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As far as projections on violence to officers, burglary, and other information which perhaps I may not have jotted down each of your points, but I would feel that the data on that that I would be giving you would be speculative, not definitive. We don't generally make those kind of forecasts in our specific narcotic enforcement investigative agency on a broad national basis.
But I will consult with the Department of Justice, their research statistics, and we will be in touch with you in writing.
Mr. DORNAN. Some of the young people use certain drugs, to use the street vernacular, to "mellow out." This PCP seems to be having a vicious and violent effect across the board. Some of the gang
violence in Los Angeles I find incomprehensible, a gang arriving on a front lawn and shooting up children at a wedding reception at high noon.
Maybe some of this horrendous viciousness can be attributed to the "frying of the brains," as Mr. Mineta put it.
I would also like to probe you a bit on the street relationship of hard drugs to marihuana. It is almost like the TV networks of this country have caved in on telling of the dangers of marihuana. I don't mean to become political by bringing up Dr. Bourne, but the wire services carried my remark that his departure was the healthiest thing that happened in the White House in a year and a half, and I believe that. Because younger people, all citizens actually, picked up from him certain vibrations of a cool or detracted approach to drugs, a sly winking at soft drugs particularly.
I want to get the symbolic relationship of PCP to marihuana. You say you hope to get across the feeling that this drug is a killer, yet we see things in publications like "angel dust," "crystal cyclone is killer weed," and then "supergrass," meaning super marihuana, a great augmentation drug to use in conjunction with marihuana.
I wasn't aware until today that there was smoking of PCP on mint or parsley leaves. And that would probably only be when marihuana is not available or too expensive on the street from police pressure.
What are we going to accomplish by getting across the killing aspect, when the young people themselves call it killer weed. How often is PCP used with marihuana ?
Let me ask Mr. Smith, what is the frequency of PCP use with marihuana; 10 percent, 15 percent?
Mr. Smith. Congressman, I really don't have any idea. It seems to me in my experience the people that are using PCP are smoking PCP, are smoking it on the mint leaves we had here earlier this morning. Very rarely have I personally encountered somebody who bought one illegal drug like marihuana and sprinkled it with another one, like PCP to enhance it. If they are going to use PCP, they will get it straight and do it themselves on the leaves.
Mr. DORNAN. So as not to waste their money by combining two very expensive drugs?
Mr. SMITH. That is correct.
Mr. DORNAN. If the marihuana supply begins to shut down coming across the Mexican border, then will we see the laboratories for PCP compensate for the reduction in pot with a proliferation of more laboratories?
Mr. SMITH. We are seeing an increase in PCP laboratories in California right now, without any of the other factors you mentioned. The factors are, I think, purely economic.
Mr. BENSINGER. I would add, Congressman, I think it would be inaccurate to tie PCP to just the marihuana smoking habit. I think that PCP as a drug, a hallucinogenic, probably more represents, and is similar to LSD, the speed use of a decade ago. The experimentation of going on a trip, having different physical reactions, and individuals that have explained to me the first-hand reports from PCP users are talking with individuals that want an experience different than perhaps smoking marihuana.
Mr. DORNAN. But now we begin to see the statistics coming together. We are told 50 million people have tried marihuana, 20 million are regular users. I can't believe I am reading that 7 million people have tried PCP, which is an animal tranquilizer. And I don't see, as Chairman Wolff mentioned, a massive educational program to try to alert the Nation to this, as we did with "speed.” What is being done other than the excellent TV spots I see with an actor. Mr. Bobby Blake? He called my office a year and a half ago and volunteered his services. He has a strong appeal with some young people. But other people might turn off because of the artificial poor grammar and the “dat's da name of dat game," and "I love you," style of delivery. That might work with some kids. But it won't work with the students at colleges, they just turn that off as too“cute."
Is there anybody in this Nation that the White House could appeal to to make TV commercials against PCP that would appeal to the broad range of young people in our country?
Mr. DOGOLOFF. I think you are putting your finger on one of the very difficult issues involved with kids themselves. I review daily press clippings from across the country, and it seems to me somewhere between 30 to 50 percent of the drug press is related to PCP, none of which is positive.
So there is little likelihood that anybody in this country is literally misinformed about PCP. I think I would be hard pressed to find anybody who thinks that PCP is a “good” drug, or that PCP is not without its very dangerous and negative consequences.
The question is how we translate that information to the general public. I think one who at least reads the newspapers or watches TV newscasts certainly knows about it. It is the constant subject on talk shows and the morning news shows. It is constantly in front of the public's eye. So I think that the real problem is how to translate information into attitude changes and behavior change.
This has been something that has plagued us in the drug abuse field for quite a time. We as adults sometimes believe information and that belief is the basis on which we behave. Therefore, on the basis of certain information we choose to do or not to do certain things. It is not as operative with adolescents as it is with adults. I don't think that we know
very much about how to get a direct message across. We need to not only give the information that is the easy part—but we also need to make a leap from information to basic attitude and behavioral change.
So what we have tried to do in the Federal Government is promote those kinds of prevention programs which are more generic and talk
about enhancing the individual's ability to make good decisions about a number of behavioral issues with which they come in contact as adolescents. This includes drug and alcohol use and decisions about moral and sexual values, and so forth. We have found that inevitably when we try to single out a drug for the message, our credibility is lost. It just doesn't get across.
The other problem with PCP education is that its use is fairly widespread, as you said yourself, and the horrible consequences do not occur with every use, or with every user. Children unfortunately see others around them who are using PCP without any apparent immediate behavioral consequences. They figure if this person can do it, then there are some credibility gaps to begin with for the media and the adult generation. They think to themselves, “Well, they are just saying that to us, it is not really so, because my experience here shows it is not.” So they go out and try it.
Consequently, it is a very complex issue. I think that there is a lot more we have to learn before we can effectively do what we are both struggling to do better.
Mr. Dornan. One final question, and may I get a brief response from each of you. Do you or do you not believe we in Congress should look at a rifleshot law with tough penalties against one specific drug; that is, PCP.
Mr. GILMAN. I am going to ask the panel to be brief, because our time is running. Dr. Petersen.
Dr. PETERSEN. It is a very difficult question. Part of the difficulty lies in the fact that PCP is just one of at least around 30 analogs, many of which are potenitally abusable as well. The organic chemist skills in creating hallucinogens is quite impressive. Will a one-drug law of this sort be effective in the long run? Very probably not.
Mr. DORNAN, As an attention-getting device, is it not worth a try?
Dr. PETERSEN. If it can be done in such a fashion that the adverse effects, for example, on commercial activity and so on, that it doesn't have more nuisance value than it does success in discouraging use.
Mr. DORNAN. Dr. Czechowicz.
Dr. CZECHOWICZ. I would disagree. I think that would set an unusual precedent in controlling a drug. We already know that PCP is frequently used in combination with other drugs and that the PCP user is frequently a polydrug user. I really question the effect, if any, that might have on the increasing use of PČP.
Mr. DOGOLOFF. I would have to agree that it would not be useful. It could be very expensive with insufficient results. It would just move people to manufacture other alternatives to PCP. However, that doesn't mean we should do nothing.
Mr. DORNAN. Mr. Bensinger.
Mr. BENSINGER. I think you should pass a law on PCP, Congressman.
Mr. SMITH. I agree with Mr. Bensinger.
you. Mr. GILMAN. The gentleman's time has expired. Gentlemen, just one last question. We have been informed that piperidine is produced at the rate of some 500,000 pounds annually and about 93 percent of it is used in the manufacture of rubber. Wouldn't it be extremely easy, therefore,
to control the remainder of the piperidine, which is one of the main substances, starting substances used in PCP?
Mr. DOGOLOFF. The problem is not with controlling that one ingredient. The fact is that there are another 29 or 30 similar drugs that could easily be substituted for that one. If that was the key ingredient, and there were no alternatives to it, we would be shouting from the rafters in support of very tight control of that substance.
Our concern is that while it is not necessarily a bad idea to have a control over that substance, it is not going to do what we all want to do, which is to reduce its availability, or make it substantially more difficult to manufacture PCP in clandestine labs.
Mr. GILMAN. Is the panel in agreement on that? [No response.]
The time for the morning session has concluded. The committee will stand in recess. We will return at 2 p.m.
[Whereupon, at 1:05 p.m., the hearing was recessed, to reconvene at 2 p.m., the same day.]
AFTERNOON SESSION Mr. DE LA GARZA (presiding]. The committee will come to order. This afternoon the subject of the hearing of the Select Committee is on PCP and we are very happy to have with us the senior Senator from Texas, Hon. Lloyd Bentsen. Senator, we welcome you back to this side of the Congress, and especially this committee. While the other Members are returning after having gone to the Capitol to cast a vote, we would appreciate it very much if you would care to start on your prepared statement.
TESTIMONY OF HON. LLOYD BENTSEN, A SENATOR FROM THE
STATE OF TEXAS
Senator BENTSEN. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I am appreciative of the chance to testify before this House Select Committee on Narcotics Abuse and Control.
Mr. Chairman, I know from my personal experience with you in the Interparliamentary Conferences of your long interest in and concern for control of drug traffic along our border, and the efforts you have expended in that behalf. I enjoyed very much working with you.
I also had the pleasure of working with Congressman Gilman in the Interparliamentary Conference and know of his deep interest in controlling drug traffic and his concern for the welfare and future of our children.
Mr. Chairman, I would like to testify very briefly this afternoon on the subject of PCP, angel dust, and the efforts that I have initiated to control the illicit manufacture and distribution of this particularly dangerous and widely abused drug.
I have been deeply concerned about PCP abuse for several reasons. I think that PCP may be the harbinger of a new generation of drugs, of entirely synthetic drugs, drugs that you don't have to bring in over the border, or you don't have to meet a ship at sea to get.
The problems of control inherent in the very nature of synthetic drug abuse is staggering. They open up a whole new vista for our drug enforcement efforts.
I am concerned when a drug like PCP can be manufactured and peddled by dealers in dementia for a dollar a dose, for the price of a school lunch. I am concerned when any casual entrepreneur with perverted instincts and $600 to spend can walk into a chemical supply house, buy all the necessary ingredients for PCP with no questions asked, return to his basement, garage, or van, and brew up a batch of this cursed compound with a street value of $100,000.
And, Mr. Chairman, I am profoundly disturbed when 7 million Americans have used, and many continue to abuse, one of the most dangerous and insidious drugs known to mankind.
In 1977 over 100 deaths were attributed to the use of PCP, with most of the victims succumbing to the strange dissociation-disorientation effects exerted by the drug. People die from PCP not so much from overdose, but by jumping off buildings, bridges, down elevator shafts, or by drowning in like 4 inches of water when they don't know up from down.
A typical example would be the case of a young man in Los Angeles who leaped from a second story window while under the influence of PCP, crashed through a wooden fence, got up, undressed, went back into the building, and dived to his death from an upstairs balcony.
While it is possible to develop relatively reliable figures on the numbers of deaths, it is more difficult to determine the number of young minds that have been warped beyond repair, the number of young lives that have been ruined by this easily manufactured, readily available animal tranquilizer.
While the precise numbers may be in doubt, Mr. Chairman, existence of the widespread, ongoing tragedy of PCP abuse cannot be questioned. Clearly we have an urgent national requirement to devote our best efforts to the control of PCP and other synthetics.
On March 22 of this year, I introduced legislation in the Senate, the PCP Criminal Laws and Procedures Act of 1978, designed to attack the Achilles' heel of the PCP manufacturing process.
I stated earlier that any enterprising criminal with $600 to spend could buy everything he or she needed to make PCP, and with no questions asked. With the ingredients in hand, the manufacture is no problem.
The chain of events that leads finally to a young person buying PCP for $1 at the playground has one vulnerable link, and that is access to piperidine. You don't make illicit PCP without piperidine, and piperidine is not good for much except making PCP. As a matter of fact, about the only legitimate use for this chemical is curing rubber.
S. 2778 is based on a simple premise, Mr. Chairman: That the individual who walks into a chemical supply house to make a cash purchase of piperidine, is probably bent on the illegal manufacture of PCP.
The legislation I have proposed would require anyone who purchases piperidine to present positive identification at the time of purchase, with the transaction registered with DEA.
I am not suggesting a licensing procedure. I do not envision interfering with the normal flow of chemicals throughout the economy. I have no intention of creating cumbersome bureaucratic procedures, and indeed we do not.