tv House Committee Focuses on Synthetic Drug Use CSPAN May 22, 2016 1:16am-2:37am EDT
these policies are only as good as that we can force it. we have to make sure to enforce the rules that we have. we have overwhelmingly good people. how do you make their an environment to grow and thrive? and feel safe and have a good time. we think of ourselves as a platform where people can express themselves freely even if the things that they are expressing makes us very uncomfortable. this has become very complex over the years. we are getting better at managing them. >> for twitch, i had the benefit of watching reddit go through some of this. this was before we started setting up our policies so we
always had a justification for removing anyone that doesn't relate to our values. what we have found problematic is we have two values. twitch is a platform for the creator. it is creator first. when there is a tension between the viewer and broadcaster, we go for the broadcaster because there needs to be a home online for them to have control and run their own editorial policy. we give them powerful tools to manage their community. that works great as long as
you're dealing with broadcasters who all have excellent taste and the problem that arises is we want good behavior over the whole site. we want to give broadcasters power. they don't control the community well enough and you a lot about -- and you get a lot of bad action as a result of that. we have been spending a lot of time on this problem. but it is hard because the last thing we want to do to a creator is tell them that we know better than you how to run your community. that makes the problem much harder than just jumping into it straight away. >> i like that you bring that up. you both have a model of moderation that is very old-school internet.
letting forms control themselves. obviously platforms like facebook and twitter have taken an opposite approach and do you have any pressure to take those moderation duties internally? >> it is something we think about but we would never do that. when you get on reddit that you don't get on facebook or twitter is a place where you can really be yourself. people come out on reddit all the time. when they are nervous about doing that, they can come to reddit for support. we think that is very important. there is always a trade-off there, and intention there. -- and a tension there. where we focus our time is
building the tools were you can thrive in that environment and not negatively affect others. we are very heavy-handed. we are putting walls between our communities that run them in late district the. -- that fundamentally disagree. we're seeing that more and more. i've seen that three times on reddit. we are very different viewpoints colliding. if they are not making others have about time. -- have a bad time. >> we do have a lot of moderation in-house.
we used to have all english-language moderators. but we now have realized we need all kinds of language moderators. most countries have big internet populations. the problem is, when you have something on the order of 2.5 million people a day publicly posting messages to each other, employing staff to moderate that, these are real time messages. the entire weekend of impact is the 30 seconds after it is sent. we wound up going to the distribution moderator route. there is no other way to moderate a real-time chat community.
we view our role in that as going to build excellent tools that amplify the effect. identify the people that are being a force for moderation. empower them with tools that amplify what their actions are. giving them more powerful tools to moderate all at once. >> you spend a lot of time, our focus is on using systemic issues. groups of users who are harassing other users, spam.
we have built tools and teams to identify these bad actors who without them, everyone would be fine. where we are heavy-handed is identifying those people and trying to get them out. hopefully everyone else can flourish. we believe that people on reddit and the real world for fundamentally good. they have a fundamental desire to share and to grow. that is low we are really trying that is what we are trying to protect and foster. >> steve, i am curious, you took over as ceo 10 months ago. there was a headline at the time that you were trying to save reddit from itself. have you done that? >> to provide some back story,
my number one value at reddit is evolve. the community and the company were in disarray. i was watching that it goes this -- reddit go through this difficult time. when i came back, it was a big push to looking towards the future. that meant reminding folks that there was libertarian free speech route. everything at all was allowed.
we did not know how we felt in the early days of opposition. coming back and, there were these large groups in open revolt. there were communities that were toxic and stirring a lot of stuff. i try to squash that group of users who were stirring the set. there has been a lot of culture rebuilding. internally in the company. bringing in new values and reminding everyone what our purpose is. to bring people together and provide a place where they can express themselves. to answer your question, are we done? no. have we made great strides? yes. >> as an editor, i would agree with you. >> it is hard to see from the outside when you look at a community site, there is no when
-- there is no one you can bring in that is allowed to change the direction other than a founder. it is only the founder that has the moral authority to say that this is what the website is about. there has been a bunch of things that reddit has done over the past 10 months. that may not have been possible because they did not have that moral authority coming in. i have a lot of sympathy for people that come in as a ceo and not the founder. it is very hard. to make course corrections. >> something unique to the area of the internet you are you, it is quite possible for the company to develop a myth about itself.
to diverge in a direction that is not maybe the one you plan. it is maybe not profitable. how do you deal with these issues? >> reddit was the first thing i did out of college. to summarize, it has been an incredible learning experience. we started the company at the same time. we have made a lot of mistakes over the years. we keep learning these lessons. it would grow in a direction that we didn't intend. we have gotten a lot more savvy at learning how to steer these.
when i returned to nine months ago, i said what reddit needed was a clear line. we went rather publicly. i wish i could go back and tell myself that it is impossible to draw a line. wherever you draw that line, there will be someone, that is looking for the loophole. i have met some very smart people in this process who did work for facebook and twitter and said that you need to be specifically vague. you need to give yourself some wiggle room.
an example of those lessons that could have been taught. unfortunately i had to learn the , hard way. i am forever thankful for this. >> the thing i noticed at twitch was we had to deal with a porn issue. we did that mistake. we tried to define it. you just try writing down a formal definition for what is and what is not allowed. either you are banning things that are perfectly ok or you are allowing pornography on your website.
i did not think when i started an internet company that i would wind up dealing with fundamental questions like what is creative expression really. but that is a huge part of my job as it turns out. >> i could talk about moderation all day. it is fascinating kerry i want to give you guys a chance to talk about your future plans. both sites are rapidly expanding. i think you recently had a julia child's marathon. >> we recently added a gaming category. due to user demand. we had a bunch of broadcasters that wanted to broadcast themselves doing creative work. we thought that was in line with our mission to empower gaming creators. we opened up the platform for creative broadcasting as well. the launch partner was bob ross.
of bobus do a marathon ross channels. we recently did julia child on a food channel. gaming, it is mostly user generated, a lot of people shared themselves blacksmithing or painting or making costumes. that community is vibrant and awesome and growing very fast. it is in line with the greater twitch mission which is how do we empower creators to share their passion. the thing i am most proud about is that the hundreds of people who have managed to quit their job carpet cleaning and doing telemarketing support, or as lawyers and now they get to broadcast themselves streaming video games or art as a living. colder yout anything
can do then enabling someone to do that. steve, what is your plan for internet domination? interesting an position. we have two classes of users. reddit uterus that love -- we have users that love reddit. and then, we have many, many -- hundreds of millions of users who do not have that loyalty yet. if you were to go to read its t's fronte, -- reddi page, it is not at all representative of what it is.
the big challenge is how do we ise the fact that reddit incredibly broad and deep obvious to our transient users. we have a ton of users who think that reddit is the center of the universe for nfl. which it is. but they do not know that we have all of the other stuff that we do. connecting that and educating our users that this is a place where you can get relationship guidance, the place where you a kidney match if you are in need of one of those. i want the message average user to understand as fast as possible. we have a lot of work to do that that is the most fun we can do. that is what we are excited about. >> that is all of the time that
we have today, unfortunately. thank you so much for joining me. like toe leave, i would invite back on stage, lois. youe are finally freeing for lunch. i hope you all enjoyed the morning. it was really great farm. please be back in an hour. we will try to catch up on some time. please take everything you brought into the room with you, out of the room. thank you and we will see you back here in an hour. [applause] c-span's washington journal, live every day with news and policy issues that impact you. coming up sunday morning, the associate editor and reporter for political will join us to within the divisions each political party heading into the general election. and the former deputy administrator for that
transparent carry -- transportation security administration. we will talk about the long lines at air or 10 the impact on travelers. the chief national security correspondent for foreign policy.com will talk about president obama coming the third u.s. president to visit vietnam. to discuss the significance of the trip and what is on the agenda. be sure to watch it c-span's washington journal beginning live at 7:00 a.m. eastern on sunday morning. join the discussion. >> this sunday night on q&a, vanity fair columnist michael kinsley talks about his new book "old age: a beginner's guide to living with harken since disease." -- parkinson's disease." will iti meant was
affect my thinking? that became pretty important. neurologist what is going to happen. and he says -- he was trying to tell me that it was not such a big deal. he said -- you may lose your edge, as if that was just nothing. g,ee, my edge-- , it isi earn a living how i have my friends. >> sunday night on c-span's q&a. house, resident obama awarded the national medals of science and national medals of technology and innovation to this year's recipients. people were recognized for
achievements in genetics, cancer treatment, and innovation in medical devices. this is 25 minutes. president obama: welcome to the white house. today, i have the privilege to present our nation's highest ofor, the national medals science and the national medal of science -- technology and innovation. the amount of brain power in this room is astonishing. but, when you talk to these brilliant men and women, it is clear that the honor has not yet gone to their heads. they still put their lab coats on one arm at a time. joining us to celebrate these achievements are members of congress. energy, aary of pretty good scientist himself.
my science advisor, john holdren, the director of the national science foundation, france cordova, the director of the u.s. patent and trademark office, michelle lee. and jim rathman from the national medals of science and technology foundation. i want to thank them for all the work that they do each year to help us organize and honor the scientists and innovators in this great nation of ours. now, we are engaging in a lot of science and tinkering here at the white house. we've got astronomy night, we've got hack-a-thons, code-a-thons, science fairs, maker fairs. it is fun! i have loved this stuff. i get to test out some of the cool stuff that ends up here in the white house. this year's science fair, one nine-year-old named jacob leggette turned the tables on me
and suggested that we needed to start a kids advisory group, so that young people can help us understanding what's interesting to them when it comes to s.t.e.m. education, which i thought was a pretty good idea. today i can announce that we are launching a kid science advisories campaign for young scientists and innovators to send in their suggestions for what we should be doing to support science and technology and inspire the next generation of scientists and innovators. so those young people out there listening, go to our website, we're going to be looking for some advisories, some advice. [laughter] >> the real reason we do this, as i've said before, is to teach our young people that it's not just the winner of the super bowl or the ncaa tournament that deserves a celebration. that we want the winners of science fairs. we want those who have invented
the products and lifesaving medicines and are engineering our future to be celebrated as well, because immersing young people in science, math, engineering, that's what's going to carry the american spirit of innovation through the 21st century and beyond. that's what the honorees who are here today represent. many of them came from humble or ordinary beginnings, but along the way, someone or something sparked their curiosity. someone brought them their first computer. someone introduced them to a lab. a child in their lives needed specialized medical help. and because they lived in an america that fasters curiosity and invests in investigation and values science as important to our progress, they were able to find their calling and do extraordinary things. so there are few better examples for our young people to follow
than the americans that we honor today. just to take a couple of examples, shirley ann jackson, who is part of my science advisory group, grew up right here in washington, d.c. hers was a quiet childhood. her first homemade experiment involved collecting and cataloging bumble bees in her backyard. two events happened that would not only change our country's course but shirley's. in brown vs. board of education, the supreme court handed down a landmark decision that separate educational facilities are inherently unequal and the soviets launched sputnik up in the sky, sparking the space race. as shirley put it, those two events in history changed my life for good. she went on to become the first african-american to earn a doctorate in physics from m.i.t., the second woman to do so anywhere in america. and over the years, dr. jackson
has revolutionized the way science informs public policy from rethinking safety at our nuclear plants to training a new generation of scientists and engineers that looks more like the diverse and inclusive america that she loves. and you have mark humayan, who emigrated to the united states with his family when he was nine years old. when his diabetic grandmother lost her vision, he began studying to become an ophthalmologist, opening he could save the sight of others. mark helprd create the "argus ii," a bionic eye that has restored vision to patients that have been blind up to 50 years. he says the moment he witnessed someone experiencing the miracle of sight for the first time in decades, those moments have been some of the happiest and most rewarding of his professional career.
in his words, and i think no pun is intended, there wasn't a dry eye in the operating room. [laughter] >> growing up in chicago, mary-claire king's dad would sit with her in front of the t.v. for cubs and white sox games. [laughter] >> and make up story problems for her to solve about the players on the field. she just thought that's how everyone watched baseball, which explains why, when a college advisory encouraged her to take a genetics course, she said i couldn't believe anything could be so fun. but every single american should be grateful for mary-claire king's path. we're glad she thought it was fun, because at a time when most scientists believed that cancer was caused by viruses, she relentlessly pursued her hunch
that certain cancers were linked to inherited genetic mutations. this self-described stubborn scientist kept going until she proved herself right. she discovered a single gene that predisposes women to breast cancer. that has empowered women and doctors to better understand the choices that they make when it comes to their health and their future. so these are just three examples of the remarkable stories that are represented here today. they illustrate why this is such an extraordinary moment to be a scientist in this country. america's progress in science and technology has countless revolutionary discoveries within our reach, new materials, designed atom by atom, new forms of clean energy, new breakthroughs in cleaning cancer cancer, andng
ending the wait for organ transplants, private spaceflight, a planned human mission to mars, a nasa probe that broke free from the solar system three years ago and it just kept on going. that's some of what america can do. that's why we're constantly pushing congress to fund the work of our scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs and dreamers to keep america on the cutting edge. as president, i'm proud to honor each of you for your contributions to our nation. as an american, i'm proud of everything that you have done to contribute to that fearless spirit of innovation that's made us who we are and that doesn't just benefit our citizens but benefits the world. we're very proud of what you've done. so congratulations to all of you! with that, let's read the citations and present the awards. [applause]
>> national medals of science, armand paul alivisatos. [applause] >> national medal of science to armand paul alivisatos. university of california, and berkeley national lab, california, for his foundational contributions to the field of nano science, for the development of nano crystals as a building block of nano technologies and for his leadership in the nano science community. [applause] >> michael artin. [applause]
>> national medal of science to albert bandura, stanford university, california, for fundamental advances in the understanding of social learning mechanisms and thinking processes in motivation and behavioral change and for the development of social cognitive theory of human action and psychological development. [applause] >> stanley falkow. [applause] >> national medal of science to
stanley falkow, stanford university school of medicine, california, for his monumental contributions toward understanding how microbes cause disease and resist the effects of antibiotics and for inspiring mentorship in the field of molecular microbial pathogenesis. [applause] >> shirley ann jackson. [applause] >> national medal of science to shirley ann jackson, rensselaer polytechnic institute, new york, for her insightful work in condensed matter physics and particle physics, for her public policy achievements and for her
inspiration to the next generation of professionals in the science, technology, engineering and math fields. [applause] >> rakesh k. jain. [applause] >> national medal of science to rakesh k. jain, harvard medical school and massachusetts general hospital, massachusetts, for pioneering research at the interface of engineering and oncology, including drug delivery and imaging and for groundbreaking discoveries for treatment of cancer and noancerous diseases. [applause]
>> simon asher levin. [applause] >> national medal of science to simon asher levin, princeton university, new jersey, for international leadership in environmental science, straddling ecology and applied mathematics to promote conservation, for his impact on a generation of environmental scientists and for his critical contributions to ecology, epidemiology, applied mathematics and evolution. [applause] >> geraldine richmond. [applause]
>> national medal of science to geraldine richmond, university of oregon, oregon, for her landmark discoveries of the molecular characteristics of water surfaces, for her creative demonstration of how her findings impacted many technological processes and for her extraordinary efforts in the united states and around the globe to promote women in science. [applause] >> national medals of technology and innovation. joseph n. desimone. [applause] >> national medal of technology and innovation to joseph n. desimone, university of north carolina at chapel hill, north carolina state university, for
pioneering innovations in material science that led to the development of technologies in diverse fields from manufacturing to medicine and for innovative and inclusive leadership in higher education and entrepreneurship. [applause] >> robert e. fischell. [applause] >> national medal of technology and innovation to robert e. fischell, university of maryland at college park, maryland, for invention of novel medical devices used in the treatment of many illnesses, thereby improving the health and saving the lives of millions of patients around the world. [applause]
>> arthur gossard. [applause] >> national medal of technology and innovation to arthur gossard, university of california, santa barbara, california, for innovation, development and application of artificially structured quantum materials used in today's digital infrastructure. [applause] >> nancy ho.
[applause] >> national medal of technology and innovation to nancy ho, green tech america incorporated an purdue university, indiana, for the development of a yeast-based technology to produce ethanol and for optimizing this technology for large-scale and cost-effective production of renewable biofuels and industrial chemicals. [applause] >> chenming hu. [applause]
>> national medal of technology and innovation to chenming hu, university of california, berkeley, california, for pioneering innovations in microelectronics, including reliability technologies, the first industry standard model for circuit design and the first three-dimensional transistors. which radically advanced semiconductor technology. [applause] >> mark humayan. [applause] >> national medal of technology and innovation to mark humayan,
university of southern california, california, for the invention, development and application of bioelectronics in medicine, including a retinal prosthesis for restoring vision to the blind, thereby significantly improving a patient's quality of life. [applause] >> cato t. laurencin. [applause] >> national medal of technology and innovation to cato laurencin, university of connecticut, connecticut, for seminal work in musculoskeletal tissues in the design of
ligament regeneration and for extraordinary work in promoting diversity and excellence in science. [applause] >> jonathan marc rothberg. [applause] >> national medal of technology and innovation to jonathan marc rothberg, four catalyzer corporation and yale school of medicine, connecticut, for pioneering innovations of next-generation d.n.a. sequencing technologies making access to genome information faster and more cost-effective for researchers around the world. [applause]
president obama: let's give another round of applause to our recipients. [applause] very proud of them. and let's give a big round of applause to my military aid, for having to read those citations, with a lot of complicated phrases. [applause] you were practicing, weren;t you? well, it just goes to show that
we can all learn science. [laughter] science rocks. thank you very much, everybody. please enjoy the refreshments, and congratulations to our honor ees. thank you very much. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> president obama has departed for a week long trip to asia. he will spend three days in vietnam, meeting with that nation's president. he also has stops in hanoi and ho chi minh city. he will travel to japan for the chisam and -- for the g-7
summit. at the also lay a wreath humor shema peace memorial, becoming the first sitting president to visit a site where an atomic bomb was dropped during world war ii. the chair ofs," the armed services committee discusses the defense by thezation bill passed house this week, soon to be taken up by the senate. that is sunday at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. eastern on c-span. now a house judiciary subcommittee hearing on the dangers of synthetic drug abuse. include parents whose 19-year-old son died after smoking synthetic marijuana known as spice. this is one hour, 20 minutes.
>> the crime, terrorism, subcommittee comes to water. we welcome you this morning for this hearing on synthetic drugs. last week, the house took significant steps forward in combating the opioid epidemic in america. today, the subcommittee will examine a related, but equally important issue, the scourge of synthetic drugs in the united states. simply put, synthetic drugs are a prime example of how criminals can stay one step ahead of law enforcement. today, parents have to worry about illegal and synthetic drugs, many of which are produced and marketed directly at children and young adults. of which are produced and marketed directly at children and young adults. synthetic cannabinoids with
names 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. e them attractive to teenager marketed and sold as legal alternatives to marijuana cocaine and heroin. does young people believe them to be safe legal alternatives. however they are been deadly. that's because these drugs while designed to mimic the effects of certain illegal drugs often contain a panoply of additional chemicals which can cause increased heart. psychosis and death. the professor who is widely credited with synthesizing cannabinoids for research purposes of clemson university has said these things are dangerous. anybody who uses them as playing russian roulette. there are profound psychological effects. we never intended them for human consumption. indeed they are often labeled as not for human consumption but everyone the manufacturer seller
and the user knows they are intended to be consumed. many states have have banned the substance is biting them to their controlled substance get shows which has resulted in patchwork of state laws. congress congress has also legislatively scheduled some of these substances most recently in 2012 however the problem is as soon as the substance is scheduled for the process begins to schedule a substance the manufactures of these illicit drugs simply change a single atom in the substance is different in can never be scheduled a substance. chemical makeup has been altered and that may have the same effect on the body it's no longer the same chemical. the process has been short-circuited. however the need for federal response remains clear since most synthetic tracks are manufactured and imported overseas especially from china. in just a month in 2014 synthetic or one of poisoned more than 200 people in my home state of colorado and killed at least one.
the arapahoe district attorney described people trying to cut their own heads off and set themselves on fire after using synthetic drugs. in my state these drugs have been marketed as synthetic marijuana and sold at tobacco shops and convenience stores often for a profit of 30% or more. it is big business in these manufactures are profiting off of our misery. i think the witnesses for appearing before the separate exam or to their participation. i now recognize the ranking member of the full committee mr. conyers of michigan for his opening statement. >> enqueue mr. chairman and i welcome the witnesses, look forward to an important discussion. we are going to talk about synthetic drugs, a problem that is primarily affecting adolescents and young adults.
i wish to welcome our witnesses and express my gratitude to them for taking time to come here to offer their personal experiences and insight. the abuse of synthetic drugs or designer drugs has been recognized as far back as the 1980s. producers of these drugs work continuously to create a legal alternative to controlled substances like marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy lsd and opioids. they produce similar kinds of highs. sometimes packaged in small packets with images of cartoon characters printed on them and names like k2 spice, vanilla sky and scooby snacks, these products are marketed as a
harmless good time, and unsuspecting teenagers and young adults who are the primary consumers of these products can purchase so-called synthetic merra juana or bath salts at gas stations, convenience stores, novelty shops and over the internet or further reinforcing the erroneous belief that these products are safe. however, in many cases, there are more potent and more hazardous than the controlled substances that they are meant to imitate. the chemical used to create synthetic drugs can be toxic to the human body producing extreme paranoia, violent behavior, aggression, hallucinations
seizure is and even death. synthetic drugs used has even been linked to heart attacks, psychosis and suicide. instead of attending their child's football game or graduation are helping them complete college applications, parents find themselves in hospital rooms praying there teenager wakes from a coma or in an emergency hoping their child will regain their sanity and returned to college. there are mechanisms in current law that allow for these drugs to be a value weighted and controlled on a case-by-case basis. for instance, the dea has the ability to temporarily placed substances on schedule one when it is necessary avoid an eminent
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 analogue enforcement act of 1986 to prosecute 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. we must be careful to craft an appropriate response that does not over criminalizing or over penalized. i think our witnesses for their time and the benefit of their expertise.
i look forward to a discussion of this troubling issue. i think the chairman and i yield back. >> thank you mr. conyers. i would now like to recognize the full committee chairman mr. goodlatte of virginia for his opening statement. >> thank you mr. chairman. i'm pleased to be here as the judiciary committee continues his efforts to protect the american people from the real and growing danger of drug abuse last week's committee moved five bills to the house that will help law enforcement and the treatment community address the opioid epidemic so this hearing is very timely. i want to focus my remarks today on the threat of synthetic opioids which present a critical threat to the american people. as we all know the principle 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.
america's addiction to opioids have of course been noticed in the criminal underworld and malefactors have taken big steps to profit off america's pain. one way they have done this is through of synthetic opioids including counterfeit description medications laced with fentanyl and fentanyl derivatives. for those who've been paying attention fentanyl is an opioid pain medication which can be 100 times more powerful than morphine. to put that into perspective carawan is typically three times as powerful as morphine. fenton l. is intended to be 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's increasingly being used unknowingly. often drug traffickers will cut heroin with fentanyl to produce a more potent high.
that is led to a rash of deaths across the country because of fentanyl's potency. in recent legislation is committing a good language to provide for sentencing enhancement for anyone who trafficks and heroin cut with fentanyl. there's that to synthetic opioids fentanyl is also widely used. the profit margin is shocking. less than a milligram of fentanyl can be legal. that means a kilogram of fentanyl can generate enormous profits for the trafficker, sometimes upward upwards of a million dollars. so we have a problem. between 20132014 the. of drug overdose deaths in synthetic opioids nearly double. according to the centers for disease control and prevention a substantial portion of this increase appears to be related to the availability of the list of fentanyl. according to the dea 2015 national drug threat assessment mexico is the primary source
country were illicitly produce fentanyl in the united states however pharmaceutical fentanyl has also been diverted from that legitimate supply chain and into the illicit market. some derivatives and analogs analogs of clinton now 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. evidence of new opioid drugs some more powerful than fentanyl are turning up on the american street corners. for example a synthetic opioid potentially 100 times more powerful than fentanyl which line for smith called the next deadly synthetic street drug. we are under siege. it's time for congress to act in this hearing represents a great first step or they think the witnesses for their testimony look forward to their response to our questions.
>> i thank the chair and without without objection members opening statements will be made part of the record. i recognize chairman goodlatte for five minutes, i'm sorry. we have a various distinguished panel today. i will begin by swearing in our witnesses before excusing them. if you'd all please rise. raise your right hand. do you swear that the testimony you are about to give us the truth the whole whole truth of nothing but the truth so help you god? you may be seated area let the record reflect all of the witnesses responded in the affirmative. mr. lewis milione. special agent louis milione is a deputy minister to finance its drug enforcement administration office of version control where he serves as october 2015.
mr. milione axes the prince of asa to the dea demands recount matters pertaining to the regulation of programs relating to the diversion of legally produce controlled substances and listed chemicals. mr. milione began his career with drug enforcement administration in 1987 and holds a bachelor of arts from villanova university and a law degree from rutgers university school of law. officer william smith junior is an officer with the washington d.c. metropolitan police department. he has over over 20 is a blunt force and experience much of which is focused on narcotics. mr. devin eckhardt is the father of connor eckhardt who died tragically after smoking synthetic marijuana great mr. sadberry is a founder of the counter project and as is a dressy night nations to raise awareness globally about the dangers of synthetic drug use. joins us today along with his wife for ronica in continuation of that effort.
mr. david nichols currently serves as an adjunct professor of chemical biology and medicinal chemistry at the university of art caroline in hill. he has been recognized as a distinguished or faster emeritus at purdue university and adjunct professor of toxicology at india needs proceed day. a ph.d. and medicinal chemistry from the university by what and was a postdoctoral fellow in pharmacology at the university of iowa. we will now proceed. i will now recognize each of the witnesses for their opening statement which will be limited to five minutes. mr. milione pitts thank you congressman buck and establishment of the committee.
synthetic cannabinoids deadly fentanyl analogues in other toxic synthetics of tenses are flooding the united states putting unsuspecting users at risk of death and permanent injury. dea seizes drug threat second only to the opioid scourge devastating our country could synthetic cannabinoids in announcer unpredictable and tested substances in color for mark packaging and marketed to our youth is illegal high. emergency room doctors for porto bide range of side effects including brain damage cardiac address kidney failure and extreme psychosis. synthetic cannabinoids in announcer sold openly openly openly in gas stations station's convenience stores had shops and over the internet. fentanyl analogs are fast growing particularly troubling part of the synthetic drug threat. here you have the dangers convergence of a synthetic drug for this with this country's opioid epidemic. we have substances many times more potent than heroin that are
being sold as heroin knicks with hurll and our press and the pope this prescription drugs. fentanyl analogs are so deadly miniscule amounts can kill an unsuspecting user. they can be heard from asia over the internet and delivered directly to your home. because of the massive profit potential cartel are purchasing fentanyl from asia shipping it to mexico mixing with other substances in distributing it throughout the united states. for all of us in the dea for all of her great federal state and local law enforcement partners broke dedicated prosecutors around this country our primary mission is to protect the public in trying to protect the public from the synthetic drug threat here is the most frustrating part. the foreign-based manufactures into the thick pied piper's of this poison often operate with impunity because they exploit loopholes in the analogue provisions of the controlled substances act and capitalize on
the lengthy resource intensive reactive process required to schedule either permanently or temporarily these dangerous substances. as we speak from help chemists in foreign countries are tweaking the molecular structural structure keeping the same properties that the controlled substance helping the manufactures and distributors avoid criminal exposure because of the altered molecular structure. we see these newly-created synthetic drugs by the dozens every year. important to remember these new dangerous substances get piled on top of the hundreds we have determined need to be controlled based on overdoses, deaths and law enforcement encounters. dea moves to temporary schedule as many of us growing that luck as quickly as we can fit for each substance that process averages between three and four months. once temporarily scheduled we seek hhs evaluation for permit scheduling a process that can take several years for each substance.
despite her best efforts to you cannot control the substances at a pace that will prevent additional overdoses and death. we at the dea are grateful for all the legislative and scheduling tools congress has given us over the years that we have had success investigating prosecuting and convicting the traffickers of these dangerous substances using the controlled substances act when synthetic drugs are placed in schedule one. we have also used the analogue act for sentence is not placed in schedule one however today's synthetic drug crisis has outgrown the analogue act. 30 years ago when the act was passed by congress there were favre fewer analogue users and fewer traffickers than exist today. trafficking networks that existed in 1986 were significantly less sophisticated in the transnational networks really a pretty poor do over the weekend working with the tools you have given given us to bring a substances under control and protect the public that we are
many steps behind the traffickers and need your help. in the short term assisting but it could provide dea and her lawn for some partners that the country maybe early that placing the hunters of substances we determine to be dangers and to schedule one. this would allow us to keep the synthetic drugs out of the country get them off the shelves of retail stores and bring to justice not the user population that the egregious domestic and foreign traffickers preying on our youth exploiting human frailty for-profit in flooding our country with these dangerous drugs. in the long-term we would welcome an minute to the controlled substances analogue act that would align the act with current threat and/or perhaps other tools that would allow us to more quickly bring these drugs under control. we stand ready to work with you to provide any assistance we can address any of your concerns. one concern that's been raised at that placing hundreds of dangerous synthetic drugs and to schedule one will impede legitimate scientific research.
here are several facts that may inform that concern. dea is never rejected a proposal for bona fide research of any schedule one substance. currently there are 469 approved schedule when researchers and many of multiple approved protocols to study different schedule one substance is. in the last year is take an average of 32 days for dea to approve one application. once the researcher has received approval a little more than four weeks. i would argue these are reasonable requirements on balance with her duty to protect the public from these highly unstable and often deadly drugs. the dea is committed to everything we can to address this threat. we look forward to working with congress with our partners and law enforcement medical and scientific entities to improve our effectiveness. thank you very much for this opportunity and i look forward to answering any questions you have. >> thank you special agent milione. officer william smith i will
[inaudible] >> i apologize. first responders to respond to individuals under the influence of synthetic drugs. the side effects of synthetic drugs are very similar to another drug was law enforcement officers encounter which is good since i put pain or pcp. i am not a small officer in deal with victims of pcp and let it be known that even in my stature at times it has been very difficult for myself and other officers to restrain these individuals. individuals of influence of the substances have an absolute supernatural human strength and the increased pain tolerance which can lead to officers and first responders being injured when dealing with these individuals.
according to the drug enforcement administration voice control has seen a 229% spike in calls in relationship to synthetic drugs. hunters of the synthetic drugs are manufactured overseas in china and mexico with no regulation. there has been reported a 49,000 new chemicals used in the synthetic drugs. this is costing children and teenagers their lives. also the synthetic drugs are designed to keep law enforcement from finding -- chemicals to the dea tested by this past fall in front of the house energy and commerce committee kerry are three steps behind the criminal's when it comes to synthetics and analogues. in the past few years and that marijuana has become the popular choice of synthetic drugs. it's designed to limit the effects of the vinegar one and has a wide commercial availability that it can be bought at local stores for as little as $5 a piece which has made it popular among young
people and the homeless. this is sold under brand names such as bizarro kate to spice and scooby snacks. these drugs are manufactured in facility in china and mexico but they were changing chemical cocktails. all 50 states about what synthetic drugs in some way they the problem is favor changing chemical makeup. the manufactures of the synthetic drugs change the chemical makeup to claim the product is not illegal. synthetic marijuana has two to five times the strength and the amount of thc of normal marijuana and lead to 14% increase in hospital visits from 2,922,012. commissioner william bratton from the city of new york police department stated this is a scourge on our society affecting the most disadvantaged neighborhoods and our most challenge citizens. it effects teenage in public housing homeless shelters and is quite literally flooding our
streets. previous session of congress -- to add bath salts marijuana and other synthetic drugs to be schedule controlled substance but the chemical manufacturers have found loopholes for manufacturing industry beating these drugs for analogue drugs because they are similar but not chemically identical to the scheduled substances. with the loopholes just a british cell abusers the synthetic substance know what to do with them. they ingest them to an unpredictable and dangerous hype in the past two years we have found a, seen more new drugs. synthetic sounds only used by doctors as the most powerful opioid medicine however according to the das d.a. of much of what is found in the street is not converted from hospitals the source from china and mexico. bring only people bite on the street with no idea is sense now. it's reported to be 102200 strong's -- stronger than
heroin. to put in perspective how go .25 milligrams is it typical baby aspirin is 81 milligrams if you cut than 81 million grams and that -- one of these pieces would be equal to quarter milligram. 80% of all that small seizures in 2014 were concentrated in just 10 states ohio massachusetts pennsylvania maryland new jersey kentucky virginia florida new hampshire and indiana. i would like to thank the committee. >> thank you officer smith. we now recognize mr. eckhardt. if you could turn a microphone on. for five minutes. >> advice to make sure that each of the committee members has a copy. as was stated my name is devin eckhardt and i'm joined by my wife veronica. for personal reasons we chose to join you today to dedicate time
to better understand the threats and issues surrounding psycho additive substances sometimes are hurt sometimes are her to his desire to expand the epidemic. macrowhich they are spending the severity of their destructive effects in the u.s. and globally and the deadly impact they're having upon our countries are communities and their families and is our sincere hope and prayer 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 to eradicate these deadly poisons in their proliferation. it's my hope that my testimony will help her fight some heart to the head knowledge that you hear so frequently in these conversations. sadly my wife family and i tragically know all too well the devastating impact of synthetic drugs. in july of 2014 are 19-year-old son connor was a bright vibrant young band with a full life
ahead of him. it was really what most would consider the omega boy. he had a great job, he was repairing to go back to college. he loved music surfing the outdoors. he had lots of friends and of course he was deeply loved by our family come his sisters as mother and of course me his father. his first photo is a family shot taken july 5 of 2014. it was the last time we were together like this is a family. eight days later, eric was with a new friend. he made the seemingly innocent decision. he agreed to try something called spice a synthetic poison and the result was the second photo there. to many days in the hospital with her senata, he was ultimately declared brain-dead pecan or died july 16, 2014.
after one smoke purchased at a local store, at the time we are unaware and we made the decision to share our story publicly. to be trained -- painfully transparent with our tragedy but the simple hopes that perhaps it might change one person's life. it might spare them and their family terrific circumstances that we were facing and that we now live with each day. since the death of our son 671 days ago we have met far too many parents who also lost children to synthetic drugs like spice and fewer our reach became education efforts over these past 671 days we communicated with hundreds of thousands of people throughout the united states and around the world who
have lost loved ones or had their lives tragically destroyed by synthetic drugs. unfortunately what happened to connor is not unique to far too many people have suffered irreparable harm including death as a result of trying for using these poisons however what is unique about this story is how it has received an overwhelming global response to what we share public leave through social media, news interviews tv radio or broadcast around the world to his the story is cut through the racial social economic geographic and religious barriers to building counted and we know in ps affect everyone everywhere. we are not just one voice. connor is not just one face for some statistic. we represent the voice and the face of many others just like us. we have had the opportunity to reach millions of people of the subject. we have been interviewed by most of the major news and media outlets around the u.s. and globally and of course we have levers of -- social media.
they have had unique facebook post out of reach millions of the time with one reaching over 37 million people globally. we had the opportunity speak in many settings spoken to senator's legislators lawn for some officials in many government. in the house of lords in the u.k. this past summer when we were there on the subject to be worked with numerous organizations in effort to educate awareness on the dangers of synthetic drugs and we have were to change the laws in our street stores in communities but more must be done to the problem is getting worse. hundreds of new synthetic drugs compound that appeared around the world last few years sometimes spreading at the. of a new drug per week and we are allowing these could to come into our country. it illicit drugs manufactures are constantly working in changing formulas developing new chemical derivatives in order to evade the laws and frankly they are working faster than we are to be issued nps needs to be
addressed in a be addressed any. >> anathemas congressional gathering has ended and you return home, you will return to your families, your children and those you love and care for. when we return home, we return to a family that has been forever changed because the death of our beloved son is there so that synthetic drugs. as long as people around the world are pushing these poisons into our communities with little or no consequence to their actions may do know this we will continue to see the spread of synthetic drugs and the terrible harm they bring to her family and her youth and communities to get the power to do something about this. you are in her position of influence and leadership and we are pleading with you to please take action. not just talk about and debate the issues bring about change will give these substances out of her committees and dealer prep really with those behind the manufacture and distribution old way. thank you for your time and your
consideration on this. >> thank you for your courage. i appreciate your wife being here also. dr. nichols i recognize you for five minutes. then a congressman buck, is my microphone on? congressman buck members of the committee thank you for the opportunity to appear today. during my career i worked with synthetic drugs possessing a researcher schedule one dea registration paid by goal was to understand how the structural molecule engaged a biological target us better understanding how these substances act in the brain that i'm very concerned about the potential harm to human health presented by synthetic drugs. their availability requires a response including regulation yet they do not believe the proposed legislation would have prevented the recent emergence of spice. rather they focus on already noncontrolled substance types. we badly need reasonable approaches to controlling new