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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 18, 2016 12:00am-2:01am EDT

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today, we have 29 million peoples with no insurance, and even more who are underinsured with large deductibles and copayments. and everyone and every one of us is getting ripped off by the greed of the drug companies. [booing] pharmaceutical companies judge -- charge us by far the highest for the medicine we need. by the way, on the ballot year in november in california, you are going to have a proposition making sure that california can control the outrageously high cost of prescription drugs. [cheering and applause] sen. sanders: i congratulate those people who put that item on the ballot.
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[cheering and applause] sen. sanders: together, we will end the fact that we are the only major country without health care for all, that we pay far more per capita for health care than any other country. we are going to end that a passing a medicare-for-all health care system. [cheering and applause] sen. sanders: the insurance companies may not like it. the drug companies may not like it. but be american people do like it -- the american people do like it, and that's what we've got to do. [cheering and applause] sen. sanders: this campaign understands a very, very important historical lesson. no realson is that
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change has ever occurred in our country from the top on down. it has always been from the bottom on up. [cheering and applause] back.anders: think think back 120 years ago, when workers in this country were forced to work seven days a week , 14 hours a day. they had no rights on the job. think about the children, 10, 11 years of age, losing fingers in factories. [booing] sen. sanders: and what the working people of this country said. sorry, we are human beings, we are not beasts of burden. we are going to form trade unions and negotiate contracts. [cheering and applause] sen. sanders: and i thank the trade union movement for
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creating the american middle class. [cheering and applause] think about 150 years ago, in the midst of the abomination of slavery. there were african americans and their allies who were prepared to go to jail to get beaten, to get lynched. who stood up and said, that they will come in this country when and bigotryracism and segregation. [cheering and applause] and over the years, millions of people were engaged in that struggle. think about where we were as a country 100 years ago, not such a long time ago. 100 years ago, women in america did not have the right to vote.
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they could not get the education or the job they wanted. [booing] sen. sanders: but women stood up and fought back. [cheering and applause] sen. sanders: women stood up to the establishment, who said to them, your job is to stay home and have a beast. -- have babies. [booing] said,anders: but women you will not define us. we will define ourselves. [cheering and applause] sen. sanders: and women and their male allies said loudly and clearly, women in america will not be second-class citizens. [cheering and applause] if we were here ,wo years ago, no time at all
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somebody jumps up and says, bernie, by the year 2015, gay marriage will be legal in every state in this country. [cheering and applause] sen. sanders: if somebody said that, the person next to them would have said, you are nuts. what happened? but what happened is the gay community and their straight allies stood up against incredible bigotry. [cheering and applause] sen. sanders: against all kinds of abuse. and they said together that in this country, people should have the right to love whoever they want, regardless of their gender. [cheering and applause]
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and let me give you a more contemporary example. if five years ago, somebody here stood up and said, bernie, this $7.25 minimum wage, that's really awful and terrible, we've an to raise it to 15 bucks hour. the person next to him what have said, $15 an hour? you are nuts. you are thinking too radically! you are an extremist! [laughter] sen. sanders: but then, what happened? them here.ome of workers in the fast food industry went out on strike. [cheering and applause] audience: bernie! bernie! bernie! workers ats:
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mcdonald's and burger king and all these places, they told the community and the world they cannot live on $7.25 an hour. and you know what happened after the strikes and demonstrations in seattle, here in los angeles, in san francisco? $15 an hour! [cheering and applause] and if i have anything to say about it, and i will as president, 15 bucks an hour in every state in this country. [cheering and applause] what is my point? here is my point. [laughter] [cheering] sen. sanders: i want you to think about this. throughout history, people looked around them.
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if they were a worker working seven days a week with no power, they saw that as being unjust, unfair. they stood up and they fought back. days of terrible segregation and slavery, people said, america will not be racist. women fought back. the gay community fought back. low income workers fought back. that's what changes about. coast-to-coast, and i have been from maine to california, i have seen people looking around them, saying, what is going on in our country where we have such a grotesque level of income and wealth inequality, and almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1%? what is going on when the middle class continues to disappear, and we have more children -- a higher rate of childhood poverty that almost any country on earth?
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what is going on when we are the only major country on earth not to guarantee paid family and medical leave? not to guarantee health care to all people? women areing on when making $.79 on the dollar? [booing] and when young people are leaving school $50,000 in debt. [booing] sen. sanders: if the establishment -- what the establishment wants you to believe is that real change effectively dealing with these issues is impossible, to eat of big -- too big, too radical. to options the media wants give you, congress wants to give you -- should we cut food stamps or should we cut education? we do not accept those choices. [cheering and applause]
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sen. sanders: in a time of massive wealth and income inequality, yes, we are going to tell the wealthiest people in largest reparations they are going to start -- largest corporations that they are going to start paying their fair share in taxes. [cheering] if the american people are prepared to reject the donald trumps of the world who want to divide us up, they want to divide us up, but if we stand together as lack, white, latino, asian american, and native american, if we stand together as a and straight -- gay and straight, male and female -- [cheering and applause] we standers: if
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together as people born in this country and people who come into this country -- [cheering and applause] sen. sanders: if we stand together and have the courage to take on the billionaire class, to demand a government which represents all of us and not just the 1%, together there is nothing we cannot accomplish. [cheering and applause] audience: bernie! bernie! bernie! bernie! as all of you know, in a few weeks, there is going to be of an enormously important primary here in california. [cheering and applause] sen. sanders: and what i have
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found throughout this campaign is that we win primaries and caucuses when the voter turnout is high. we lose when it is low. , in the california democratic primary, the largest voter turnout in the history of the state. [cheering and applause] sen. sanders: and what this great state show the world -- let this great state show the world that you are prepared to lead our nation into the political revolution. thank you very much. [cheering and applause] ♪
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starmane's a waiting in the sky he'd like to come and meet us what he thinks he'd blow our minds star man waiting in the sky >> he'd like to come and meet us but he thinks he would blow our minds there's a starman waiting in the sky
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he told us not to blow it because he knows it's all worthwhile he told me, let the children lose it let the children lose it ♪ ♪ [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit] ♪ >> ♪ dearly beloved we have gathered today to celebrate this thing called life there is something else
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the afterworld ♪ just under two thousand votes separate hillary clinton and senator bernie
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sanders in the kentucky democratic presidential primary. 99% of the precinct reporting. the associated press says that race is too close to call, although secretary clinton will -- has a slightly and the clare's victory in the state. everyoneed, thanks to who turned out. we are always strong and united. the oregon primary, senator sanders has been declared the winner. he holds a solid lead over hillary clinton, 53% to 47%, with some 60% of the votes counted. we spoke to a reporter about that race., this is the headline -- " hillary clinton keeps losing, so how come she is winning?" the writer of this story joins us from san francisco. thank you for being with us. mark: my pleasure. host: your piece goes into the
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democratic party rules, and how it is helping hillary clinton so far. mark: yes. hillary clinton ran into thousand eight, and these rules works to her disadvantage. two things are working to her advantage that hurt her the last time, and one is the way democrats do delegates. they do them proportionally, not on a winner take all basis. if she or bernie sanders or whoever is running loses, as long as they get 20% or more of the vote, they get a slice of the delegates. lead, itone takes a becomes very difficult to catch up with that front runner because you need to win by overwhelming margins if you are going to make up that difference under any proportional system. she has goingg against hillary clinton is -- that was going against hillary clinton last time is super delegates. they are not people who leave
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over buildings, they simply have an automatic seat at the party convention and are free to vote for whoever they choose. last time, barack obama did very well among superdelegates. this time, they are helping hillary clinton over bernie sanders. host: one example, last week's primary in west virginia, you talk about a significant win -- senator sanders clobbering hillary clinton. when it came to delegates, what's the final total? , you havehat case bernie sanders winning 18 tailoring clinton's 11, but you add in the superdelegates and it became much closer. sanders walked out with 19 delegates, hillary clinton 18. at the ending of the night, he basically netted one delegate. host: what is the democratic party have superdelegates? the republicans don't. mark: republicans don't call
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them superdelegates, although they have the same setup where there is a set number of people. just a few weeks ago, the question was, would there be a contested republican convention? they have party dignitaries and others who are entitled to seats . same thing, they support whoever they want. they don't call them superdelegates. why do democrats have them? the parties can never seem to help to tingle -- tinker with their rules, and that you have processes that inevitably kick in. superdelegates go back to 1968. the democrats had a riot in their convention in chicago. the party was torn apart on the vietnam war. there were a lot of grassroots democrats who were displeased with herbert humphrey being forced down their throat. it was decided that there should be more grassroots participation. democrats adopted that. then, you had george mcgovern losing in a landslide in 1972.
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jimmy carter lost in a landslide in 1980. came up with the notion of superdelegates, the thinking being that participatory democracy is a great thing, we want the but theys to weigh in, wanted present >umed political s who would elect someone electable. that's how we came up with superdelegates. host: and senator sanders is insisting that he will have 50% plus 1% of the pledged delegates, saying that would earn him the right to be the democratic nominee. mark: that's his argument, that's what he says. it is worth pointing out a couple of things, because you've your a lot of discussion out there. it is worth noting, to the extent that folks care about those things, that hillary clinton has a very substantial
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lead in the popular vote, about 3 million over bernie sanders. in 2008, barack obama won the primary vote by a whisker, but of won the majority superdelegates that put him over the top. sanders' argument is that folks will, would, and should come his way am i and he thinks he can win this on a hot streak, racking new jersey, california, and all the other states, and superdelegates will come floating in his direction. i won't make a prediction whether they will or won't, though -- but let's go back to 2008. clinton won five of the last eight contests, but still superdelegates stuck by barack obama. quickly after that, she conceded the race and gave a ringing endorsement at the convention, and she became secretary of state. of thealifornia is one
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number of contests that will have primaries or caucuses on june 7, concluding the primary season, but what are you sensing on the ground? can bernie sanders when your state, and what about hillary clinton? what kind of ground game does she have? mark: yes, he can win california. it's going to be more difficult than it otherwise might then. it looks like he does not have the resources he had. california is a very expensive state. to are talking $1 million 1.5 million dollars per week to make a dent in the electorate. there are signs that bernie sanders is scaling back. he is getting the big crowd that we have seen all across the country. we have also seen evidence that say they crowds do not necessarily translate into victories. i think what will be important for him is the youth vote. that has been part of the electorate that has sustained him and been good for him. june 7, there could be a lot of students who are taking finals
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or have gone home. they could be sleeping off, being at the beach somewhere. it is important that bernie sanders has a large youth turnout, and that is uncertain at best. --t: how does the primary how does the party unite after a bruising primary process, more difficult than the clinton campaign thought? two words, donald trump. you might recall, and some of my listeners might recall this was puma, acronym party unity my behind. were08, clinton supporters not happy with the way barack obama conducted his campaign. forget this whole party business, i will never vote for barack obama. guess what? a huge chunk of them voted for barack obama. i am sure there are a certain number of bernie sanders will neverwho,
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come around and vote for hillary clinton, but if the past is any l cooltor, tempers wil down and people will make the choice from their perspective that hillary clinton is a better choice than donald trump, and they will go with the democratic nominee. mark bareback joined us in san francisco. thank you for your time. mark: thanks for having me. up, a hearinging on the dangers of recreational use of synthetic street drugs. then, a house committee investigates the strategy for the iran nuclear deal. a california teacher -- the parents of a california teenager who died using the synthetic stroke known as spice -- the synthetic drug known as "spice"
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testified about the drug. >> we welcome you this morning for this hearing on synthetic drugs. tookweek, the house significant steps forward in combating the opioid epidemic in america. will, the subcommittee examine our related, but equally important issue, the storage of synthetic drugs in the united states. arely put, synthetic drugs a prime example of how criminals can stay one step ahead of law enforcement. to worryrents have about synthetic drugs, many of which are produced and marketed directly at children and young adults.
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synthetic cannabinoids with names like spice, k2, or scooby snacks, coming in brightly colored packaging, often containing cartoon characters or other decorations, to make them attractive to teenagers. they are also being sold and marketed as alternatives to marijuana, cocaine, and heroine. young people believe they are safe, legal alternatives. however, they are deadly. these drugs often contain additional chemicals which can cause increased heart rates, psychosis, and death. the professor widely credited with first incentivizing cannabinoid -- first synthesizing cannabinoids ha said, these things are dangerous. anybody using them is playing russian roulette. they have profound psychological effects. we never intended them for human consumption. indeed, they are often labeled
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as not for human consumption. but everyone knows they are intended to be consumed. many states have banned these substances by adding them to their controlled substance schedules, which has resulted in a patchwork of state laws. congress has also legislatively scheduled some of these substances, most recently in 2012. however, the problem is that as soon as the substance is scheduled or the process begins to schedule the substance, the manufacturers merely change a single atom, and the substance is no longer scheduled. has beencal makeup altered slightly, and though it may have the same effect on the body, it is no longer the same chemically. the process has been short-circuited. however, a need for a federal response remains clear. aree most drugs manufactured and imported overseas, especially china. in 2014, synthetic marijuana poisoned more than 200 people in
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my home state and killed at least one. the arapahoe county district tryingy described people to cut their own heads off and set themselves on fire after using synthetic drugs. state, these drugs have been marketed as synthetic marijuana and sold at tobacco shops and convenience stores, often for a profit of 300% or more. it is a big business, and these manufacturers are profiting off of our misery. i look forward to your participation. i now recognize mr. conyers from michigan for his opening statement. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i welcome the witnesses. i look forward to an important discussion. we are going to talk about , a problemrugs primarily affecting adolescents and young adults.
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and i wish to welcome our express myan gratitude to them for taking time to come here and offer their personal experiences and insight. the abuse of synthetic drugs, or designer drugs, has been recognized as far back as the 1980's. producers of these drugs were continuously creating legal alternatives to controlled marijuana,like cocaine, ecstasy, lsd, and it opioids, woods -- and and produce similar kinds of highs. sometimes they are packaged in small, shiny packets with images of cartoon characters printed on spice,nd names like k2, vanilla sky, and scooby snacks. these products are marketed as
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a harmless good time. and youngng teenagers adults, the primary consumers of these products, can purchase marijuanasynthetic work that solves -- marijuana or bath salts at gas stations, convenience stores, novelty shops, and over the internet, further reinforcing the erroneous belief that these products are safe. however, in many cases, they are more potent and hazardous than the controlled substances they are meant to imitate. use can be toxic to producingbody,
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aggression, hallucination, seizures, and even death. beenetic drug use has even linked to heart attacks, psychosis, and suicide. instead of attending their child's football game or graduation, or helping them complete college applications, parents find themselves in hospital rooms, praying their ornager wakes from a coma, in emergency rooms, hoping their child will regain their sanity and return to college. there are mechanisms in current law to allow these drugs to be evaluated and controlled on a case-by-case basis. for instance, the dea has the ability to temporarily place one whens on schedule
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it is necessary to avoid an imminent hazard to public safety. however, the dea is finding it difficult to keep pace with the development and production of new substances that are not currently illegal. prosecutors have an additional tool, the analog enforcement act of 1986, that prosecutes those who produce synthetic drugs. this legislation serves as a method of criminalizing synthetic drugs without having to ban them individually. we in congress need to learn more about these drugs, and that's why this hearing is important. and consider if legislation is needed. and we must be careful to craft an appropriate response that --s not over criminal is over-criminalize or over penalize. myhink my witnesses -- thank
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witnesses for their time and expertise. i look forward to thie discussion of this issue. i yield back. >> i would now like to recognize the committee chairman for his opening statement. you, mr. chairman. i am pleased to be here today is the judiciary committee continues its efforts to protect the american people from the growing danger of drug abuse. last week, this committee moved five bills through the house that will help law enforcement and treatment communities address the opioid epidemic, so this hearing is timely. i want to focus my remarks today on the fat -- on the threat of synthetic opioids, which pose a threat to the american people. principal driver of the opioid epidemic in this nation has been the overabundance of prescription pain pills in the hands of consumers, especially opioids like oxycodone and hydrocodone.
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americans addiction to opioids has been noticed in the criminal underworld, and malefactors have taken big steps to profit. one way they have done this is through the production of synthetic opioids, including counterfeit prescription medications. for those have been paying opioidon, fentanyl is an pain medication that can be 100 times more powerful than morphine. to put that in perspective, heroin is three times as powerful as morphine. fentanyl is used to treat extreme pain associated with late stage cancer and other significant health problems. it is not intended to be used recreationally, yet it is, and with the rise of synthetic opioids, it is increasingly being used unknowingly. often drug traffickers will cut here on with fentanyl to produce
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a more potent high. that has led to a rash of deaths across the country. in recent legislation, the community -- this committee introduced language to provide a sentencing enhancement for any traffic or -- anyone who traffics heroin laced with fentanyl. it is widely used. the profit margin is shocking. less than a milligram of fentanyl can be lethal. that means a kilogram can generate enormous profits for the illicit trafficker, sometimes upwards of $1 million. we have a problem. between the rate of 2013 and 2014, the rate of deaths involving synthetic opioids nearly doubled. a substantial portion of this increase appears to be related to the availability of illicit fentanyl. 2015ding to the dea's assessment, mexico is the
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primary source country for illicitly produced fentanyl in the united states. however, pharmaceutical fentanyl has also been diverted from the legitimate supply chain and into the legitimate market. some derivatives of fentanyl are manufactured in china and shipped to the united states. drug traffickers and associated profiteers are continuously developing new ways to exploit the american market. ,vidence of new opioid drugs some more powerful than fentanyl, are turning up on american street corners. example, w-18, a synthetic opioid potentially 100 times more powerful than fentanyl, which law enforcement has called the next deadly street drug. it is time for congress to act, and this hearing represents a good first step. i look forward to the witnesses
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response to our questions. the chair. other members' opening statements will be made part of the record. i recognize chairman goodlatte for five minutes -- oh, i'm sorry. we have a very distinguished panel today. before introducing them, if you would all please rise. raise your right hand. do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help you god? you may be seated. reflect that all the witnesses responded in the affirmative. mr. louis milione? is that correct? >> guess. the deputylione is administrator for the office of the version control, where he
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has served since august of 2015. principale axes the adviser to the dea administrator on matters pertaining to diversion of legally produced controlled substances and listed chemicals. mr. milione again his career with the da in 1997 and out a bachelor -- and holds a bachelor of arts from villanova university and a law degree. asicer william smith junior an officer with the washington, d.c. metropolitan police department. he has over 20 years of law enforcement experience, much of which is focused on narcotics. ekhardt is the father of kotter eckhardt, who died after smoking synthetic marijuana. he has addressed the united nations to raise awareness globally about the dangers of synthetic drug use.
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he joins us today along with his wife, veronica. mr. david nichols currently serves as an adjunct professor at theical biology university of north carolina at chapel hill. he has been recognized as a distinguished professor emeritus . holds a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from ae university of cincinnati, phd in medicinal chemistry from the university of iowa, and was a postdoctoral fellow in pharmacology at the university of iowa. we now pursued. -- we now proceed. >> i will now recognize each of the witnesses for their opening statements, which will be limited to five minutes. mr. milione? mr. milione: thank you,
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congressman. deadlyic cannabinoids, sentinel analogs, and other toxic substances are flooding the united states, putting unsuspected users at risk of death and injury. this drug threat is second only to the opioid scourge death -- devastating our country. these are unpredictable, untested substances placed in colorfully marked packaging and marketed to you. -- orncy room or emergency room doctors report cardiac arrest, kidney failure, and extreme psychosis. synthetic cannabinoids are sold openly and gas stations, convenience stores, head shops, and over the internet from domestic and foreign sources. fin nil analogues are a fast-growing, troubling part of this threat. you have the dangerous convergence of synthetic drugs with this country's opioid epidemic.
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you have substances many times more potent than heroin that are sold as heroin. fentanyl analogues are so deadly that an unsuspecting amount -- that a small amount can kill an unsuspecting user. they can be shipped to your home. because of the profit provincial, -- profit potential, mexican cartels are purchasing these from asia, mixing them with other substances, and distributing them throughout the united states. throughout all of us at the dea, for all the dedicated prosecutors around this country, our primary mission is to protect the public. publicng to protect the from this synthetic drug threat, here is the most devastating far -- devastating parts. manufacturers of this poison often operate with impunity, because they expose loopholes in
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the provisions of the controlled substances act, and capitalize on the reactive process required to schedule, either permanently or temporarily, these dangerous substances. as we speak, chemists are tweaking the molecular structure of control -- of helping avoid prosecution because of the molecular structure. we see these created by the dozens every year. it's important to remember that these new dangerous references get piled on top of the hundreds you have already determined need to be controlled because on over -- based on overdoses, deaths, and law enforcement encounters. schedulettempts to this bat log as quickly as we can, but for many substances that process averages three to four months. scheduling, the
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process can take at least several years for east -- for each substance. the dea cannot control these substances at a pace that will prevent additional overdose and death. we at the dea are grateful for all the tools congress has given us over the years. we have had success prosecuting the traffickers of these dangerous substances using the controlled substances act. we have also successfully used the analog act for subject -- for substances not placed in schedule one. however, today's crisis has outgrown the analog act. when the act was passed by congress, there were far fewer and trafficking networks. the networks in 1986 were significantly less sophisticated than the criminal networks currently operating. dowill continue to everything we can, working with the tools you have given us to bring the substances over --
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under control and protect the public. however, we are many steps behind and need your help. in the short term, this body could provide dea and our law enforcement partners throughout the country with immediate relief by placing the hundreds of substances we have determined to be dangerous in to schedule one. keepwould allow us to these drugs out of the country, off the shelves of retail stores, and bring to justice the agree just a mistaken for an -- for ans traffickers preying on our youth and flooding the country with these dangerous drugs. would long term, we welcome commitment to the controlled substances analog act , and perhaps other tools that would allow us to more quickly bring these drugs under control. we stand ready to work with you and address any of your concerns. one concern that has been raised is that placing hundreds of dangerous synthetic drugs into schedule one will impede
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legitimate scientific research. here are several facts that may inform that concern. the dea has never rejected a proposal for bona fide research for any schedule one substance. and 69ly there are four approved schedule one researchers, and many have approved protocol to study different schedule one substances. year, it hasst taken an average of 32 days for the dea to approve a researchers application wants that researcher has been approved, a little more than four weeks. these are valid measures to protect the public from these drugs. the dea is doing everything we can to probe -- can to address this threat. we look forward to working with congress to improve our effectiveness. thank you very much for this opportunity. i look forward to any questions. mark: thank you. -- you.buck: thank
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officer william smith, i recognize you for five minutes. mr. smith: good morning, mr. chairman. >> would you pull the microphone closer, please? sorry to interrupt. mr. smith: [inaudible]
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i apologize. and first responders, who respond to the influence under synthetic drugs. the side effects of synthetic drugs are similar to other drugs that law enforcement cannot -- counter, such as pcp. i am not a small officer and have dealt with drugs on -- dealt with users of synthetic drugs and pcp. and it has been difficult to sustain these individuals. individuals under the influence of these substances have an almost supernatural human strength and increased pain tolerance, which can lead to
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officers and other responders being injured when dealing with them. according to the drug, poison control has seen a 229% spike in calls related to synthetic drugs. hundreds of these synthetic drugs remain in manufacturing overseas in japan and new mexico with no medical purpose. this is costing children and teenagers their lives. also, these synthetic drugs are designed to keep law enforcement from finding the origin of the chemicals. the dea testified this fall in front of the house energy congress committee that they are three steps behind the criminals when it comes to synthetics and analogues. in the past few years, synthetic marijuana has become a popular choice. it is designed to mimic the effects of organic marijuana and has a widespread commercial availability. it can be bought at stores for as little as five dollars apiece
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, making a popular among young people in the homeless. this is because it is sold on interesting brand names such as the zara, k2, spies, and -- spice, and scooby snacks. have outlawed its synthetic drugs in some way. the problem, they never change the chemical makeup. -- they will change the chemical makeup. they do this to start a little cash to skirt the law, make -- to skirt the law, making their products no longer illegal. a 1400 percent increase in hospital visits from 2009 to 2012. the new yorkner of city police department stated, this is a scourge on our society, affecting our most challenged citizens. it affects teenagers in public
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housing and the homeless. the fob has supported legislation to add it synthetic bath salts, marijuana, and other synthetic drugs to schedule one substances, but the manufacturers find loopholes for distributing these drugs, because they are similar, but not chemically identical to the scheduled substances. with the loophole, the onufacturers and abusers know exactly what to do with them. they ingest them and start them to get a dangerous, unpredictable high. in the fast -- in the past few years, we have seen an increase infant and all -- and that in all -- in fetanyl. much of what is seen on the street is not from hospitals, but sourced from china and mexico. be 100re reported to
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times the 200 times stronger than heroin. just .25 milligrams can kill you. to put it in perspective just how little .25 milligrams is, a typical baby aspirin is 81 milligrams. if you cut that tablet into 324 pieces, one of those pieces would be equivalent to a quarter of a milligram. sutures --fennel seizures in 2014 were concentrated in 10 states, ohio, massachusetts, pennsylvania, kentucky, virginia, florida, new hampshire, and indiana. i would like to thank the committee for hearing a representation. rep. buck: thank you, officer smith. i will now recognize mr. eckhardt. >> before i begin, i would like to make sure a each of our committee members has a copy of the brochure. , am joined by my wife veronica
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and for personal reasons we chose to join you here today, to dedicate time to better understanding the threats and issues surrounding new psychoactive substances, sometimes referred to as synthetic designer drugs. the epidemic rate at which they are spreading, the severity of their destructive effects, both in the u.s. and globally, and the deadly impact they are having up on our countries, our communities, and our families. it is our sincere hope and prayer that each of you will leverage your individual and collective power to do more than simply discussed this growing problem, but rather you will choose to take action now and make changes nexus every -- make changes necessary. it is my hope that my testimony will help provide some heart to the head knowledge that you here so frequently in these conversations. , family, and i tragically know the devastating impact of synthetic drugs. in july 2014, r 19-year-old son was a bright, vibrant young man
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with of full life ahead of him. he is what most would have considered the all american boy. he had a great job, he was preparing to go back to college, he loves music, surfing, the outdoors, he had lots of friends, and he was deeply loved by his family, his sisters, his mother, and me and his father -- and me, his father. this is a family shot taken july 5, 2014. it was the last time we would be together like this will stop a days later, connor was with a new friend. he made this seemingly innocent decision. he agreed to try something called spice, a synthetic poison, and that was the result. after many days in a,, he was ultimately declared brain-dead. in july 2014.
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[choking up] after one smoke of a legal high, purchased at eight -- at a legal store. the time, we were unaware of this, and made the decision to share our story publicly, to be transparent and naked with our thatdy, with a simple hope it might change one person's life, might spare them and their family the horrific circumstances that we were facing and now live with each day. since the death of our son six 671 days ago,o -- we met far too many parents who lost their children to spice. through our outreach efforts over the past 671 days, we have communicated with hundreds of thousands of people throughout
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the united states and the world who have lost loved ones or had their lives tragically destroyed by synthetic drugs. unfortunately, what happened to connor is not unique. far too many people have suffered a reputable harm, including death, as a result of trying or using these poisons. however, what is unique about his story is how he has received an overwhelming response through news, tv, radio broadcast. his story cuts through the racial, social economic, geographic, and religious barriers. affectingat these are everyone, everywhere. we are not just one voice. connor is not just one phase were some statistic. --repre [choking up] we represent the voice of many others just like us. we have had the opportunity to reach many people on the subject.
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we have leveraged social media. we have had unique facebook posts that have relates -- that have reached millions of people at a time. speake the opportunity to in many settings. we have spoken to senators, legislators, and many in government. we even met with the lord from the house of lords in the u.k. this past summer as we were there, on the subject. we have worked with numerous organizations in an effort to increase awareness of the dangers of synthetic drugs, and we have worked to change the laws to that these poisons are removed from our streets. but more must be done. hundreds of new synthetic drug compounds have appeared around the world in the past few years, sometimes spreading at the rate of a new drug for weeks -- a new drug per week, and we are allowing this to come into our country. manufacturers are constantly changing formulas, developing new derivatives in order to evade the laws. they are working faster than we are. the issue of the mps needs to be
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addressed now. when this congressional gathering has ended, you return home. you will return to your families, your children, those you love and care for. we return home, we return to a family that has been further changed because of the as a of our loved son result of synthetic drugs. as long as people are pushing thereoison and know that is little consequence for their actions, and they do know this, we will continue to see the harm they bring to our families, our youth, and our communities. you have the power to do something about this. we are pleading with you to please take action. don't just talk about and debate the issues, bring about changes that will get the substances out of our communities and deal appropriately with those behind the manufacturing globally.
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thank you for your time and consideration on this. markrep. buck: thank you, mr. eckhart. thank you for your courage, and i appreciate your wife being here as well. on?s my microphone , members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear today. during my career, i have worked with synthetic drugs, assessing schedule one d8 registration. my goal was to understand how the structure of a molecule engaged biological targets, better understanding how the substances interacted with the brain. i am concerned with the harms to human health presented by synthetic drugs. aeir availability for its response, including regulation. yet i do not believe that the proposed legislation would affect spice mixtures. they already -- they focus on already established types.
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the challenge is to preserve researchers needs well -- while preventing the chemicals. this revolves around three points. first, therapeutic uses. second, legislation should be guided by science. third, the impact on mass incarceration. -- investigators were per will pursue research with schedule one drugs. obtaining a schedule one license is not a trivial matter, and a or must be able to obtain one. in most cases, researchers are it is important to have funding identify available to beneficial purposes as with marijuana.
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the cost to deter a schedule one license might impede new research. one schedule one drug may have unique therapeutic efficacy in treating anxiety, and addiction to alcoholism, and nicotine. availableallucinogen without a license was called doi. he discovered by accident that it has potent anti-inflammatory properties. one, hebeen schedule never would have discovered this therapeutic breakthrough. most pharmaceutical companies have abandoned novel drugs for bipolar disorder, excessive compulsive disorder, and others. they have unknown causes. the kinds of substances we are concerned with today act in the
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brain. it is possible that new medicine will result from more research. any responsible legislation might protect research that could lead to the discovery of new medicines. without solid scientific scheduleis unwise to medicines without knowing their potential. comparisons or predicted pharmacological effects are not a reliable basis for schedule one classification. welburtin,rend, -- an effective antidepressant, resembles -- there are hundreds of synthetic compound they could be made. there is the schedule category for drugs which have no known medical category but have not been shown to have high abuse potential. we should schedule those only with demonstrated public health and safety risks. and put the scientific medical community would preclude the
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scheduling of compounds with a demonstrated health dangers, preventing needless incarceration of individuals for using the substances. persons who manufacture and distribute substances that cause -- harm human health should be punished. there is a consensus developing that use of psychoactive substances is a public health problem, not a criminal matter. the war on drugs has been largely unsuccessful to drug use and has contributed to our country having the largest prison population in the world for nonviolent drug offenses. regulation must be a component to the solution of this problem, drug strongly believe that control and scheduling should be grounded in science. there must be balance so discoveries are not lost by restricting access to novel
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compounds. ciccone and felonies -- draconian policies only contribute to the problem. >> will proceed to the five-minute rule. i will recognize the gentleman from texas. >> thank you for being here. it is an important subject. , i know it is obviously very difficult for handsome young man that you and your wife had obviously brought a lot of joy. you mentioned that he bought it legally. did you ever find out how he heard about this and where he purchased it? >> he was with a new friend that
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day. marijuana. offered he declined. he did not want that. as an alternative the synthetic drugs were suggested and purchased at a local smoke shop along with other tobacco products and was truly viewed as a safe alternative. >> because it was legal? >> legal. >> so it must be ok. inand youth find themselves situations of peer pressure. he was inclining one thing and finding a way to concede. admirablyacting relying on his government that if it were too harmful, it would be illegal. obviously, as you and your wife have been doing, you have in raising awareness.
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if he had been aware of the dangers, he was sharp enough and moral enough that he would have turned it down. he didn't know the risk. how big is the market for illicit prescription drugs compared to heroine? >> the market for prescription elicit or perception opioids is massive. it would be hard to put a number on it. in terms of overdose numbers, we are talking 19000 and one year. with heroin almost 9000. heroin is trending up. is the opioid trending down or just heroin trending up? >> we do not see a downward
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trend in prescription opioid abuse or overdoses. that is trending up. not at quite the rate that heroin is. heroin is intersecting on that graph. >> isn't it interesting that as our federal government is forcing people to turn away from god, they are searching for answers and other places that are not so good for them. do you know what the profit margin for a synthetic can have annoyed -- synthetic canabanoid is? $15,000 -- $1500 up to $2000.
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you could turn that into $250,000. >> dr. nichols, you wrote an wheree in january of 2011 you expressed remorse because someone had used your public research to produce a substance that caused six deaths. how could they have used your article to produce that? it is hard to believe they could have taken your article -- >> the situation is that the chemists involved in making these substances are quite accomplished. we published in the open scientific literature. i have been doing studies of ecstasy as a mechanism of action. one of the compounds we had made was called mta. the assay that we use was a red assay.
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showified compounds that the release of a brain transmitter called serotonin. it does not present the effect of ecstasy, but some in the netherlands saw the paper we published. we publish that it was a potential antidepressant. we saw that the synthetic methods are in all the public literature. all medicinal chemists who work in this field publish their work in the literature. it's all out there, the methods are on the papers. >> it is in the scientific publication. >> not in your article? >> not in the essay. >> i'm just saying that i think
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you blame yourself took a much for that. but i yield -- too much for that. i yield back. >> this is a very important hearing. i want to thank each of your malone and mr. smith, mr. eckhardt and certainly dr. nichols. i hope that i announced her name correctly. i was previously in a meeting and it will have to go to another meeting dealing with criminal justice. let me thank mr. buck and the chairman of the subcommittee, mr. brenner and the ranking member of the full committee. i'm grateful for the work we have done to organize this hearing. we have several witnesses with us today will provide us with .heir own unique perspectives
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my home state of texas has been significantly affected by the proliferation of synthetic drugs. push is the street name for the most popular synthetic substance right now. it is made from synthetic chemicals sprayed on plant materials and packaged like candy and smoke like marijuana. whoosh is typically many times than marijuana and produces a physical and psychological effects that is uncharacteristic of marijuana use. people use it have suffered paralysis, rain damage, and even death. law enforcement agencies, including those in texas and across the nation, have identified hundreds of names given to synthetic marijuana. this committee hearing is important for that reason. whatever we generate in legislation should be confined by the facts.
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we don't want to expand the fishnet on individuals who happen to be attractive, addicted or using this drug. i hope we have enough facts in our record to be able to craft a sufficient federal response to this important issue. consentsk unanimous that the rest of my statement will be used in the record. ask that myng to questions for the witnesses be submitted for comment. >> without objection. >> i'm going to post a question to dr. nichols. i'm concerned about making sure we are not so broad that we in fact do not appropriately respond to synthetic drugs. in a moment of personal
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privilege, my daughter graduated from the university of chapel hill with honors. you are elevated higher in my eyesight. why is it important after nichols that the scientific a role in the field play into turning -- determining the appropriate response and other control measures. might i ask that you describe any promising research. >> the legislation i have seen a general basically tries to expand the landscape around known compounds. i've done patent legislation. claim aent that will patent for a genus of compounds. the possibility for harm is unimaginable. i think that we need expert medicinal chemists and ists to lookolog at what we are determining.
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the proposed bills seem to try to think of everything possible. we're talking about hallucinogens, synthetic cannabinoid compounds. what if a new type of drug hits the street? there is the legislation to take care of a new chemo type. chemist plays around and the lab and find something we have never seen before, and we have another scourge. the laws proposed our hindsight laws. if all you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. we need out-of-the-box thinking in terms of waste approach this that would cut off the possibility for new chemo types that we have not seen and be more careful in circumscribing the things that we have using expertise. there is lots of expertise in the american chemical society society thatogy can save these are problems, these need evidence. rather than casting a wide net.
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many are not even harmful to human health. of an unfocused shotgun approach. >> i know the other witnesses will have some instructive information that i will draw from your answers. we just had a successful set of legislative initiatives on opioids. it was based on a lot of thought and a lot of hearings. they passed a series of 18 bills last week that all of us can find satisfaction in the way that we approached it. the judiciary committee bill to not have any management at all. sure that we are accurately and appropriately addressing this problem that will take to heart your various
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-- you're very astute analysis dealing with the vastness of compounds and subsets that we should address to make sure we narrowly address these poisonous and synthetic drugs and not have a wide reach. with that mr. chairman, thank you very much. with that i yield back and i appreciate your time. the gentlemannize from michigan, mr. bishop. >> thank you mr. chair and thank you to the witnesses for being here today. i want to thank mr. eckert and veronica for being here today for your testimony. like many folks in this room, i am a parent. son and a6-year-old 10-year-old. this issue causes me great agony. my heart goes out to you and your wife. i pray for you and your family
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for what you have been through. i thank you for your courage to be here. it is incredible what you are doing. i intend to take your message back to my district and my family. i wonder if you might share with us what you believe has been the most effective method of raising awareness? and what is the most efficient method in curtailing the use of synthetic drugs? thank you for having us here. obviously it is very difficult for dev and i. we are so passionate about this subject. the laws take time to change. they obviously need to change now but getting that public service announcement which is now happening with the opiate and heroine epidemic, getting them out there and recognizing
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that these products are available. getting the message out there to the parents. they simple do not know. it's full of stories. people simply do not know. it needs to be taught in the classroom. teachers need to know, physicians need to know, nurses public needs that to know at large. awareness education prevention. old andunder 18 years you become addicted to spice, where do they go? there is not a place for an addicted child to get treatment and this is a very serious issue
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needing to be discussed at another time. >> thank you, veronica. i appreciate you being here. millon. i wonder if you can address this. as a former prosecutor, i have had interaction with officers over the years. k2 was an issue not too many years ago. it was at the stores, gas stations, party stores. i got a call from one of my local police chiefs who told me that he was trying to get it off the shelves, but he couldn't do it because there was the legal authority. how do we get ahead of this? what do we do to give you the tools in law enforcement to prepare for the next generation?
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these folks that are selling them in the stores are selling them with knowledge that they are being used in an elicit way. they are not just bath salts and incense, they are being used by the youth intended for a high. how do we get ahead of this to help and get you the tools that we need? >> thank you for the question. we have already done a fight hundreds, not based on theory but overdoses, death, and law enforcement encounters. we are getting multiples every month and we are talking dozens every year. the most effective way to get immediate relief is to get them into schedule one. to be able to stop it at the border. those were trafficking in it, in
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the united states and overseas. that would be one fix. another possible solution would have to do with the labelling. there is a bill that you have to have appropriate labeling. if there is false labeling, there could be a false labeling penalty that would increase the civil penalty and temp down the incentive -- tamp down the incentive for these stores to have them in their place of business. those are a couple ideas, but we would be more than happy to work on providing any technical assistance. runner -- erotica spoke to, a psa and getting the word out on the street. and these kids are buying this legally in stores. illegal -- it is
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a legal substance, they are not doing the hard-core things we have seen. account theng into ramifications something they can buy at a convenience store for five dollars. >> i wish we had more time on this. i am in. anyway that i can help i would love to be a part of that solution. i yield back. >> thank you the chair recognizes mr. chu from california. >> the controlled substances act provides for two mechanisms for controlling drugs and other substances. congress can do it legislatively or the dea in collaboration with the department of health and human services administratively. when the dea takes an action to schedule a substance, retailers begin selling new versions with new unregulated compounds. in your opinion, how effective
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is the current legislative framework? >> certainly we appreciate all of the tools that congress has given us. in this space is it is a reactive process. in the same medicinal chemist and pharmacologist that does this for analysis also travel the country. i think it is 65 different federal prosecutions under the analog act as experts. on three toly takes four months. process, itiate the rs generally two to three yea before they can do their analysis. when you pile on top the dozens we get every year, on top of the hundreds we have already identified, it is pushing to rock up the hill. >> what should congress due to
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expedite the classification scheduling of these synthetic analogs? workwould be willing to with your staff to provide specifics and technical advice. anything that would streamline that process or give us breathing room. >> i would love to work with you on that. in order to skirt federal and state laws, many of them are being labeled as not intended for human consumption in certain states. are these claims affecting law enforcement's ability to prosecute synthetic drug-related crimes and what can be done? >> that is the evil brilliance of some of the traffickers. they will look at the law, and create something in the substance that creates a defense for them. you have a battle of the experts when you prosecute them. thatay to potentially fix is if you have some kind of a
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labeling requirements so they are appropriately labeled. it would defeat that defense. that is in the realm of orhnical assistance, advice, interaction we can have to talk about that in greater detail. >> the majority of these synthetic drugs have been manufactured and imported from china. tot has the dea and doing combat the manufacturing of chemical compounds? >> that is one of the biggest challenges. the manufacturers operate with impunity because the majority are not schedule one. we have a strong and growing relationship with the republic of china. scheduled 2015, they 115 of these synthetics. as a result, they provided leads domesticallyentify where gatekeepers or cartel distributors would be in the united states so we can work
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under our laws to bring them to justice. >> how are these precursor chemicals being imported? >> they are being labeled as research chemicals. any other contraband they are mislabeled and sent in. unfortunately with the majority we do not have the authority to stop them. the majority are not scheduled. >> officer smith. in the past several years there have been an enormous increase in the variety and number of synthetic drugs available. as a first responder, what additional help and safety precautions to police have to take when approaching an individual suspected to be under the influence of synthetic drugs? >> from the law enforcement and first responder standpoint, and general law enforcement, fire and ems, dealing with
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individuals on synthetic drugs is similar to the effects of pcp on an individual. they are unpredictable to deal with, they can be very passive at one moment and with the flick of a light switch they are extremely agitated and very violent. --are getting officers, far firemen and ems responders hurt. >> thank you, i yield back. the chair recognizes mr. labrador from idaho. >> i will yield back one to two minutes from mr. bishop. -- we have 1000 questions in a small amount of time, but i wonder if i might synergy dea's project found that millions of dollars in the sales of these synthetics
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were being funneled back to the middle east for what i assume to be terrorism purposes or funding terrorism. that?u comment more on >> product synergy was a multi-year-multi-agency investigation. hundreds of millions of dollars in proceeds were going back to the middle east. that andue to explore work with our partners at the fbi which is a multiagency coordination center but that operation resulted in the seizure of almost 7000 kilograms cannabinoids. we are still exploring that i would not be able to speak to some of the threats of those investigations on the money. >> one quick follow-up, we know this is not necessarily manufactured here.
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how is the trafficking handled when it gets to the united states? who does it? synthetic can cannabinoid -- there are several ways. the primary way is manufactured in china. they're exploiting on the o p it with heroin trafficking, they are taking the synthetic fentanyl, mixing it with other substances and sending it across the border. any part of the country is being touched. you can also get it directly from china. you can get this substance sent directly to your home. it is a terrible and treacherous world that they are creating. >> thank you for your testimony,
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i yield back. >> thank you for being here today. mr. eckhardt, i want to express to you that i have five children and i cannot even imagine what you are going through. i went to express my deepest andolences to your wife entire family for your tragic loss. i'm sure it's difficult to be here but i greatly admire the courage you have to help us fully understand the true impact of these drugs on our society. , is the da --dge dea working to interdict these shipments? we are working as closely as we can with the tools that we have. >> to you have cooperative agreements in place? >> i'm sure there are and the ou
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-- i'm sure there are mou's that exist. >> you think the working relationship is functioning? >> yes. >> can you estimate the number of prosecutions and synthetic manufacturers and distributors that have occurred in the united states? >> it would be hard to come up with a hard number but i would be happy to take that back and give it to you. >> mr. smith. how has your department had to shift its drug enforcement policies to combat the influx of synthetic drugs? the combating of synthetic of thes typical enforcement of any other law. testified to, the ever-changing chemical makeup of synthetic drugs for prosecution.
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just tweaking one chemical item of that synthetic drug changes the enforcement access on the law enforcement side due to the fact that now you have a chemical drug that was scheduled tom,another change one a it is a new chemical so it cannot be prosecuted. >> is or anything you would like to tell us that you have not that you would like to see? >> how much time do you have? [laughter] ? would say, at what price tag at what price tag are changes being made or delayed. from a parent's perspective, from the general public's would feel like and the many hundreds of thousands we have communicated
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with would feel like if something looks like a duck, walks like a duck, >> like a duck,- quacks like a let's call it a duck. because they change one molecule, it skirts our laws? how many young people have to lose their lives to death or permanent disability? what is the impact on our community and our society as a result of that and at what price tag are we preserving the ability to research these or to talk about them or to study trends and statistics before we actually do something. let's do something. if it is not the right thing we can always change it down the road as we learn more. parents and the general public need to be informed. we were not parents with our heads in the sand. we talked about drugs and the perils of what they face as youth in today's world.
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we did not have a clue about what was going on and the more that we learn, the more terrifying it gets to be a parent in today's world. we need help from our government. >> think the gentleman. the chair recognizes the full committee -- the chairman of the full committee. >> i apologize for not being with you the entire hearing. i did appreciate your testimony mr. eckhardt and this brochure. here in theence congress i have seen a few other people who have basically dedicated their lives to try to make their son or daughter's life meaningful. i know that is exactly what you are trying to do in dealing with a horrific loss like you are. i commend you for that. i don't know how much your foundation's research has given
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you about this, and it may have been asked but some of these products like k2, spice, and chronic that i see, they look like regular commercial products. that increases the opinion that people think it must be legitimate. it's the first sale -- it is for sale in this store. what you know about those companies? are the legitimate companies who make other products or are they totally illegal operations that have this stuff mysteriously appear in various stores? >> to the best of our understanding there is no legitimate use for the chemical and the businesses that are proliferating these products in the marketplace -- >> if you were to sue them they would disappear? towith our son, we try
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discover who was the manufacturer and were unable to get that. even though we have the packet itself. there is a deep web and it is not easy to go identify. these are not products typically being made at some manufacturing plant with the name of the company out front. >> do you think they are made in the u.s. or made out and shipped in? >> our understanding is both. did youuch cooperation get from law enforcement, from the dea and others of trying to do that research at that chain? -- up that chain? >> from our perspective, law enforcement and people were very supportive. >> but they were not able to help you go up the chain and find who made the product? >> right. sir, you testified about how
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potent this truck is even if just absorbed through the skin. what harm could it do if dispersed over a crowd of people? >> it could kill them. i'm not a scientist, but we fortunately have much sort of people and myself on our staff that are scientists. the pressure respiration and it could cause death. couldiniscule amount cause death. so one of the challenges for the is that theyuser could be taking fentanyl and not but fromt is fentanyl a brothers and sisters in law enforcement, when the go in on warrants, it is a very very difficult situation. every time you encounter heroine, it gets airborne and gets on your skin and you could have that kind of a reaction. that is something that law enforcement all over the country
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and ems, fire fighters everyone is concerned with that. that ande is cut with other things are cut with that to increase the addictive nature? >> to increase its potency. >> it develops a reputation? >> that is kind of the tragic part. word gets out that there is a strong -- traffickers will do that. they will spike sipping hot so that when it goes out, you will deaths.rdosed f's -- word will travel that that particular product is very potent and there will be a desire for that product. it is mixed with heroin and other substances and can be mixed with anything to expand its commercial viability. >> adding that to some other product -- as dangerous as the other one might be, adding that to it is almost tantamount to knowing you're committing a certain number of murders as
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that is distributed amongst the populace? that anavoidable significant quantity of this will result in a certain number of death? >> that is correct. >> they have to know that going in? >> yes and we have had success with death investigations post overdose. >> how difficult is it to prosecute the manufacturers of these drugs >? challenge is that it is reactive. our biggest success has been with proactive infiltration to get them and i did and convicted and arrest them from another country. in a reactive case, the harm has already occurred. now you're trying to rebuild that. it is challenging. especially when the substances are not necessarily schedule one substances. concludes today's hearing.
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thank you to our distinguished witnesses for attending. we will have five days to submit additional written questions. the hearing is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit]
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>> coming up, the house oversight committee examines the white house messaging -- messaging strategy for the iran nuclear deal. later, senator bernie sanders speaks to supporters in carson, california. >> c-span's "washington journal" lies -- live every day with policy issues that impact you. republican congressman thomas
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mansi will be on to talk about the future of the libertarian movement and its impact on 2017. and michigan democratic senator gary peters will join us to discuss economic issues including the financial situation that led to the flint water crisis and dilapidated spotlight onour magazines. we will highlight washington monthly. where stephen rhodes has written promoted bygun days trump and sanders are largely based on myth. join the discussion. claxton to kratz on the senate judiciary committee are holding what they are calling a forum on wednesday for judge merrick garland. members have invited legal experts and government officials to testify on his record and
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character. you can to the meeting live on c-span3. >> is a complement to your c-span viewing. most of our government programs like the house, senate, and congressional hearings stream live on the site so if you are away from your television you can watch on your desktop, laptop, or even your smartphone and tablet. archives all of its programs online. if you miss an episode of washed journal -- washington journal, book tv or any program you can find it online and watch at your convenience. watching a television c-span publishes its primary schedule for all three networks and the
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radio station. check it out. it is on the web at >> the white house messaging strategy for the iran nuclear deal was the focus of the house oversight and government reform committee hearing. the white house headed find it then rhodes -- had invited ben rhodes, but the white house declined the invitation.
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>> the committee on government oversight and reform will come to order. the chair is authorized to declare a recess at any time. the whiteg is titled house narrative on the iran nuclear deal. i think it's important that we take this up and deal with this situation. there are three items that i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record. the new york times article "the aspiring novelist to became president obama's foreign-policy guru." than -- the next is a letter addressed to me from mr. cummings saying, the white house would not make ben rhodes available to the committee today and would also like to enter into the record a may 16 letter from senator mark kirk and senator john barrasso. without objection it would like to enter these three into the
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record. >> without objection, so ordered. >> iran. it is one of three countries still on the state sponsors of terrorism. it is important that we have some clarity. there are issues that are outstanding. it's one of the most important policy initiatives but i still think that it man's a lot of clarity. we were hoping that the clarity would be provided by benjamin rhodes, the assistant to the resident and deputy national security advisor for communications and speechwriting. obviously a very talented and trusted person in the white house. i do not doubt his talent and his knowledge. spun andthat had been sold to the american people i'm not sure was as clear as it should have been and i have serious questions about the transparency, the truth list, -- the truthfulness come and when
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it started. here you have a state sponsor of terrorism in iran and we still do not fully know the answer to a lot of these questions. some may think that they know the answer but there is still a shroud of secrecy and i think this is a viable thing to look at. to look at. mr. rhodes was in the unique position to offer this perspective given his heavy duty and work on this. what is mystifying is how readily available he made himself to the media but only obviousedia, he showed disdain for people with foreign policy credentials and showed great disdain to the media themselves. he elected to share those with the "new york times" that put them out there. also very negative about congress going so far as to say they could not had a -- have a withnal discussion
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congress that we provided that. josh earnest from the podium at the white house openly mocked congress and said that perhaps otheruld be calling members up such as senator tom cotton who should swear and affirm and answer questions. i took that suggestion and shared it and we accommodated that. agreed if mr. rhodes would he here to also be here to answer questions and ferret out any of these details not to rhodes elected speak. he does have a public speaking engagement today. he is out giving a public speech today that refuses to come and speak with congress. i am going to play a clip, i have two clips in my opening statement and i can -- i think you can see where someone on the other side of the aisle will say we have known everything about this and it has been debated by
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want you to watch this clip. clip b if weo could and let's watch this. >> or have been reports that and outside of the p-5 plus one mechanisms the obama administration or members directave conducted secret bilateral talks with iran, is that true or false? we have made clear as the vice president did in minute that in the context of the framework we would be prepared to talk to iran bilaterally but with regard to the kind of thing that you are talking about on a government to government level, no. >> let me try it one last way. as of the policy of the state department were the -- to lie to
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achieve that goal question mark >> i think there are times when diplomacy needs privacy in order to progress. this is a good example of that. see victoria nuland offered what turned out absolutely and totally not true. she was more candid in that assessment then you have this article comes out and basically the administration thought it was in their best interest to spin up the story that negotiations started with a more moderate regime into a 13 but that is not what had happened. that was fiction as well. twice fouralk about by seven access. the american people were led to believe that americans with the best interest would have access and be able to see and get in there and go into these nuclear facilities 24/7. i will play another clip. .his is number -- letter e
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>> the israelis have put out this list of things they think should be in the final deal with iran including allowing inspectors to go anywhere, anytime. that seems perfect the reasonable, no? >> first of all under this deal , anytime,ave anywhere 24 seven axis as a relates to the nuclear facilities that iran has and you have access to -- >> what about the military facilities? >> if we see a site that we need to inspect on a military facility we can get axis to that site and inspect it. if it is suspicious and we believe it is related to nuclear efforts we can get axis and then -- inspect that site through the
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.aea deal you will have anywhere, anytime 20 47 axis as it relates to the nuclear facilities that iran has. >> or his twin 47 access to iran -- two verify their compliance. >> anytime anywhere. -- their nuclear facilities. >> i have spoken at length about what exact the this deal is. i also want to make clear what this deal was never intended to be. as the chief negotiator i can tell you i never uttered the words anywhere, anytime nor was it ever part of the discussion we had with the iranians.
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>> you can take that down. ouromeone pointed out on committee, i do not think that mr. kerry was the chief negotiator. 24 by seven axis, can you axis anything anywhere anytime? we have also heard a lot of numbers related to sanctions relief. escrow dealing with the ed funds. the iranians said he had access to $100 billion. the treasury department said it is $50 billion in secretary kerry said they had access to $3 billion and then lamed treasury. this is a lot of money going to a state sponsor of terrorism. there's also questions about ballistic missiles. there was a violation of the 2231 but inion
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march of 2016 you have ambassador power to the u.n. who toned it down little bit. they are calling it an inconsistent [indiscernible] to the filing should not u.n. resolution. then you have issues about boosting iran's economy. the state department suggested that we are obligated to boost the economy, the iranian economy. something we need to understand. we do not understand the side deals, there are still sanctions on iran, we want to understand that and then there is questions about everything that has been agreed to. but inside writing deals and other verbal commitments that were neighed -- made. that mr. thornberry
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has an important amendment we should consider and look at that will be part of the issue as we move forward. there are a lot of outstanding questions. we wanted to get the person who is in the thick of things from the white house to come here and testify. the white house on thursday claimed this was not about executive privilege and then less than 24 hours before this anding the reversed course said it is about executive privilege. who is being inconsistent? you have plenty of time to go out and talk to all the media friends and talk to the echo chamber that you brag about it when it comes time to answer our questions under oath you decide has faro it. my time exceeded what we have allocated. we will recognize mr. cummings. mr. cummings: thank you. forink all are witnesses
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being here today. surprised -- very surprised and shocked that you would invite john hannah to testify before committee as an expert witness. on the subject of false white house narratives. mr. hanna was vice president dick cheney's top national security advisor in the white house. helped prepare colinary of state powell's infamous state -- speech to the u.n., a speech that secretary powell has called a permit blot on his record.
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mr. hanna was identified by the as hisational congress "principle point of contact" in the vice president's office. were provided reams of false information about weapons of mass destruction. heworked with scooter libb who was convicted after the bush administration leaked the identity of a covert cia agent valerie plame. her husband, ambassador joe wilson had publicly debunked the administration's false claims about the iraqi nuclear program. libbyas the same scooter who told the f


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