House Moves Bill to Extend US Drug Laws Overseas

Posted in:

A bill that would allow federal prosecutors to charge people in the US with Controlled Substances Act violations for planning activities outside the US that violate US drug laws -- even if those acts are legal in the country where they take place -- has passed the House Judiciary Committee. The committee approved the measure, HR 313, the Drug Trafficking Safe Harbor Elimination Act, on a 20-7 vote last Thursday.

Lamar Smith
The bill is the brainchild of committee chair Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), who said in a statement that it was designed to close a "loophole" in US drug laws. "Drug traffickers are currently allowed to conspire with impunity in the United States and evade criminal prosecution when their goal is to traffic drugs outside of the United States," he said.

He cited the case of a cocaine trafficking conspiracy involving drugs shipped from Venezuela to Europe in which some meetings took place in Miami. The 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned convictions in the case, reasoning that if there was no intent to traffic drugs in the US, there was no violation of US law.

"This bill tells drug traffickers not to plot their illegal activities in the US, and if they do, they will be brought to justice," said Smith. "The United States should not provide a safe haven for the world's drug traffickers to plot their international trafficking operations."

But, as Bill Piper of the Drug Policy Alliance noted, the bill is written so broadly that it could criminalize any violation of US drug laws if that violation is planned in the US. For instance, heroin maintenance therapy is illegal under US drug laws. As the law is written, a US health care professional who made plans to work with colleagues doing heroin maintenance in a country where it is legal could potentially face prosecution.

"Under this bill, if a young couple plans a wedding in Amsterdam, and as part of the wedding, they plan to buy the bridal party some marijuana, they would be subject to prosecution, Piper told the Huffington Post. "The strange thing is that the purchase of and smoking the marijuana while you're there wouldn't be illegal. But this law would make planning the wedding from the US a federal crime."

While the bill has passed the Judiciary Committee, it still must pass the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where it is currently bottled up in the Subcommittee on Health, before it can go to a House floor vote.

Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Well chosen photo...

Why would anyone allow that photo?  He looks like a very sleazy character that I wouldn't imagine voting for. People from TX amaze me with their choices for leaders.

I didn't even know you could

I didn't even know you could even be charged in United States for something you did outside of the country that doesn't effect our country. How is that even possible? seems a little bit of a socialist thing in my opinion.

anyone's free to clarify to me how this is possiable .I'm just confused


Republicans claim to be capitalist and anti-socialist, but they and their supporters always seem to set aside the fact that social conservatism just is socialism and big government with respect to personal liberty. Making laws that regulate personal behavior and try to make rules to make everyone the same (like the war on drugs and defining marriage as one man and woman) just is big government socialism with respect to social values instead of economics.


When are you fucking people going to wake up? Obama just gave the DOJ the go-ahead to raid MMJ dispensories that are OPERATING WITHIN THEIR RESPECTIVE STATE'S MMJ LAWS!!! Did a republican do that? I don't think so! Clinton and bu$h were presidents for 8 years each and there were quite a few arrests in association with MMJ throughout both of their presidencies. What changes is the rhetoric associated with the action, that is all! They still investigate us, they still arrest us, they still prosecute us, and they even kill us (as well as people they mistake for being us) Nothing in the drug equation has changed over the last 40 years except what they can take from ALL OF US WHETHER WE USE OR NOT!!

The game has been the same all this time and you have done nothing but busy yourself pointing fingers at me to notice!!! Keep it up, soon enough you'll be pointing at me from between cell bars...


This is a Republican plot, bobbypin. Lamar Smith, R-Texas

 Wars do tend to make Republicans advocates of big government 

Pass a Law.. that's how it's

Pass a Law.. that's how it's done. Once it's Law, as in the case of the Law passed for "maximun Sentances" from years ago, very few "drug Lords" will this "rule"/Law be applied to, and many, many individual recreational users will fall into the same punishment classification.


And it will set a presidencies, which will then apply to "planning to indulge in the U.S., then other "crimes" planned(thought control) and and and the circle of creating Enforcement Jobs continues and you must become one of "them" or face retribution ect ect.

I Think You're Wrong

Here's the entire text of that bill:

Whoever, within the United States, conspires with one or more persons, or aids or abets one or more persons, regardless of where such other persons are located, to engage in conduct at any place outside the United States that would constitute a violation of this title if committed within the United States, shall be subject to the same penalties that would apply to such conduct if it were to occur within the United States.


It specifically says that this applies only to people who engage in these activities within the US. Where are you getting that this applies to activities outside the US?

borden's picture

"at any place outside the

"at any place outside the United States that would constitute a violation of this title if committed within the United States"

How do they plan on enforcing this?

...I mean what are they gonna do?  Send DEA agents to Amsterdam to spy on American vacationers?  Then have them arrested as they return to the US?  Lamar Smith has gotta go.  This country is in awful shape economically and THIS is his contribution?  He needs to get his priorities straight!

He's also the one

who is holding up Ron Paul's and Barney Frank's marijuana bill in committee claiming it will NEVER see the light of day on the House floor.  There is a facebook page devoted to getting him out of congress.  Problem is, some other prohibitionist politician will fill his shoes as soon as he's gone.  Our only chance to turn this all around is Ron Paul!

I'll be voting for Ron Paul in the Republican primary

The local Board of Elections is sending me the form to change my registration - much more convenient than having to go there in person. I'd be happy to vote for him against Obama if I get the chance. But even reformers who wouldn't, because other issues are more important to them, should consider changing their registration so that they can vote once next year for the only guy who takes us seriously. That's the message I'll be pushing in the coming months.

Last I heard, the Dept. of

Last I heard, the Dept. of Home Land Security was the HolDup... get it ?? Homeland security, lol.


When something needs to be shelved, it's sent to Homeland Security, as that Dept can Legally ignore anything it wants,,, cause?? It's all about Homeland Security!

What are they going to do-

What are they going to do- monitor communications... currently, all web traffic and cell phone traffic is subject monitoring by the National Security agencies taskforce. A cooperative agreement exist with the other countrys in DEA mandates. If a person enters a known "shop", there is nothing to prevent monitoring "activity". All about having "something" on "someone".


In essence, the new J. Edgar Hoover  mentality is in full force.

Never Been On Trial For My Thoughts

Congressman Lamar Smith, 21st District Texas, and Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, wants to make thought-crimes the raison d'être for continuing the drug war.  Or maybe it’s the drug war that makes thought-crimes an option for people like Lamar.  Either case is a good reason to end the war on drug users.  

HR313 may never become law, but it paints a dynamic portrait of the prohibitionist mind.  Thought-crimes are symptoms of a totalitarian society, as well as a type of government nearly every Texas Repukelian politician appears to emulate.  Despite what Lamar thinks, thought crimes are quintessentially anti-American.

On Oct. 6, 2011, Lamar Smith also  “called for NASA’s inspector general to investigate the politicization of the agency.” [Lamar claims the politicization] “stems from a NASA-internal report showing that Obama Administration political appointees ‘focus on Democratic political goals, not national goals,’ creating a dysfunctional and hostile work environment for NASA’s career civil servants.”—which of course is a total crock.  Republicans almost never support science, which is why only about 6% of established, accomplished scientists vote Republican.  Anti-science mindsets are the reason why so many politicians deny the science behind cannabis and other drugs.

Texans need to be ashamed of the kinds of politicians they foist onto the rest of the country, just as the rest of the country is usually ashamed of Texas for doing so.  Lamar Smith is the archetype for the label ‘stupid American’, which is an epithet often used by Europeans.  He needs to be voted out of office in order to improve international relations. 


Stop playing the left vs right game, Giordano

Face it, NEITHER party gives a fuck about anything except their own power, quit doing the yoyo thing between them, as long as that continues they will succeed in turning every American into slaves for them to fuck over whenever they wish. its time for America to have a paradigm change, to stop expecting either the entrenched Rs or Ds to ever do anything Constitutional.

That is why we need Ron Paul, he is the ONLY candidate (in spite of the R behind his name) who WILL force government to abide by its Constitutional limits and respect the unalienable rights of the People.

Nice hairpiece Lamar!

I'm planning to head downstairs for some cannabis in about 5 minutes.  Someone alert Congress!  Raise the threat level to Red!  Print some more money off, quick!

What's that on his head?

Oh, a hair hat. Now,how do you like that? Could be a dead cat. Or a big rat. That's animal cruelty, killing it and displaying it on your head, as some kind of badge, in public no less? Give this clown a drug test. Do we really pay people to think this crap up? Is this all these people have to do? How about a bill making fraud, forgery, and identity theft a crime? How about a bill making it illegal to supply known drug cartels with guns? How about a bill making it illegal to violate the oath of office? Or, dereliction of duty, or failure to act? How about some bills to protect the people from the government?

Isnt this?

The same Rep. Lamar Smith  that wouldn't let Ron Paul's Marijuana legalization bill get into commity? I hope this Ass hole gets voted out.

has the usagov. lost their

has the usagov. lost their minds or what.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <i> <blockquote> <p> <address> <pre> <h1> <h2> <h3> <h4> <h5> <h6> <br> <b>

More information about formatting options

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Drug War Issues

Criminal JusticeAsset Forfeiture, Collateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Court Rulings, Drug Courts, Due Process, Felony Disenfranchisement, Incarceration, Policing (2011 Drug War Killings, 2012 Drug War Killings, 2013 Drug War Killings, 2014 Drug War Killings, 2015 Drug War Killings, 2016 Drug War Killings, 2017 Drug War Killings, Arrests, Eradication, Informants, Interdiction, Lowest Priority Policies, Police Corruption, Police Raids, Profiling, Search and Seizure, SWAT/Paramilitarization, Task Forces, Undercover Work), Probation or Parole, Prosecution, Reentry/Rehabilitation, Sentencing (Alternatives to Incarceration, Clemency and Pardon, Crack/Powder Cocaine Disparity, Death Penalty, Decriminalization, Defelonization, Drug Free Zones, Mandatory Minimums, Rockefeller Drug Laws, Sentencing Guidelines)CultureArt, Celebrities, Counter-Culture, Music, Poetry/Literature, Television, TheaterDrug UseParaphernalia, Vaping, ViolenceIntersecting IssuesCollateral Sanctions (College Aid, Drug Taxes, Housing, Welfare), Violence, Border, Budgets/Taxes/Economics, Business, Civil Rights, Driving, Economics, Education (College Aid), Employment, Environment, Families, Free Speech, Gun Policy, Human Rights, Immigration, Militarization, Money Laundering, Pregnancy, Privacy (Search and Seizure, Drug Testing), Race, Religion, Science, Sports, Women's IssuesMarijuana PolicyGateway Theory, Hemp, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Marijuana Industry, Medical MarijuanaMedicineMedical Marijuana, Science of Drugs, Under-treatment of PainPublic HealthAddiction, Addiction Treatment (Science of Drugs), Drug Education, Drug Prevention, Drug-Related AIDS/HIV or Hepatitis C, Harm Reduction (Methadone & Other Opiate Maintenance, Needle Exchange, Overdose Prevention, Pill Testing, Safer Injection Sites)Source and Transit CountriesAndean Drug War, Coca, Hashish, Mexican Drug War, Opium ProductionSpecific DrugsAlcohol, Ayahuasca, Cocaine (Crack Cocaine), Ecstasy, Heroin, Ibogaine, ketamine, Khat, Kratom, Marijuana (Gateway Theory, Marijuana -- Personal Use, Medical Marijuana, Hashish), Methamphetamine, New Synthetic Drugs (Synthetic Cannabinoids, Synthetic Stimulants), Nicotine, Prescription Opiates (Fentanyl, Oxycontin), Psilocybin / Magic Mushrooms, Psychedelics (LSD, Mescaline, Peyote, Salvia Divinorum)YouthGrade School, Post-Secondary School, Raves, Secondary School