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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  May 18, 2016 4:00am-6:01am EDT

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people and congress would support a shift that major had they known about it? >> no. jeanette is quoted in this piece is saying, they had -- if they had done that they would have gotten the blank kicked out of them. >> so they are spinning the truth and making people get on oard something that is not -- >> it is an extremely strong suggestion of the article you had to spin it. >> down the line, would you agree with it? >> yes. >> mr. hannah? strano: yes. >> i yield. assume youn, first i are vigorously opposed to the iran agreement. mr. rubin: yes. i thought there could be a much stronger agreement and i think
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we could have had leverage to get a much more favorable agreement. myself -- associate >> just to be clear, for instance, former secretary of state colin powell, as he is called the regime vigorous, this is a remarkable change. ". so we have stopped this highway race they were going down. i think that is very, very important. would you agree with secretary powell's quote? >> it reminds me of the agreement with north korea which we now know did not merit those and fort smith's. >> the former adviser to president ford and george h.w. bush, i quote, to turn our backs would be an abdication of america's role. that quotegree with as well?
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mr. doran? mr. doran: i disagree. >> mr. hannah, it strikes me in your response to some of my colleagues, comments about your role as spies -- with vice president cheney and the decision to invade iraq is that it was a mistake. you apologize for that in your own way but we should just move on tonight. is that a misrepresentation of how you view your actions? >> it is more complicated but too long to explain, but yes. if the case depended upon weapons of mass destruction in iraq, that was false and americans did not understand the grounds on which we were going to war to take out a major dictator. the congress in 1988 passed a law almost unanimously saying, we have to do something to get rid of this guy. it did not necessarily say war, but instead we have a big problem with iraq.
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>> but it was based on the assumption there were weapons of mass destruction in these mobile labs. 19 -- in 1998 it was the clinton administration. you had secretary of defense holding up a biological -- a bag of sugar and say, if saddam had would -- he >> but that was not the communication we were having an order to send young americans to war in iraq will stop it was weapons's which you admit now was a mistake. clearlyhat intelligence was false. the bipartisan commission looked at it and said most of it was wrong. >> so by comparing this, the beinguences struck me as much more significant, obviously, to the decision of telling people we were going there, not because we do not like saddam hussein although that was the case as well, but
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because there were biological weapons and weapons of mass destruction. you can assume, as experts, this is not going to turn out well. but at this time they are not equal in terms of negative consequences to the peace in the middle east. how could you possibly say that at this point? >> i would say that you are right. that war and death and injury of american soldiers is a terrible price to pay. we have not seen a lot of americans dying but look at the middle east right now after eight years of this administration. it is hard to say it is better because americans are not dying but half a million syrians are dying. chemical weapons are being used. >> but that is all because of a decision you were very much -- >> it is much more complicated than that. >> know it is not. not from my perspective. i am not an expert but i have gone to funerals of my
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constituents who are dead who were in their teens because of what you and mr. cheney did in iraq. >> it was because of a rainy and weapons thater kill. not the narrative. >> how did that -- how did our invading iraq do that? it continued to support terrorists in the region. >> we did not invade yemen, on theyet we see a ran warpath -- iran on the warpath all over what this did was it increased the budget by an order of magnitude. >> we were doing that before, that is what went into iraq, that is what you are saying. >> you are blaming the narrative on the fact that iran has been a leading state sponsor of terrorism since 1984 and to try to somehow distract from that narrative offrom a
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false moderation is counter -- counterproductive. >> i feel like i am in a sequel or a replay of dr. strangelove and it would be nice to have a balanced discussion. >> i agree. that is why we invited ben rhodes and the participation of senator contin. -- sen. cotton:. at the white house refuses to make them available. that cannot have discussion and that is what makes it a shame about today's meeting. >> and dealing with the iranian nuclear issues, i am saddened that rather than looking forward to how to best secure the united states from a real nuclear threat, we see a progressive threat on our entry into a rack around the issue. classicmost like the page, admit nothing, deny everything, may counter accusations.
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to the twistedn narrative that our entry into a wreck was based on false print was based on false pretenses. if an abusive neighborhood threatens everyone in the neighborhood with destruction, should we sit idly by and not take action to secure ourselves from such threat? , saddam had technical capacity to develop a bomb. in the summer of 2003 i had firsthand knowledge that the first infantry along with special operation forces secured a centrifuge, which is of the highest order for the refinement of nuclear material and it was smuggled out of europe. saddam's nuclear physicist gave it is welland documented and his book.
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an account the cia describes as accurate and balanced. i served in iraq during that time when we were hunting for saddam and i said it would be major news as the centrifuge came to light. totead, it is likely hidden this day. it is interesting to note that senior leaders, one in particular who related to me syrian flood major he was directed by saddam hussein to move into real to an eastern syrian site. of a nuclearrial and chemical nature. it is interesting that that airy site was attacked during operation orchard during an israeli airstrike and it was because they were making a nuclear reactor. the silence on this news is deafening. those who -- as someone who helped track down and capture
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saddam hussein, it is hard to hear members of congress condemn our efforts but it is not surprising. from day one as we sacrificed in the field, members of the congress condemned our efforts even going so far as to declare while wewar was lost buried our friends in the field. that steady drumbeat forced us to bury friends not only there, but should him home and put them in section 60 of arlington and then come home to watch politicians, many still in office, destroy what we fought for. they persist even today, mr. chairman. i will never regret bringing a dictator to justice and i am it.d to played a part in history, should we allow it, will judge us and our efforts accurately. i am not sure the same could be said of congress. now we turn to get another nuclear threat with a ran.
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-- with iran. nuclear programs, and i quote, share a common weak spot. they need in our international duplicity. rhodes, in this administration, it appears they provided all of it to a ran. two iran. mr. rubin, how and how early did they start talking about administering oversight to the iran deal? >> i am not privy to the talks within the administration but it appears almost from the beginning. >> i have passed the iran terror financier act, the only real effort to oppose the nuclear deal, which now sits in the 'snate and with mr. rhodes exposure, the need for congressional oversight, there are key provisions and it sits in the senate.
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that language even today could be acted upon by the senate and provide a ski oversight. the president acted unconstitutionally. while he is free to make negotiations, he is not free to bind us with treaty-like obligations. do you think if we passed the key provisions out of the measure that currently sits in the senate it would increase the oversight as was noted last week by politico. do you think it would be helpful in deterring and making what we do have better? >> yes. the strongest and most effective actions taken by iran during the come in is to ration -- clinton administration and ratherlateral sanctions than the watered-down united nations security resolutions even though the bush administration achieved a number of those as well. >> thank you for your service and being here today.
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i yield back. ask mr. russell, we thank you for your service and sacrifice and time. we are better for it. thank you. i now recognize the gentlewoman -- >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for the opportunity to talk about what i think is really important in this and issue. making sure we are holding our as accountable and are clear to what those accountability issues and measures are. not just how it is being communicated but how it is being verified. the only disappointed is that we are having conversations at talkingat if we are not to the folks, with no disrespect to the panel members, about really who is enforcing, who is accountable.-- a number of individuals i spoke to with expertise either as
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concerned citizens or organizations and the administration and people outside the administration, that is my core focus. as part of the hearing of this nature, i was more concerned and more -- i would like information about the reduction in the uranium stockpile. the status of the centrifuges and a ran. that -- in iran. does anyone in the panel have any specific authority or expertise on any of those issues? it is you are directly involved in that accountability. >> are we serving government right now? the answer is no. however, we have dedicated years to the study of these issues and so could give suggestions if you would like. tracks i appreciate that. example, i have 30 years in the
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health care industry and i have a variety of credible opinions but at the and of the day i am not your physician so i cannot talk to about your specific health. what i think is important, and with no disrespect, one of the things i appreciate about this hearing is that we tackle tough subjects. i expect that if this committee hand of the chairman particularly on this issue. keeping america safe. being clear that we will make sure that everyone is accountable and we are clear about what the risks are. those are all incredibly valuable things for us to be paying attention to and i could tell you my constituents back home and in the country expect that. but to know exactly where we are , i think we ought to be talking who arendividuals
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absolutely responsible for assuring us on these issues so we know exactly what is going on. what can we do better to get and make sureon our accountability efforts are what they should be and that we have a bipartisan way to reshape them productively if need be? anyone? agree.tally i agree with everything you said and i think i would like to have a discussion with those people that the administration has worked to obscure kate the entire agreement -- obscure kate the entire agreement. that is one of my main messages. not that i am the expert on centrifuges or sanctions or so on, but those of us who would like to understand what is happening are not being given the information we need.
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have an open and honest debate because we do not have the key facts. i have made a cogent argument to that fact. >> anyone else? >> what i would say is that when surgery goes awry, often times the doctors will conduct a study wrong.hat went likewise in the private sector, businessmen will look at negotiations and what they could've done better. military, sergeants, majors, and chiefs will be right soldiers for making mistakes, not for a political ax to grind but to make better soldiers and sailors. conducted andnot after-action study about diplomacy. so that we can say this is what iaea needs to be looking for. there has to be independent testing of work being conducted
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siteanian nuclear military and there has to be extra territoriality and inspection and case iran take some stuff -- action.iran takes you have to look at why diplomacy has not worked. how can the state department be introspective. if they are not going to do the due diligence, congress should. again, without having that expertise in this hearing, if we do not have a debate waste on facts, and i might disagree with efforts, our complex without having those individuals before the committee we are ill-equipped to do that. i yield back. >> i concur. that is why it is so frustrating when mr. rhodes was at the center of this he was as of
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monday morning to appear and then suddenly he was not. congress is kept in the dark because the administration will not share information. is not the place to debate that but i appreciate the chairman more than he knows and i mean that earnestly but i'm not sure mr. rhodes is the right person but we do need to continue to have an effort to regulatingre not about where we are enforcing this agreement. so thank you for giving me maybe the last word. >> thank you. recognize the gentleman from wisconsin for five minutes. slide three?ave ok. better read it over here. ok. a quote from a new york
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times article. the easiest way for the white house to shape the news is from the briefing podiums, each of which has its own dedicated press corps. but then there are sort of these multipliers. i will reach out to a couple people and go with one and a number. i will say look, some people are spending this narrative that this is a sign of american weakness. since he will not name them, do you want to take a shot at who he was speaking of when they talk about the white house's comp and joys in the press? mr. doran: i would not want to speculate on individuals.
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>> when he talks about his coverage rates, do you have any idea who he is talking about? >> it is not hard to follow what
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happened on twitter witness article came out. friends of the white house and the friends of the echo chamber. you can see the echo chamber by seeing how they constant media will he on the article, picked out one or two little facts they could criticize and build a authorrgument that the had a political agenda in this and that narrative then spun out of social media in the into the mainstream media. say very quickly, i do not know the author of the illustrates the problem of in and go chamber saying thatnalists only sympathetic journalists can cover the administration is a sign of a huge problem. can we play the video here?
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>> let me go to mr. palmer. we are going to recognize the gentleman from alabama. mr. palmer: i think we have warned us out. we've covered everything from and demonstrated clearly we were lied to by this administration, perhaps with intent. but i want to go to the core of what we should be talking about and that is a key promise from the administration was then and iran nuclear deal would provide the public with assurance that it was meeting its obligation and the collaboration would be substantially mitigated. we go back to the ben rhodes statement that it would be the strongest regime anybody faces in the world. we can go back to what the state department posted on the website, that the international atomic agency would have regular access to all of iran's nuclear
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facilities. muchding the iaea with be grantedess and access to investigate suspicious signs of covert and richmond but that is not what is happening. after was implemented, the international atomic energy published its report in february on iran. the report contains less iaea hadon than me regularly provided by the rim before the deal took place. when asked about the gaps, the director said the deal fromicted the iaea building a report regularly about iran's nuclear program. whatubin, and given that, confidence do you have in this deal? mr. rubin: i have very little
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confidence. for reasons i outlined in my report. it falls far short. the danger is it permanently dilutes the standard by which other potential proliferators are held. ofwould you agree general mono statements validates the concerns you expressed from the beginning? >> yes i would. >> would you also say that given this tape from general mono that the exaggerated concessions that this administration claims they obtained might be called into question as well? >> as i would. we have been echo chambers. we talked about misrepresentation. acta the statement that secretary of state kerry made that he was the chief negotiator. we know the framework was already in place before he really got involved.
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these statements set of been brought out in new york magazine -- new york times magazine article. we have not talked about the fact that the deal was a fraud. to acould be on a path nuclear weapon. here is something else we need to be talking about, too. according to ben rhodes, this deal also is part of a plan to abandon our friends and allies in the middle east. does that give you can turn mr. rubin? it does.: yes >> have a you mr. doran? >> yes. >> have a you, mr. hannah? mr. hannah: yes, it does. >> do you believe the administration withheld information about the deal intentionally? action as i do. >> you feel it is in
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disagreement with the agreement he signed himself? >> yes. the amendment was written in such a way to prevent this from happening and unfortunately the administration simply broke the law. ask i could not agree more. a gentleman from illinois, introduce a house resolution into the house passed that resolution that this deal was illegal. from the get-go, because the department of law and all information before provided to congress, including the side agreements. but it was not. there is one question that we need to ask and i will ask each one of you to answer this. do you believe this deal has provided iran a path to prove -- a path to creating a nuclear weapon? >> yes it does.
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upon the expiration of the controls and the administration went into this deal knowing the are really -- the iran government was not moderate. >> is yes. >> i do not sure if it is in the jurisdiction of this committee to look into those possibilities but i think that is what we should have been talking about factentire time and the that this administration misled congress is an issue we need to pursue. look at whats to our positions are going forward in regard to iran. i yelled back. >> i agree. he is right. that is the ultimate fear, that iran is not a friend of the united states, not a friendly partner in the world community and even more so on the path to creating a nuclear weapon and that is scary. >> we will go one more time to ben rhodes.
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to -- benben rhodes, rhodes commented on the white house's attempt to avoid scrutiny. i would like to go to click the and ask you about it. -- to clip d and ask about it. >> ok. you feel the process circumvented the transparency with congress? >> they structured the deal so they could take it to the security council and effectively move out on it before congress got to look at it. there is a second dimension to what we just heard that is disturbing. that was ben rhodes talking to a group of progressive activists and telling them what was going down the line and giving them the talking points about how to
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support it. what you just heard was ben rhodes talking to the front soldiers that are going to create -- in his echo chamber. >> tell us once again who this foot soldiers are? >> this is progressive groups. i don't know the exact -- they regularly briefed dozens of progressive groups. i am not talking about pseudo-experts on nuclear proliferation and things like that. i am talking about grassroots progressive organizations to help them carry water politically. ofis one of these blurring the lines between roles that i do not think we saw in previous administrations where you have somebody who is in charge of communications and yet sitting at the table with the secretary of defense and sometimes telling
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the secretary of defense he is rather than going out and talking to domestic political groups and telling them how to of thetate in favor foreign policy of the administration. >> ok. thank you. >> thank you gentlemen. i thank you for your attendance and expertise in illuminating what is a very disturbing situation. the committee stands adjourned. [chatter]
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>> coming up today on c-span, a hearing on the dangers of recreational use of dangerous street drugs. after that, senator bernie sanders ekes to supporters in carson, california.
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toouncer: queen elizabeth talks to the public at the state opening of british element. a live bbc parliament coverage begins at 5:30 eastern on c-span two. >> c-span's washington journal live every day with news and policy issues that affect you. representative thomas massie will be on to talk about the libertarian movement and how that will affect the election that rand paul is out of the race. and a discussion on economic issues including the financial situation that led to the flint water crisis. and in our spotlight on magazines we will contribute a
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-- we will discuss a contributors article. sure to watch c-span's washington journal. coming up at 7:00 this morning. join the discussion. announcer: environmental protection agency officials testified before the house committee about epa employee misconduct and why there has been little or no investigation. today at 9:00 eastern on c-span3. this week armed q&a michael kinsley talks about living with parkinson's disease. michael can flee parkinson's is a brain disease so that is a
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nonsensical question. is it going tos affect my thinking. and became pretty important neurologist what is going to happen in t says, he was trying to tell me it was not a big deal. edgeid, you may lose your as if that was nothing. and i thought, my edge? that is how i earn a living. that is why i have my friends, maybe why i have my wife. sunday at that is 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span skew and eight. parents whose son died after
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trying a synthetic drug called rice testified before a house judiciary subcommittee. we will also hear from a police officer. in] ling >> the investigation subcommittee will come to order will >> 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
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which are produced and marketed directly at children and young adults. 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
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consumption. indeed, they are often labeled 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.
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in 2014, synthetic marijuana poisoned more than 200 people in 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
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primarily affecting adolescents and young adults. 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.
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these products are marketed as 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
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producingbody, 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
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penalize. myhink my witnesses -- thank 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
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like oxycodone and hydrocodone. 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.
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often drug traffickers will cut here on with fentanyl to produce 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
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assessment, mexico is the 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
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good first step. i look forward to the witnesses 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
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administrator for the office of the version control, where he 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
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globally about the dangers of synthetic drug use. 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?
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mr. milione: thank you, 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
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convergence of synthetic drugs with this country's opioid epidemic. 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,
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because they expose loopholes in 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.
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scheduling, the 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
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bring the substances over -- 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
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dangerous synthetic drugs into schedule one will impede 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.
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i look forward to any questions. mark: thank you. -- you.buck: thank 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. 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
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apiece, making a popular among young people and the homeless. this is because it is sold on interesting brand names such as the zara, k2, spies, and -- bizarro, k2, spice, and scooby snacks. these synthetic drugs are formed in facilities in china and mexico with ever-changing cocktails. all 50 states have outlawed its synthetic drugs in some way. the problem, they never change -- they keep changing the chemical makeup to skirt the law. making their products no longer illegal. there has been a 1400% increase in hospital visits from 2009 to 2012. the commissioner of the new york city police department stated, "this is a scourge on our society, affecting our most challenged citizens.
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it affects teenagers in public housing and the homeless. and is literally flooding the streets." 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 manufacturing and distributing these drugs, because they are similar, but not chemically identical to the scheduled substances. with the loophole, the manufacturers and distributors and abusers know exactly what to do with them. they ingest and snort them to get a dangerous and unpredictable high. in the past few years, we have seen an increase in fetanyl. much of what is seen on the street is not from hospitals, but sourced from china and mexico. frequently people buy it on the street.
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they are reported to be 100 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. 80% of all 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 our 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. i am joined by my wife veronica, and for personal reasons we
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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 discuss this growing problem, but rather you will choose to take action now and make changes necessary. it is my hope that my testimony will help provide some heart to the head knowledge that you here ar so frequently in these conversations. sadly, my wife, family, and i tragically know the devastating impact of synthetic drugs. in july 2014, our 19-year-old
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son was a bright, vibrant young man with a 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 loved music, surfing, the outdoors. he had lots of friends, and he was deeply loved by his family, his sisters, his mother, and me , his father. this is a family shot taken july 5, 2014. it was the last time we would be together like this as a family. eight 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. the second photo. after many days in the hospital with our son in a coma. he was ultimately declared rating dead.
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-- he was ultimately declared dead. connor died in july 2014. [choking up] after one smoke of a legal high, purchased at a legal store. at the time, we were unaware of this, and made the decision to share our story publicly, to be painfully transparent and naked with our tragedy, with a simple hope that 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, 671 days ago, we met far too many parents who lost their children to synthetic drugs like spice. through our outreach efforts over the past 671 days, we have communicated with hundreds of thousands of people throughout the united states and the world
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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 harm,ed irreparable 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 social media, news, tv, radio broadcasts around the world. his story cuts through the racial, social economic, geographic, and religious barriers. we know that these are affecting everyone, everywhere. we are not just one voice. he is not just one face or statistic. we repre -- [choking up] we represent the voice of many others just like us. we have had the opportunity to reach millions of people on this subject.
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we have been interviewed by most of the media outlets around the country. we have had unique facebook posts that have reached millions of people at a time. we have the opportunity to speak 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. the problem is getting worse. 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 per week, and we are allowing this to come into our country. illicit drug manufacturers are constantly changing formulas, developing new derivatives in order to evade the laws. frankly, they are working faster
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than we are. the issue of the mps needs to be 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. when we return home, we return to a family that has been forever changed because of the death of our loved son as a result of synthetic drugs. as long as people are pushing these poisons into our communities know that there 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. you are in positions of influence and leadership. 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
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the manufacturing and distribution globally. thank you for your time and consideration on this. rep. buck: thank you, mr. eckhart. thank you for your courage, and i appreciate your wife being here as well. >> is my microphone on? congressman buck, members of the committee, thank you for the opportunity to appear today. during my career, i have worked with synthetic drugs, possessing a schedule one d8 registration. my goal was to understand how the structure of a molecule engaged biological targets, better understanding how the substances act with the brain. i am concerned with the harms to human health presented by synthetic drugs. they are availability requires a response and regulation. yet i do not believe that the proposed legislation would have prevented spice mixtures. they focus on already
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established types. the challenge is to preserve researchers needs while stemming the flow of dangerous chemicals. this revolves around three points. first, allowing research on potential therapeutic uses. second, legislation should be guided by science. third, the impact on mass incarceration. especially in cases where have not been controlled in the community. obtaining a schedule one license is not a trivial matter, and a researcher must be motivated to obtain one. in most cases, researchers are funded to study only the military as properties. it is important to have funding available to identify beneficial purposes as with marijuana. the cost to deter a schedule one
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-- deter research for new medications. is important because a schedule one drug may have unique therapeutic efficacy in treating anxiety, and addiction to alcoholism, and nicotine. the only hallucinogen available without a license was called doi. he discovered by accident that it has potent anti-inflammatory properties. indicating potential efficacy in treating asthma. had doi been schedule one, he never would have discovered this therapeutic breakthrough. most pharmaceutical companies have abandoned research for novel drugs for bipolar disorder, excessive compulsive disorder, and others. they have unknown causes. the research is extremely expensive. the kinds of substances we are concerned with today act in the brain.
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it is possible that new medicine will result from more research. any responsible legislation should protect research that could lead to the discovery of new medicines. without solid scientific evidence is unwise to schedule new molecules with untested potential. sometimes changing an asked him can change the pharmacology. superficial comparisons or predicted pharmacological effects are not a reliable basis for schedule one classification. wellbutrin, an effective antidepressant. 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. input from the scientific
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medical community would preclude the scheduling of compounds with no demonstrated health dangers, preventing needless incarceration of individuals for using the substances. persons who manufacture and distribute substances that 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 , a large percentage were incarcerated for nonviolent drug offenses. new synthetic substances present a great threat and regulation must be a component to the solution of this problem, but i strongly believe that drug control and scheduling should be grounded in science. there must be balance so discoveries are not lost by restricting access to novel compounds.
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humans are known to be curious and experiment. happens without serious consequences. draconian policies only contribute to the problem. thank you. >> will proceed to the five-minute rule. questions for the witnesses. >> thank you for being here. it is an important subject. mr. eckart, i know it is obviously very difficult for you, but a 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 day.
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he had been offered marijuana. 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. >> and youth find themselves in situations of peer pressure. he was declining one thing and finding a way to concede. >> he was acting admirably , 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
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been raising awareness. 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 a heroin? >> 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. -- in 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 trend in prescription opioid
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abuse or overdoses. that is trending up. not at quite the rate that heroin is. both are trending up. 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 kilogram of a synthetic canabanoid is? >> a massive profit margin. maybe $1500 up to $2000. you could buy a kilogram of synthetic substances and 13
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kilograms of marshmallow leaf and you could turn that into $250,000. $250,000 of profit. >> dr. nichols, you wrote an article in january of 2011 where 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? did you go into that kind of detail? 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. many have phd's. 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. identified compounds that show
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the release of a brain transmitter called serotonin. that doesn't represent the effects of ecstasy, but some in the netherlands saw the paper we published. we had published that it was a potential antidepressant. we saw that the synthetic methods are in all the public literature. they simply made a batch. i was really shocked. all medicinal chemists who work in this field publish their work in the open literature. if you work with cocaine or allison engines, it is in the papers. >> but you weren't publishing the recipe? not in your article? >> not in the essay. >> i'm just saying that i think
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you blame yourself too much for that. i yield back. >> this is a very important hearing. i want to thank each of your witnesses, mr. malone and mr. smith, mr. eckhardt and certainly dr. nichols. names i pronounced 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. bringing the use and abuse of synthetic drugs forward. we have several witnesses with us today will provide us with
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their own unique perspectives. 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 has caused great harm. ofis made from combinations synthetic chemicals sprayed on plant materials and packaged like candy and smoke like marijuana. it has no constraints or guidelines. it is many times more potent than marijuana and produces a physical and psychological effect that is uncharacteristic of natural marijuana use. people abuse it and have 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. we need to get the facts.
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whatever we generate in legislation should be confined by the facts. don't want to expand the fishnet on individuals who attractive, addicted or using this drug. facts in aave enough record to be able to craft a sufficient federal response to this important issue. i will ask unanimous consent that the rest of my statement will be used in the record. i'm also going to ask that my 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. you are elevated higher in my eyesight. that the important scientific experts in the field play a role in determining the appropriate response and other control measures? might i ask that you describe any promising research on this issue? >> the legislation i have seen a general basically tries to expand the landscape around known compounds. i've done patent legislation. in patents, pharmaceutical companies will claim a patent for a genus of compounds. the possibility for harm is unimaginable. i think that we need expert medicinal chemists and neuropharmacologists to look at these compounds that are proposed for scheduling.
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the proposed bills seem to try to think of everything possible. one of the comment i made is that we're talking about hallucinogens, synthetic cannabinoid compounds. what if a new type of drug hits the street? there is no legislation that would take care of it. some chinese chemist plays around in the lab and find something we have never seen before, and we have another scourge. the laws proposed our hindsight laws. based on if all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. we need out-of-the-box thinking in terms of approaching 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 and pharmacology society that can sit down and look at these and say these are problems. these need evidence.
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rather than casting a wide net. many compounds may not be harmful to human health. it is kind of an unfocused shotgun approach. i think it could be focused on real problems with expertise. >> i know the other witnesses will have some instructive information that i will draw from your answers. you have laid a landscape of parameters that we should look at. we just had a successful set of legislative initiatives on opioids. it was based on a lot of thought and a lot of hearings. opioid and heroin. 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 -- will did not have any mandatory minimums at all. i want to make sure that we are accurately and appropriately addressing this problem that -- and i will take to heart your
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advice and your 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. >> i now recognize the gentleman 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. i have a 16-year-old son and a 14-year-old and 10-year-old. this issue causes me great agony. and my heart goes out to you and your wife.
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i pray for you and your family for what you have been through. i thank you for your courage to be here. it is incredible what you are doing. thank you for your awareness. might be ableyou to share with us your beliefs in 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 us. we are so passionate about this subject. laws need to change now. but getting the public service announcement, which is now happening with the opiates and heroin epidemic, getting public
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service announcement out there and recognizing that these products are available and can inflict forum. getting the message out there to parents. they simply don't know. i have a book that is full of stories of people who have lost their children. either to death or mental illness. people simply don't know. this needs to be taught in classrooms. teachers need to know and nurses need to know and counselors need to know and the public needs to know at large. this needs to be done immediately. awareness, education, prevention. that iflike to mention you are under 18 years old and 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. >> thank you, veronica. i appreciate you being here. agent milione and officer smith. 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 do it because there was no 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? clearly, these folks that are
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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? 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.
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those were trafficking in it, in 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.
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in your opinion, how effective 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
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is if you have some kind of a 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
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where gatekeepers or cartel distributors would be in the united states so we can work 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
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and ems, dealing with 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
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in the sales of these synthetics 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
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manufactured here. 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.
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>> thank you for your testimony, 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
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agreements in place? >> i'm sure there are and the ou -- 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
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ever-changing chemical makeup of synthetic drugs for prosecution. 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
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would feel like and the many hundreds of thousands we have communicated 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
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perils of what they face as youth in today's world. 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.
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i don't know how much your foundation's research has given 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?
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towith our son, we try 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.
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that is something that law enforcement all over the country 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
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certain number of murders as 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
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hearing. 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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>> democratic presidential candidate bernie sanders spoke to supporters tuesday night in carson, california. sen. sanders: is the winner of tuesday's oregon primary. this is about an hour. ♪ [cheers]
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[crowd chanting "bernie"] [applause] sen. sanders: thank you! thank you, carson! [applause] sen. sanders: let me begin by
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thanking all of you. what a fantastic turnout. thank you so much. and let me thank jim sobel and ,rances fisher and adriana kendrick sampson, and let me give a special thanks to a very good friend of mine and one of the great actors in our country , glover. -- danny glover. danny is not only an extraordinary actor but as many of you know, he has spent his
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entire adult life fighting for economic justice, social justice, racial justice. danny, thank you for all that you have done. let me also take this opportunity to say a word of thanks to the people of kentucky. in a closed primary, something i am not all that enthusiastic about where independents are not allowed to vote -- [crowd booing] -- sen. sanders: where hillary clinton defeated barack obama by 2000 votes in 2008's, it ends up tonight we're going to end up with about half of the delegates. [applause] [crowd chanting "bernie"] sen. sanders: not want to thank
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all fort to thank you coming out because this is the beginning of the final push to win california. [applause] sen. sanders: when we -- and by the way, i should tell you there are a lot of people out there, many of the pundits and politicians, they say "bernie sanders should drop out." [crowd booing] sen. sanders: the people of california should not have the right to determine who the next president will be! well, let me be as clear as i
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can be. i agree with you. we are in until the last ballot is cast. you know, when we began this campaign a little over a year ago, we were 60 points behind sec. clinton. we had no political organization, no money, very recognition.e the media and the pundits determined that we were a fringe candidacy. and nobody tho t


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