days) and daily use of marijuana by eighth and tenth graders, continuing a trend that began in the early 1990s. Among twelfth graders, rates of marijuana use remained high and increased for lifetime use, but for the first time since 1993 showed no significant change in annual, current or daily use.Surveyors stated that the increase in marijuana use among younger high school students may be contrasted with "mixed or overall unchanged measures for other drugs." ONDCP Director General McCaffrey, who joined Secretary Shalala in releasing the survey results, stated, "Increased use among students in eighth and tenth grades is a wake-up call for America. Because marijuana use by youth is highly correlated with future use of addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin, we must step up our efforts to prevent drug abuse among children of all ages."
Drug use data from the 1995 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, released August 1996, show that current illicit drug use (in the past month) among those age 12 and older reached an estimated 12.8 million in 1995, an increase over the low of an estimated 12 million in 1992, but lower than the estimated total of 23.3 million in 1985. This estimated total for current drug use nationwide in 1995 includes:
Data from the Drug Abuse Warning Network (DAWN), released August 1996, show that the 1995 estimates for drug-related hospital emergency department episodes, or visits directly related to the use of an illegal drug or the non-medical use of a legal drug, rose from 518,500 episodes in 1994 to 531,800 episodes in 1995, though this increase is not statistically significant. In addition, there was:
Modern federal drug control legislation may be said to have begun with an 1887 act to keep aspects of the Chinese opium traffic from the U.S. and prohibit the involvement of U.S. citizens in that traffic. In 1914, Congress enacted the Harrison Narcotics Act (P.L. 63-223) to regulate traffic in narcotics and other drugs, require doctors and pharmacists to keep detailed records of drug distribution, and mandate the purchase of tax stamps to ensure oversight of drug sales. Although the Act was not specifically designed to eliminate drug use except for medicinal purposes, it did provide information on the sale of these drugs and it served as the principal drug control statute until 1970.
Marijuana was not covered under the Harrison Act, though various state and local statutes required a prescription for distribution. Federal efforts to regulate the use of the drug developed during the 1920s and 1930s, culminating in the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937 (P.L. 75-238). The Act required a sizeable transfer tax for all marijuana sales.
Congress enacted the Controlled Substances Act (P.L. 91-513) in 1970; its provisions consolidated existing statutory regulations, changed the system of penalties for drug law violations, and increased regulation of pharmaceuticals. The Act provided five schedules for drugs: Schedule 1 includes drugs with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use (including heroin and marijuana, though experimental use of the latter has been permitted in certain cases); Schedule 2 includes drugs with a high potential for abuse and an accepted medical use (including cocaine and morphine); and Schedules 3-5 are applied to drugs with a progressively lower potential for abuse. Meanwhile, the establishment of the Drug Enforcement Administration in 1973 combined the drug control efforts of five federal agencies into one.
Congress has enacted five major anti-crime bills including drug-related provisions since 1984: the Crime Control Act of 1984 (P.L. 98-473), the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986 (P.L. 99-570), the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 (P.L. 100-690), the Crime Control Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-647), and the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322). Collectively, these Acts enhanced drug-related penalties, provided new funding for drug control initiatives, and sought to improve coordination of federal drug control activities.
The 1988 Act created the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP); its director, sometimes known as the "Drug Czar," was charged with coordinating national drug control policy and producing a strategy linked to quantifiable goals set annually. The first of the strategies prepared by ONDCP was released in September 1989, followed by an amplifying second document in January 1990. The third and fourth of the series were submitted in February 1991 and 1992 respectively. The Clinton Administration released an interim strategy in October 1993 and more comprehensive documents in February 1994 and February 1995.
On March 19, 1996, President Clinton submitted the FY1997 budget request to Congress. It proposes a total budget authority of $15.1 billion for drug control funding, an increase of $1.3 billion over the estimated FY1996 total of $13.8 billion. According to the FY1997 federal budget, the Clinton Administration's drug control budget "would build on initiatives that began in 1996 by renewing the emphasis on drug law enforcement, interdiction, international programs, and drug treatment and prevention." (See FY1997 Budget Supplement, Combatting Drug Abuse and Drug-Related Crime, pp. 106-7.) The budget briefly highlights each of these major drug control initiatives:
President Clinton's FY1997 budget contains an estimate of $67 billion annually for the costs of drug abuse to society. (This estimate is based on a 1993 study sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.) A study sponsored by the National Foundation for Brain Research (NFBR), a non-profit organization for the advancement of the prevention and cure of disorders and diseases of the brain, estimated that the total cost of drug abuse and dependence for 1991 was $71.2 billion. Director Lee Brown of the Office of National Drug Control Policy released a report on April 27, 1995, showing a decline in how much Americans spend on illicit drugs, dropping from more than $64 billion in 1988 to about $49 billion in 1993.
The 1996 Strategy lists more than three dozen federal agencies now involved in some aspect of drug control. Federal drug control expenditures increased from approximately $1.5 billion in FY1981 to $11 billion in FY1991, about $12 billion for each year, FY1992-FY1994, an estimated $13.3 billion in FY1995, and an estimated $13.8 billion in FY1996. The Clinton Administration is requesting $15.1 billion for FY1997. By comparison, an ONDCP report released in December 1993 found that state and local governments spent almost $16 billion in FY1991. (Of the $11 billion spent by the federal government in FY1991, about $3.2 billion was in federal drug grants included in state and local totals.)
Policymakers are faced with a number of questions regarding drug control: Should the government attempt to control drug use? If so, is it pursuing the best strategy to achieve this end? Is the strategy being implemented properly?
The first question arises from the debate on the pros and cons of drug legalization. Proponents of legalization have had no significant success in influencing Congress on drug control issues. The present Administration opposes drug legalization, as does a majority of the American public. A 1990 Gallup Poll found that 80% of respondents felt that legalizing drugs like marijuana, cocaine, and heroin is a bad idea. Only 14% favored legalization, 2% said some drugs should be legalized but not others, and 4% had no opinion. Most of those opposed to drug legalization felt that removing restrictions would increase drug use in the public schools, higher numbers of drug addicts and drug overdoses, and more drug-related crime. Other recent polls find that many people think that illicit drug use will have the most negative effect on children growing up in the 1990s and that illicit drugs are the major cause of crime in the United States today. According to media accounts, ONDCP Director McCaffrey predicted on June 24, 1996, that, lacking the present combined social disapproval, illegality, and law enforcement efforts against illicit drugs, the number of chronic addicts would skyrocket from an estimated 4 million or less addicts today to 15 to 20 million.
The case argued by proponents of legalization is that the massive war on drugs has largely failed, resulting in enriching dealers and cartels, and increasing violent crime by gangs fighting turf wars and by users unable to support their habits otherwise. They argue that legalization would reduce drug prices and profits, lower police costs, and lessen corruption of institutions by drug money. (For more detailed treatment of the subject, see CRS Report 88-500 GOV, Drug Legalization: Pro and Con.)
The second question, concerning the best strategy to achieve drug control objectives, focuses on the relative emphasis that should be placed on supply and demand approaches. The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 requires that the national drug control strategy describe the balance of resources devoted to the two approaches. In the 1989 strategy, ONDCP Director William Bennett stated that the drug control strategy must be comprehensive, since no single tactic alone, including law enforcement, could contain or reduce drug use. Although it was widely reported in the press that the 1989 strategy's funding split between supply and demand was approximately 70/30, Bennett argued that it was closer to 50/50. Also, Director Bennett maintained that the supply and demand approaches overlap, making a rigid distinction in funding and emphasis between the two impossible. The 1991 strategy presented additional arguments to support greater attention to supply efforts: that supply reduction activities were more intrinsically government functions and more expensive than demand reduction efforts.
Others argued that recent policy places too much emphasis on supply reduction. Although total funding for demand reduction efforts has continued to rise annually at least since 1981, they urge a 50/50 proportional split, concentrating greater effort and more money to increase education and other prevention efforts and to provide more and better treatment of those already dependent on drugs. In keeping with the Administration's goals to motivate America's youth to reject illegal drugs and substance abuse; to increase the safety of America's citizens by substantially reducing drug-related crime and violence; and to reduce health, welfare, and crime costs resulting from illegal drug use, the 1996 strategy calls for a split between supply and demand funding of 67/33 (requested) in FY1997 (see Table 1).
A related question concerns the amount of emphasis that should be placed on solving the problem through international efforts or through interdiction at the border. The Clinton Administration continues to focus on cocaine trafficking as the primary threat. A 1993 review by the National Security Council argued that an interdiction-based strategy was "too narrow and costly to address the full range of threats imposed by drug trafficking." As proposed in the 1994 Strategy and continued in the 1995 Strategy, interdiction remains an important component of the strategy, but greater emphasis is to be placed on aiding "source nation" enforcement programs.
Critics argue that drug interdiction reduces supply and drives up the price of narcotics in the domestic market. They argue that the question is not how successful have drug traffickers been, even with interdiction, but how much more successful they would be if there is no continuing emphasis on interdiction. They maintain that the current strategy would abandon previous interdiction efforts, resulting in more and cheaper drugs for sale, rendering treatment efforts less effective, and making police efforts on our streets the first line of defense against drug trafficking instead of carrying the battle to the traffickers' operations in source nations and transit zones.
A variety of other questions concerning implementation of drug control efforts may be raised, including:
The 103rd Congress enacted the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322, H.R. 3355). It authorizes $1 billion for drug court grants, $90 million for Ounce of Prevention Council discretionary grants to help youths avoid substance abuse and a criminal life, $1.62 billion for Local Partnership grants to be used for crime prevention initiatives involving education, substance abuse treatment, and jobs programs, $112.5 million in grants for substance abuse treatment in prisons, $270 million in grants for residential substance abuse treatment for state prisoners, $1 million to reduce or prevent drug and gang-related activities, $150 million for more DEA agents, $5 million for rural drug enforcement training, and $1 billion for the Byrne program.
Also, it establishes the death penalty for gun murders during federal crimes of violence and drug trafficking; provides a sentence of life imprisonment under "Three Strikes" provisions to those convicted following two drug felony or violent crime convictions; permits federal courts to drop mandatory minimum sentences for non-violent, first-time drug offenders; and creates or enhances penalties for drug trafficking near public housing, drive-by shootings, drug trafficking in prisons, drug dealing in "Drug-Free" zones, employing children to distribute drugs near schools and playgrounds, possession or distribution of drugs at truck stops or rest areas, and firearms possession by violent felons and serious drug offenders. The bill authorizes the declaration of violent crime and drug emergency areas; provides that the Attorney General may establish Rural Drug Enforcement Task Forces in selected federal judicial districts containing rural areas; authorizes funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy through FY1997 and increases the number of ONDCP staff to 75 or more full-time equivalent positions.
In compliance with the 1994 Crime Act, the Sentencing Commission issued a report dated February 28, 1995, on the current federal structure of differing penalties on powder cocaine and crack cocaine. The Commission found that "under some criteria, crack offenses deserve lengthier punishment than powder offenses, but on other criteria differential treatment could not be justified." It recommended that Congress "revisit" penalties enacted for these offenses. On April 13, the Sentencing Commission voted to equalize penalties for crack and cocaine powder quantities for trafficking and possession offenses, a proposal that would have become law on November 1 if Congress took no action. On April 14, Attorney General Janet Reno urged Congress to reject it. TABLE 1. Federal Drug Control Spending, FY1995-FY1997 Functional Summary (budget authority in millions) FY1995 Actual FY1996 Est.a FY1997 President's Request FY1996-FY1997 Change $ % Drug Function Criminal Justice System 6,545.4 7,105.1 7,790.5 685.4 9.6% Drug Treatment 2,692.0 2,679.4 2,908.7 229.3 8.6% Drug Prevention 1,559.1 1,430.1 1,591.6 161.5 11.3% International 295.8 319.5 400.5 81.0 25.4% Interdiction 1,280.1 1,339.4 1,437.2 97.8 7.3% Research 542.2 569.6 559.2 -10.4 -1.8% Intelligence 336.6 340.4 375.9 35.4 10.4% Total 13,251.2 13,783.5 15,063.5 1,280.0 9.3% Four-Way Split Demand Reduction 4,691.9 (35%) 4,571.9 (33%) 4,970.6 (33%) 398.7 8.7% Domestic Law Enforcement 6,983.3 (53%) 7,552.8 (55%) 8,255.3 (55%) 702.5 9.3% International 295.8 (2%) 319.5 (2%) 400.5 (3%) 81.0 25.4% Interdiction 1,280.1 (10%) 1,339.4 (10%) 1,437.2 (10%) 97.8 7.3% Total 13,251.2 13,783.5 15,063.5 1,280.0 9.3% Supply 8,559.2 (65%) 9,211.6 (67%) 10,093.0 (67%) 881.4 9.6% Demand 4,461.3 (35%) 4,571.9 (33%) 4,970.6 (33%) 398.7 8.7% Total 13,251.2 13,783.5 15,063.5 1,280.0 9.3% Demand Components Prevention (with research) 1,738.7 1,618.6 1,783.3 164.7 10.2% Treatment (with research) 2,953.2 2,953.3 3,187.3 234.0 7.9% Total, Demand 4,691.3 4,571.9 4,970.6 398.7 8.7% Source: Executive Office of the President. Office of National Drug Control Policy. National Drug Control Strategy: 1996. p. 67. Notes: Details may not add to totals due to rounding. For additional information, see CRS Report 95-943, Federal Drug Control Budget: An Overview.
a.Released on April 29, 1996, the drug control budget estimate for FY1996 does not incorporate final totals for several drug-related appropriations from the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-134; H.R. 3019), signed into law by the President on April 26, 1996.
On September 29, 1995, the Senate passed S. 1254, amended. The bill contained provisions disapproving the amendments proposed by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to reduce sentences for crack cocaine and sentences for money laundering and transactions in property derived from unlawful activities. On October 18, the House passed H.R. 2259, a bill disapproving the U.S. Sentencing Commission's amendments and, subsequently, passed S. 1254, containing the language of H.R. 2259. On October 30, 1995, two days before the Sentencing Commission proposal would have taken effect, the President signed S. 1254 into law as P.L. 104-38.
On December 12, 1995, Director Brown announced his resignation as head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. On March 1, 1996, former general Barry McCaffrey was sworn in as Director of ONDCP.
During the 104th Congress, provisions of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (P.L. 103-322, 108 Stat. 1976) were reconsidered. The House bill, Taking Back Our Streets Act (H.R. 3), was introduced on January 4, 1995, as part of the House Republican Contract with America. Congressional efforts to pass H.R. 3 were expedited by splitting H.R. 3 into seven smaller bills, including H.R. 728, passed by the House on February 14, 1995. H.R. 728 would have replaced the police ($8.8 billion), prevention ($4 billion), and drug courts ($1 billion) provisions of the 1994 Crime Act with the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG) program. The bill authorized $10 billion, $2 billion for each fiscal year, FY1996 through FY2000 for LLEBG funding to local governments for reducing crime and improving public safety.
H.R. 1488, one of the other seven bills, would have established new mandatory minimum sentences for drug-related or violent crimes that involve possession of a gun. Also, the 1994 Crime Act would have been amended as follows: H.R. 728 would have eliminated the police (Title 1) and prevention provisions (Title 3, Subtitles A through S, and X); and H.R. 667, the Violent Criminal Incarceration Act, as amended and passed by the House on February 10, would have repealed the drug courts provisions (Title 5).
Similar to H.R. 3, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Improvement Act of 1995 (S. 3) and a companion bill, S. 38, would have amended the 1994 Crime Act. Several hearings were held by the Senate Judiciary Committee on S. 3, and S. 38. Neither of these bills passed the Senate, but legislation to establish the LLEBG program and alter funding for 1994 Crime Act programs was approved during the FY1996 appropriations process.
The conference report (H.Rept. 104-378) for the Commerce, Justice, and State (CJS) Appropriations Act for FY1996 (H.R. 2076), approved by the House (December 6) and Senate (December 7), would have replaced the 1994 Crime Act's COPS grant program with $1.903 billion in funding for the LLEBG program under a modified version of the House-passed bill, H.R. 728. In their comments, the conferees retained the purposes enumerated in H.R. 728,
to hire and train police officers; pay overtime to officers; purchase law enforcement equipment and technology; enhance school security; establish crime prevention programs and drug courts; enhance the adjudication process of cases involving violent offenders; and establish local cooperative task forces and multijurisdictional task forces,
providing that grantees must use funds only for these purposes and for two additional purposes: (1) anti-crime programs that involve cooperation between community residents and law enforcement, and (2) the purchase of indemnification insurance for police officers. The requirement of a 10% local match by grantees was also retained. On December 19, 1995, President Clinton vetoed H.R. 2076.
The FY1996 negotiations ended when Congress approved the conference agreement (H.Rept. 104-537) for the Omnibus Consolidated Rescissions and Appropriations Act of 1996 (H.R. 3019) on April 25, 1996. The conference report on H.R. 3019 (H.Rept. 104-537) provides language approving conference report requirements for H.R. 2076 (H.Rept. 104-378). Signed into law on April 26, 1995, P.L. 104-134 (H.R. 3019) provides Department of Justice funding for several drug-related programs, including but not limited to the following.
In addition, the Act provides $1.4 billion for the COPS program (restricted to police hiring initiatives) and $523 million for the Local Law Enforcement Block Grant Program, as compared to the Administration request of $1.95 billion for the COPS program only. The Drug Courts program receives a $30 million appropriation. As compared to the Clinton Administration FY1997 request of $4.785 billion in Violent Crime Reduction Trust Fund monies for DoJ, the Act provides a smaller amount, $4.495 billion.
Other drug-related legislation of the 104th Congress included the Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996 (P.L. 104-237) and the Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act (P.L. 104-305), to combat methamphetamine trafficking and to stop drug-facilitated rapes, respectively.
(For additional information, see CRS Issue Brief 88093, Drug Control: International Policy and Options.)
P.L. 104-38, S. 1254
Contains provisions disapproving the amendments proposed by the U.S. Sentencing Commission to reduce sentences for crack cocaine and sentences for money laundering and transactions in property derived from unlawful activities, and raises penalties for distributors of powder cocaine by applying existing mandatory minimums to a larger group of cocaine dealers. Introduced September 18, 1995. Passed Senate, amended, September 29, 1995. Signed into law October 30, 1995.
P.L. 104-208, H.R. 3610
The Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997 contains FY1997 funding for several drug control agencies at the federal level. Conference agreement (H.Rept. 104-863) approved by House, September 28, 1996, and by Senate, September 30, 1996. Signed into law September 30, 1996.
P.L. 104-237, S. 1965
Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996. Contains provisions to stop the importation of methamphetamine and precursor chemicals into the United States, to control the manufacture of methamphetamine in clandestine laboratories, to increase penalties for trafficking in methamphetamine and List I precursor chemicals, to allow the government to seek restitution for the clean-up of clandestine laboratory sites, and to stop rogue companies from selling large amounts of precursor chemicals that are diverted to clandestine laboratories. Introduced July 17, 1996. Passed Senate, amended, September 17. Passed House September 28, 1996. Signed into law October 3, 1996.
P.L. 104-305, H.R. 4137
Drug-Induced Rape Prevention and Punishment Act. Combats drug-facilitated crimes of violence, including sexual assaults, by increasing penalties for possession of flunitrazepam and making it a crime to use this drug with the intent to commit rape. Introduced September 24; referred to the Committees on Judiciary and Commerce. Passed House, September 26, 1996. Passed Senate, amended, October 3, 1996. Signed into law October 13, 1996.