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Heroin addiction is certainly one of the major health and crime problems facing this country. Our hopes for turning the corner on this Scourge have been dimmed in recent months with the resumption of poppy planting in Turkey and a massive influx of "brown heroin" from Mexico. Heroin addiction is no longer a problem confined to the ghettoes of our major cities or the affluent suburbs, but is a menace facing even the smallest towns of our nation. We can no longer focus our efforts on one major trafficking syndicate, organized crime, or one major route, because the heroin which ends up in the veins of our young people comes from a variety of areas, passes through diverse hands, and reaches the United States after flowing through a multiplicity of different channels. Even the "brown heroin" which is flooding the Western and Southwestern U.S. market is not restricted to poppies grown in Mexico, as was previously thought, but now includes substantial quantities of Asian opium. While some previously believed that our concern over the huge illicit crop grown in the Golden Triangle could be confined to its effect upon our military and civilian personnel in the area, this supposition is no longer valid.
Although it is difficult to pinpoint the origin of the opium which makes its way into the United States, we now know that a significant portion of American heroin has its source in the poppy fields of Asia. This is the central concern of this report. We will only refer to two recent events for documentation of the need for our increased concern with this area of origin. First, the arrest of a major trafficker who was based in the Northeastern United States who revealed that he was operating a syndicate that used former military personnel to transport heroin directly from Southeast Asia for sale in the United States. Second, the International Narcotics Enforcement Officers Association's lead article from their March publication directed attention to the heavy influx of Asian heroin. We quote from their report, "European officials have reported that heroin from Southeast Asia is flooding the European illicit drug market at an alarming rate. Federal officials are concerned that this increase in illicit traffic is spilling over into New York, where they estimate it may account for as much as 20 percent of the heroin used in New York."
As if it is not enough that heroin addiction is on the rise, or that there are a half-million addicts currently in the United States, half to two-thirds of the street crimes which are committed in the United States are considered, by law enforcement authorities, to be related to drug addiction. This translates into billions of dollars of property damage and the deaths of many addicts and their victims. In the Nassau County, N.Y., district of the chairman of this subcommittee, the number of deaths from heroin overdoses doubled in the last year. Statistics such as this demand that the Federal Government undertake decisive new initiatives in the area of narcotics control.
LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL
Hon. THOMAS E. MORGAN,
Chairman, Committee on International Relations,
DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: There is transmitted herewith a report of a study mission conducted by Representatives Morgan Murphy, J. Herbert Burke, and Lester Wolff, members of an ad hoc subcommittee on international narcotics control. The observations related in this report are a product of our delegation's visit to Southeast Asia from December 27, 1974, to January 12, 1975, which included meetings with narcotics control officials in Japan, South Korea, Taipei, Hong Kong, and Thailand. We were also able to meet with individuals who have direct knowledge of the narcotics trafficking operations in Southeast Asia. This study was made as a continuing review of the same problem that was the subject of two previous investigative missions in the past 3 years by the ad hoc subcommittee on international narcotics control to this part of the world.
The international trafficking of narcotics has changed significantly since we were in Southeast Asia a year ago; this report will focus on the new conditions which we found. The report will not try to review the background to the pattern of narcotics cultivation, trafficking and abuse in this part of the world, as that is well documented in other reports presented to this committee. This report will, however, emphasize new narcotics patterns, as well as the constructive programs currently being followed to combat the problem. We will also try to recommend policies which we feel would be basic to the interest of the United States and the world as a whole, and we will attempt to reevaluate programs now in force to have them conform to these basic interests.
The thrust of this report will be an in-depth study of the effectiveness of our international narcotics control programs, and more specifically, of our efforts to stem the recent flood of heroin that ends up in the veins of American citizens.
We want to express our thanks and appreciation to the Department of State and the Drug Enforcement Administration for the advice, cooperation, and assistance extended to us by their representatives at home and abroad. We also want to register our appreciation to the numerous foreign law enforcement officials and other contacts who have been helpful over the past several years in assisting us in gathering accurate, factual, and self-critical appraisals of the international trafficking picture.
We feel that this trip is the most constructive investigation thus far undertaken by the ad hoc subcommittee into the international narcotics control field. We believe the information gathered points toward new approaches to be pursued which would have a dramatic
and constructive effect on curbing the supply of illicit opium and heroin in the world. It is our hope that this report and the information and recommendations contained herein will be of value to the members of the International Relations Committee and the Congress as we continue our work to solve the heroin problem in the United States, as well as provide answers to the worldwide scourge of drug abuse.
LESTER L. WOLFF,
International Narcotics Control.
APRIL 3, 1975.