DEA Chief Acknowledges Agency's Ineffectiveness 7/30/99

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Tyler Green, Drug Policy Foundation, [email protected]

At a rare Drug Enforcement Administration oversight hearing, acting DEA administrator Donnie Marshall admitted that DEA's techniques would not lower drug use over the long-term.

Under questioning from Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), Marshall admitted that no matter how much money DEA spent on supply reduction, prices for cocaine and heroin would never go so high, nor would supply be so low, that the supply of drugs would be cut off.

Scott said that he believed that investment in rehabilitation programs, prevention and education would have a better long-term effect on the nation's drug problem.

"Good point," Marshall replied, adding that he supported increased budgeting for DEA in the short term to deal with current crime problems.

The admission by Marshall at the hearing, which was held by the House Judiciary's Subcommittee on Crime, came days after DEA had admitted to the General Accounting Office that drug arrests often make no impact on local drug trades.

"DEA noted that the effectiveness of [certain] deployments in removing a specific, targeted violent drug gang, for example, cannot by itself eliminate a community's drug trafficking problems because DEA cannot continue to control deployment areas to prevent other drug dealers from filling the void that a MET deployment might have created," GAO reported.

(The GAO report is entitled "DEA's Strategies and Operations in the 1990s," and has number GAO/GGD-99-108. It can be read online at

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Issue #101, 7/30/99 House Reinstates "Social Riders" in District of Colombia Appropriations Bill | New Mexico Republicans Stop Short of Repudiating Governor | Jamaica: Lawmakers Consider Decriminalization of Marijuana, Medical Marijuana Research Facility | Clinton Administration Proposes Changes to Methadone Regulations | Army Spy Plane Disappears Over Colombia, Speculation of Coming US Intervention Abounds | Australian State to Open Legal Heroin Injecting Room | DEA Chief Acknowledges Agency's Ineffectiveness | Newsbriefs | Senate Considering Raising Methamphetamine Penalties | Editorial: Body Bags
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