420 Magazine Background




Welcome to the Federalist Society at the Yale Law School, my name is
Michael Shumsky, I'm the Vice President for Operations. Before we begin
tonight's debate I'd like to thank a couple of people and institutions
who've been integral in helping us put this together tonight.

Obviously the administration of the Yale Law School and in particular Dean
Thompson who has been integral in getting this set up. We'd also like to
thank the Yale Police Department, the New Haven Police Department, and the
National Federalist Society for making the event possible. And of course
I'd like to thank both the Governor and the Administrator and their staffs
for their efforts in helping us plan this debate and put it on tonight.

Tonight's debate brings together two of the most influential participants
in our nation's dialogue over the past, present and future of the war on

After graduating from law school at the University of Arkansas, Asa
Hutchinson practiced law in rural Arkansas for 21 years before being
elected to Congress in 1995. During his time as a lawyer, President Reagan
appointed him to serve as the U.S. attorney for the western district of
Arkansas, making him at age 31 the youngest U.S. attorney in the nation.
During his tenure in private practice and his career as a U.S. A.[Attorney]
Mr. Hutchinson personally tried over 100 cases ranging from cocaine
distribution to securities fraud to murder. As a member of Congress, Mr.
Hutchinson served on the House Judiciary Committee as well as the Select
Committee on Intelligence and he was an active participant on the House
Speaker's Task Force for a Drug-Free America. He also served as a house
manager in the impeachment trial of former President Clinton during which,
according to the highly respected National Journal, he "struck a positive,
open-minded, even friendly tone that was sharply in contrast with much of
the discourse on the issue." On August 8, 2001, then Representative
Hutchinson became the Administrator of the Federal Drug Enforcement
Administration following a 98-to-1 confirmation vote in the United States

Governor Gary Johnson is the first governor of New Mexico to be elected to
two consecutive four-year terms in office. After putting himself through
the University of New Mexico by working in construction, Governor Johnson
and his wife Dee founded Big J Enterprises, a successful commercial and
industrial construction company still operating today in New Mexico. At age
40, Governor Johnson turned to politics becoming the 26th Governor of New
Mexico in 1994. Five years later, and shortly into his second term in
office, Johnson made national headlines by calling for an overhaul of the
nation's war on drugs and suggesting that marijuana should be legalized, a
position that put him, in the tradition of another well known southwestern
Republican, firmly outside the GOP mainstream. Since then he has become a
forceful public advocate for reform.

Before we get started, a quick note on the format of tonight's debate. Each
speaker will begin with a 12-minute opening statement, which will be
followed by 8 minutes for rebuttal, a period that each of these speakers
will use. At the end of the debate the speakers have agreed to field
questions from the audience for approximately 20 minutes. You'll notice
that there are two microphones, one in each of these aisles, and I'd ask
everybody to please wait before the speakers have concluded all of their
remarks before lining up. Because Governor Johnson and Administrator
Hutchinson will be available to the press after the conclusion of the
question period, I'd also ask that students be given first access to the
microphones now. With that let's get started, and Governor Johnson will
speak first.

Governor Johnson's Opening Statement.

A little bit more about myself, my wife Dee is here in the front row, Dee
has been incredibly supportive through all of this. Thank you. We have two
great kids, I have a son Eric, who is a sophomore this year at the
University of Denver, we have a daughter Saya (sp?) who graduated this last
spring at the University of Colorado Boulder, and Saya had the distinction
of graduating number one in her class out of 2600 students in arts and
sciences, our daughter was number one, something we're very proud of.

I started a business in 1974 as a one person handyman, soon to be joined by
Dee, the two of us, that was in 1974... in 1994 we had a thousand people
employed: electrical, mechanical, plumbing, pipe-fitting, the American
dream come true. Work hard, show up on time, do a little bit more for
people that what you say you're going to do for them and you can be
successful and I'm living proof of that.

I'm also an athlete; you'd be very hard pressed to find anyone in better
physical condition at age 48 than I am. I've competed in the Iron Man
Triathlon twice in Hawaii, as governor, and finished with the sun still
shining, and by that I mean I had a pretty good time. I aspire to be a
world champion in the triathlon out of office, easy said, another thing to
do it... but we've got to have our goals. I also have a goal to climb Mount
Everest getting out of office.

I've never been involved in politics before, this is my first elective
office. I've always thought it to be a high calling, never been involved in
politics before, my promise was: New Mexicans, I'm a business person, I'm
going to put the issues that should be on the front burner on the front
burner regardless of the political consequences. I want to say I was very
successful the first year in doing just that, I got reelected, and now I
would like to talk about what I consider to be the biggest head-in-the-sand
issue that is with us today, and that is our war on drugs.

I think the war on drugs is an absolute miserable failure. And I get this
question all the time: why drugs governor, when there are so many other
important issues facing us? I don't know if there are any more important
issues that are facing us. When you consider that 50% of what we spend on
law enforcement, 50% of what we spend on the courts and 50% of what we
spend on the prisons is drug-related I don't know if there's a biggest
subject facing us today. When you consider the ultimate irony, that the
events of September 11th may have been financed because we had an Al
Capone/Osama bin Laden getting his funding from drugs, I mean, again this
may be the ultimate irony.

If you leave here today with one message that I have regarding drugs, it's
don't do drugs, all right? Don't do drugs. I would also ask you not to do
alcohol. You're looking at somebody who hasn't had a drink in 15 years and
I gotta tell you it's the best decision I ever made in my whole life, and
for any of you out there who smoke cigarettes, tobacco, I tell you what,
there's nothing redeeming at all regarding tobacco.

But is anyone giving a positive message in this country when it comes to
drugs... anyone? I don't think so. And yet 80,000,000 Americans have done
illegal drugs, all right? 54% of the graduating class of the year 2000,
high school students, did illegal drugs. Seems to me that the message we're
sending isn't having too much of an effect.

I was shocked to find out the following death statistics:

Tobacco... it's estimated that 450,000 people died last year as the result
of tobacco.

It's estimated that 110,000 people died last year from alcohol, and I'm not
talking about drinking and driving now, I'm talking about the health
consequence of doing alcohol.

100,000 were estimated to have died last year from legal prescription drugs.

I was shocked to find out that only 10,000 people died from heroin and

And it probably doesn't surprise you at all, but there are no known deaths
as the result of marijuana, and yet I'm sure there have been a few who have
smoked themselves to death.

Now the criticism is, is that look, it's the result of our policies that
there are so few deaths from heroin and cocaine. Look, deaths are caused by
prohibition... uncontrolled substances you don't know what the substances
are you don't the quality, quantity... as a result of that you have people
die. I think you can make a real case that if you were to control these
substances that you might have fewer deaths, in regard to these substances.

Even though obviously tobacco is the worst substance, and alcohol is next
worse, and legal prescription drugs, followed by cocaine and heroin, we are
arresting 1.6 million people a year in this country! This is staggering!
This is the equivalent population of New Mexico! 800,000 of those arrests
and a record last year, 770,000 arrests for marijuana in this country. Half
those marijuana arrests are among Hispanics! I ask you this, are half the
users of marijuana in this country Hispanic? No way! Point being, these
laws are terribly discriminatory. If you are of color, there is a seven
times more likelihood that you will go to prison if you have been arrested
[for] drug related crime.

What do we need to do?

I think that we need to legalize marijuana. I think that we need to adopt
harm-reduction strategies on all these other drugs. We need to recognize
that drug problems are a health problem, not a criminal justice problem.
And when I say legal, it's never going to be legal to smoke marijuana or do
any other drugs and do harm to somebody else... never going to be legal,
that ought to be the line of distinction. Never going to be legal for kids
to do drugs, to smoke marijuana, or to sell marijuana to kids or any other
drugs to kids, all right? New line of distinction, like alcohol.

Alcohol, you have a few drinks, that's OK. You have many drinks and get
into an automobile though, that's not OK; you just crossed over the line.
You might put somebody else in harm's way, you might do harm to somebody
else. That ought to be the line of distinction.

When I entered into this, I thought that Holland had an incredibly high
crime rate and high drug usage rates. I was shocked to find out that
Holland has half... half the drug use as that of the United States...
that's among kids and adults, and that's for marijuana and [for] harder
drugs they have about a third the use rate... that's among adults and
children. They have a tenth of the incarceration rate, they have a fifth
the homicide rate as that of the United States, so if you were to look at
any country in the world that has effectively decriminalized drug use it
would suggest that there might not be a better way. And when I talk about
harm reduction strategies, all right, strategies to reduce... what is it we
really want to do, what we really want to do is reduce death, disease and
crime, isn't that what we want to do? So there are some strategies that do
that. Needle exchange for example saves lives, no more Hepatitis C, no more
HIV. Being able to sell needles through a pharmacy, doesn't increase use
but it reduces HIV and Hepatitis C.

Switzerland has a heroin maintenance program, all right? In Zurich,
Switzerland if you are a heroin addict you can get free heroin. You have to
go to a doctor, doctor prescribes the heroin, you go to a clinic, you get
your dose of heroin, you ingest the heroin with clean needles. The idea
was, we'll reduce death, disease and crime. Don't take my word for it, all
right? I'm talking to the chief of police from Zurich who was in
Albuquerque a year ago. He said we in law enforcement could not have been
more opposed to what there were proposing to do in Zurich because death,
disease and crime was going to skyrocket.

Again, no more crime because the heroin is free. Needles are clean so no
more HIV, no more Hepatitis C. No more death from overdose because the
product is prescribed. He said we could not have been more opposed, he
said, I am here today to tell you that Zurich is a much better place to
live today, that this has surpassed everyone's wildest expectations, that
death, disease and crime have plummeted in Zurich. This is a harm reduction
strategy, is that not better than what we're currently doing today?
European countries are ahead of us with regards to drug reform. Recently,
Great Britain has decided to no longer enforce possession or sale of
marijuana. They're going to concentrate on harder drugs. They will enforce
marijuana sale and use if it's in conjunction with harder drugs. So there
is movement in this country.

I think we need to understand that drug prohibition is what is killing us,
and not use. And that is not to discount use as being a problem. I think
that we've got to say 'know' to drugs, and I don't mean N - O, but K - N -
O - W. So what you're going to hear this evening are going to be some
conflicting statistics, if you will. I think it's incumbent on all of you,
rather than to go away and say, gee I believe this, or I believe that, I
think it's incumbent on everyone here to go away and actually find out what
the statistics are. And when you do that, I think the argument becomes
compelling. We can do better in this area of drug reform, the goals ought
to be to reduce death, disease, crime... spend more of our resources on
education; spend more of our resources on treatment, for those that want it.

Thank you very much.

Administrator Hutchinson's Opening Statement.

Thank you for that welcome. Governor Johnson, greetings to you. Thank you
for your participation in this debate. I want to thank the Yale Law School
for hosting it, particularly the Yale Law School Federal Society and for
the invitation that you've extended to me. I appreciate each of the
students that are here and members of the community to come and hear this
important discussion.

I think from listening to Governor Johnson and from what we know about the
drug battles that we face in our society, this is not a problem that
demands a quick fix solution. We'd like to have that, but there's not one
out there. We all would like to see a panacea and we'd like to see
something that we say would solve this problem for society, but that's not
the nature of entrenched social problems.

We have been engaging in our anti-drug efforts in this country not for
twenty years, but for a hundred and twenty years, and this forum that is
being presented is an important opportunity for us to engage in this debate.

Let me start by asking you the question. How many of you believe that
marijuana should be legalized? (pause) I just wanted to see what my burden
of proof was tonight. I also wanted to make sure these DEA agents didn't
raise their hand up here on the front row.

I have seen the drug problems, as a prosecutor - that was mentioned. I've
also been a parent that have raised four teenagers. Anytime you've been a
parent - and I would suspect that just about everybody in this room has had
some family member that has struggled with this particular issue. So it
becomes very personal. It becomes very real, and so for that reason I think
it is important to engage in a debate.

This year I was starting my third term in the United States Congress.
President Bush called and asked me to leave Congress and head up the Drug
Enforcement Administration. That was an unusual call - one I didn't expect,
but one that I ultimately said yes to. I said yes because it was the
President that called. But I also said yes because I believe in the
importance of this issue to our nation and I believe that our nation should
resist drug use as a path to our future.

Governor Johnson has been very consistent in his statements that he
believes that marijuana and other drugs are handicaps. That's why he
admonished everyone here, "Don't do drugs." He understands that they are
handicaps - that they are harmful. The issue is, what are we going to do
about those harmful set of drugs? Now I believe the issue is, what kind of
future do we want for the next generation?

And that is the difficulty that you find whenever Governor Johnson concedes
that it's harmful and you should not use drugs, how do you accomplish that
societal goal? And he argues that we need to be able to reduce usage, but
he make the point that the government spends too much time measuring use
and not concentrating on abuse. Well the reason use is measured, is because
use, use to our young people is harmful.

And that is what is the concern and we want those statistics to be able to
go down. Obviously we put our enforcement efforts on those traffickers that
are engaged in selling to our youth. He makes the point in his presentation
that we're incarcerating marijuana users. Let me emphasize the point that
at the federal level, 95% of all drug convictions are for trafficking, not
for any possession. But if you look at the state system as well. So what,
let's look at what statistics mean.

Yes there are 1.6 million people arrested every year in the United States.
800,000 of those arrests are for marijuana. But in fact there are only
7,000 inmates in either state or federal prison whose most serious
conviction was a marijuana possession charge. Only seven thousand.

And so what does that mean? That means that someone might be pleading to
armed robbery but they had marijuana in the car and they also pled to
possession of marijuana. But it means that only 7 thousand are in prison
for simple possession of marijuana where that is the most serious charge.
And so I don't think that you can make the case that in the United States
we're incarcerating marijuana users because that is not the fact.

Governor Johnson spent some time looking at the European experiment. And I
don't think we've had any great disagreement in the facts except that you
mocked one of my facts that I'll come back to in a moment about drug use
declining by one half. We have a dispute of the facts beyond that. The
European experiment, I'll just point that it's an unsettled verdict in
Europe, in the Netherlands. I think that they are very concerned about the
MDMA, the ecstasy chemists coming in there and using the Netherlands to
export almost 90% of the ecstasy that we get in the United States. There's
a concern there.

And if you look toward Great Britain, in 1964 they did go to the harm
reduction scenario for heroin. They said we're going to issue heroin to
heroin addicts, to wean them off of it. When they saw their heroin use
increase by 100% they stopped the experiment. And so I think that you can
see that Europe even in themselves, we don't know exactly the direction
they will be going.

I think the United States needs to provide some leadership in the other
direction. Now let me come back to the statistics that Governor Johnson
treated very lightly. He mocked the fact that I pointed out that drug use
has been decreased in the last 15 years. Drug use has declined by one half
overall. Cocaine use by 75%. Now he looks at this audience and says "you
know that's not true." Well, relying upon your experience perhaps.

Well I encourage you to look at the statistic. He is not disputing my
statistic other than an anecdote that he is gaining from this room. The
statistics are real, they're factual, they're the ones he cites himself in
other contexts. And I'm not trying to say drug use is a solved problem in
society, we know better than that. But the fact is, we had a concentrated
effort in the eighties, we made a decline. The problem is it has plateaued
since 1992 and we've got to do something in our society to get it down to a
lower level. But can make progress and we have proved that, whenever we
have concentrated effort in our country.

One thing that we are doing in the Drug Enforcement Administration is
trying to coordinate our enforcement efforts with what we're doing in our
communities to reduce the demand, to develop the community coalition, to
have the most lasting impact. Leverage our enforcement effort with the
community that will say we want to invest in more treatment; we want to
invest in the drug courts.

We want to make sure that there is adequate counseling and education in
school systems. And then when we come in with an enforcement team, and we
dismantle that drug organization, then we in the DEA will follow that up
with some resources of the community to help them break that cycle of
dependency. And so the drug dealers do not return to the area. So that we
can reclaim that community for itself, and for its families and the people
that want to live there.

I think that the message today, and the issue is as Governor Johnson says,
about the message we send to our young people. And I think that when you're
looking at a class of young people and harmful products, we need to
discourage drug use. And the way that you do that and build the future for
them, is again that the law, not make mistakes like we have in the past
like we have in terms of slavery and women's right to suffrage, but that we
do the right thing in terms of the law, the law being the teacher. And I
think the right lesson to be learned for our young people is that drugs are
harmful, and because they are harmful, they are illegal.

Thank you.

Audience Questions


If people would like to make their way to the microphones we'll take some
questions right now. And since your first right over there we'll start with
you. I would just say one thing first, which is that questions end with a
question mark. And I would ask you to be brief. You can address it to
either or both of the speakers but both will have an opportunity to respond.


First, I want to point out director Hutchinson that your historical lesson
about the late nineteenth century was fascinating but I think it's
important to recognize that what you described is more comparable to the
current status of something like tobacco, unregulated but legal, how about
regulated illegal. The chemicals that most of us are talking about tonight
are really no different from legal but regulated prescription drugs. So why
I think it's not the only measure that matters, cost effectiveness seems to
be the only measure that matters. Can you give us a quantified analysis
comparing our current costs for enforcement, prosecution and detention with
the medical costs for treating an addict in a controlled environment like
you described, Governor Johnson, in Zurich, Switzerland?


Well in reference to the criticism of over my 1880's example, in fact it
was a totally unregulated legal environment for drugs and the first thing
that society did was to regulate it. We tried to have more disclosure in
our medicines as to whether there was cocaine and what was in there. That
didn't solve the problem, and so we moved from a totally legal scenario to
a regulated scenario and that didn't work. The crime problems, the
addictions continued, then they moved it to a criminalized conduct
scenario. And so that was the sequence back in the 1880's, certainly it was
a new thing then and we've learned a great deal since then, there would be
some disputes about the comparisons but I think the point is that we've
engaged in this for a hundred and twenty years in our society. In reference
to the cost effectiveness, and I'm not sure I'll be able to answer that as
pointedly as you ask it. But, certainly treatment is less expensive then
prison, if that was the point of the question, and we, and that's one of
the reasons, that's not the reason I support drug courts though, not
because it's more cost effective but because it's more socially effective
and the drug courts have the accountability there with the treatment and
there's enormous cost involved in that, you'd be, its more cost effective
just to turn them back on the streets but it's not socially effective. And
so the good balance is the accountable drug courts.


Governor Johnson if you have anything...


Nothing sir.


Look, you have hundreds of stories of people who are so grateful that
they've been arrested, that because they've been arrested they've changed
their lives; they've gotten over drugs. You all know this; there are tens
of thousands of people who have gotten off drugs or alcohol without that
arrest component. I'm always slain by the fact that yesterday I'm watching
television in the airport and there are celebrities talking about
addictions, none of those celebrities talked about the fact that they were
arrested. None of them were arrested. It was a conclusion that they came to
without the arrest component. People get off of drugs, my own situation;
you know I was a fairly regular smoker of marijuana for about six years. I
came to my own conclusion that it was a handicap, I got enough handicaps, I
don't need that. And much more significant, in my life was the realization
of what a handicap alcohol was, and having used both of them, I know from
my own experience, that alcohol is a much worse impairment than marijuana
and for those of you that know what I'm talking about, you know exactly
what I'm talking about.


The question that was asked to me was in reference to the cultural changes
since the sixties, and I was there in the sixties. And yes there has been
some cultural changes and that certainly has an impact on drug use. But
there's a lot of other things that have an impact on drug use and I think
that that's what you have to concentrate on, those factors that you can
control. Part of it is increase in the risk to traffickers and those who
use, by enforcement efforts. Other parts of it, which is so critical, no
one believes it more than the law enforcement community, that you have to
educate our citizenry, you have to reduce the demand for drugs, you have to
reduce addiction. The President was asked what do you determine a victory
in the war on drugs? And the answer is when you reduce the number of
individuals who are dependant upon drugs, addicted to drugs and secondly
you reduce the number of young people who chose it as a lifestyle. Those
are the great victories and that's how we measure success. In reference to
what the Governor was speaking of, about addictions and so many of these
Hollywood folks do it without arrest. I think about Robert Downey Jr. This
guy goes into treatment every time he gets arrested. The problem is there
hasn't been enough accountability in terms of the treatment perhaps, but
many instances including Hollywood, it is, you do not have voluntary
treatment efforts as being successful as coerced treatment. You have to
have both combinations available out there. And I congratulate the
Governor, he's got an iron will, he's a man of discipline, and he was able
to just say no I'm off of it. We know that everyone does not have the
constitution of Governor Johnson. I know people, young people, who are more
disaffected members of society that struggle with it a little bit more and
they cant get off of it that easy. And so they need a little more help than
Governor Johnson. And so we've got to have a broader reign, arena of
solutions and help for these people.


We're starting to run a little short on time and so I will just ask you all
to keep your questions slightly shorter then your predecessors. Please.


I was just wondering, you spoke about legislators drawing the line between
alcohol and tobacco on the one hand and then marijuana on the other. Given
that alcohol and tobacco, I think its reasonably well established are more
addictive and more likely to harm people then marijuana, how would you
justify, wherever your going to draw the line, how would you justify
marijuana being on the prohibited side and alcohol and tobacco on the
permitted side?


All right, let me just outline the point to you. Marijuana smoke is higher
in tar and carcinogens then tobacco smoke. Studies show that someone who
smokes marijuana five times a week maybe taking in as many cancer causing
chemicals as someone who smokes a full pack of cigarettes every day. I know
you don't have a high regard for Harvard and your probably going to whip
them in football this weekend, but, Harvard University researchers reported
that the risk of a heart attack is five times higher than usual in the hour
after smoking marijuana. If you like what Phillip Morris did to advertising
tobacco products, wait till you see what they do with marijuana. You know
it makes no sense that tobacco is harmful, that marijuana smoking with more
carcinogens is not. The legislature tries to follow a logical scenario.


You know, I think there's going to be a new set of laws to go along with
the legalization of marijuana and one of those laws is going to be
prohibition against advertising. I don't think your going to see that at all.


Thank you. I'd like to raise the issue of industrial hemp. And the fact
that the war on drugs has been, in great respect, been a war on the
environment. And one reason is that American farmers are denied a much
needed alternative crop and that Canada is growing hemp very successfully
just north of the border. And I'd like to add that I'm wearing a hemp coat,
and a hemp pocketbook and this stuff is great, it lasts forever. And, I'd
also like to add that spraying poison in the rain forest, in South America,
its not only horrible for the environment but its not winning us any
friends abroad. So the war on drugs is such a broad issue and it's a war on
the environment and I'd like for you to respond to that. Thank You.


Well, in reference to hemp we just actually adopted a rule that certainly
allows the importation of hemp products that are non-consumable, such as...


Why do they have to be imported, why can't they be grown here?


Could I answer the question please? And the, the we, under our controlled
substance law it is still illegal to bring in hemp products that are
consumable because they have THC content in them. In reference to the South
American rain forest, you know the, you know if you don't like the farmers
in Arkansas spraying roundup on their rice to keep the pests out, you
probably would not like the chemicals that are used in South America, but
it's the same product that we use on our farms in the south.


Has it been effective in South America?


Well I think that remains to be seen, we have a six-year plan there. And
the Columbian government is certainly trying to reduce the coca production,
I think its laudable, we certainly need to put the alternative crops in
there, we need to support them and try to develop another economy that's
not dependant upon cocaine. And hopefully it will be successful; it's
certainly worth the effort.


O.K. if I could just add that there's more area devoted to cocaine


I'm sorry but I think we're going to move on, we're running out of time.
We'll try to take one more question on each side.


Thanks a lot. I can't speak for the drugs that I don't use, but, I find
that its not all bad, I don't know how many people drink alcohol in this
country, but I don't think that they all abuse it. I think that alcohol can
have a very beneficial effect on social interactions, and I've found in a
wonderfully vibrant culture here at Yale that marijuana can be used to a
great end. And I'm sure that's not how everyone uses marijuana or uses
alcohol, but so long as I have this function that I can, that I can
implement with these drugs, I'm going to continue to buy them. And I wish I
didn't have to do it illegally and so I just wonder if there's any
possibility that this ideology is that that prevents drugs from having some
sort of productive function in society, possibly allowing for safer
alternatives that might be prescribed by my doctor, I just don't like
buying from drug dealers. I wonder.


Thank you, I think I'm going to let the speakers respond to that however
they choose.


Your testimonial is well noted.




We do trivialize it, we do laugh about it, and yet tomorrow the war goes
on. And eight hundred marijuana arrests, its real. And yet we do trivialize
it, it's a joke, its on TV it's a joke, politicians joke about it, for all
of our joking, which is good that we're able do that, the beat goes on.


I think we'll take one more, as we're just about out of time. Please, go ahead.


Well we've had a great debate and I've heard basically an issue of we don't
have a quick fix and we shouldn't rely on a quick fix, but I'm wondering
what steps are the D.E.A. taking and what Governor Johnson you suggest the
D.E.A. takes to not achieve such a quick fix, in solving this problem of
the failure of the war on drugs.


Basically I had a package and I will resubmit the package to the
legislature in New Mexico. In the package were nine bills, small steps,
this is my promise, just small steps to doing the following: Reducing
death, disease, crime, putting more resources into education and putting
more resources into treatment for those that need it. So there are little
steps that can be taken, needle exchange, we talked about student loans
earlier, this whole aspect of mandatory sentencing, by giving judges
discretion, we need to move this from a criminal justice situation to a
health situation. So in New Mexico, again we had a lot of bills in New
Mexico, decriminalization of marijuana, decriminalization of small amounts
of other drugs, giving judges sentencing authority on possession and even
sale of small amounts of drugs. Small steps, again the idea being to reduce
death, disease, crime, more money in education, more money in treatment for
those that need it. These are the steps; this ought to be the goal of the
drug enforcement administration. And that happens to be indifferent to the
arrest them and lock them up mode that we're in today.


Let me first of all say that New Haven I think has been a good example of
some successes. Here in New Haven in past years there's been extraordinary
gang, level of gang violence. Through a cooperative effort with the chief
of police here and the D.E.A. and other law enforcement agencies, we
reduced that violence extraordinarily here in New Haven, so I think it's a
success story. Obviously there's a lot of work to be done, but we've
improved the life of this community. And I think from the D.E.A.s
prospective, we're an enforcement agency and we're concentrating going
after the trafficking organization. I think of Brittany Chambers, a young
girl out in Denver who was sixteen and on her sixteenth birthday someone
gave her an ecstasy pill. And they gave her that pill not knowing that it
was going to lead to her death, she overdosed on it and she died. It was a
friend that gave her that pill. We took that investigation not just from
the sixteen year old that gave her the pill but all the way up the ladder
to the organizations that were manufacturing it and supplying it. And I
think that's our concentration, but this administration is going to work on
the education side and is going to work on the treatment side in particular
in the prisons so that when they come out they are drug free, they don't
add to the demand for more illegal drugs. That's our goal and that's our


Great. Well thank you both very much for taking the time to be here tonight
and thank all of you for coming out and have a pleasant and safe evening.

Newshawk: Guest Schedule Drug Truth
Pubdate: 15 Nov 2001
Source: See below
Note: This is being archived at MAP as an exception to our web only source
posting policies. The debate was sponsored by the Yale Federalist
Society. Video of debate (RealPlayer format) is available at
http://www.soros.org:8080/ramgen/tlc/YaleLawDebate.rm thanks to the The
Lindesmith Center - Drug Policy Foundation This transcript produced by
participants of the New York Times Drug Policy Forum and is also available
at Yale Hutchinson/Johnson Debate
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