If Senator Joe Biden and Senator Obama win the presidential election in January, the citizens of the U.S. will have someone on their side in the White House. Biden has a long history of standing behind legislation to combat drugs in the U.S. and he is keenly aware of the crime and health dangers that clandestine meth labs present to first responders and to America’s citizens.
- He cosponsored the Combat Meth Act of 2005, which regulates cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, the active ingredients in methamphetamine.
- He founded the Senate Anti-Meth Caucus, a group focused on devising a comprehensive, nationwide strategy to combat methamphetamine addiction. Senator Biden is currently the Co-Chairman of the Senate Anti-Meth Caucus.
- Senator Biden joined Sens. Max Baucus (D-MT), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), and other Senators in cosponsoring a resolution designating November as National Methamphetamine Awareness Month (S.Res.366). The Senate unanimously passed the resolution.
- Sen. Biden has been at the forefront of national policy on methamphetamine for over 15 years, issuing reports in the early 1990s warning that meth would make its way across the country and negatively impact rural America; writing major meth legislation in 1996 and 2000.
- Senator Biden chairs both the Caucus on International Narcotics Control and the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs. In addition, he worked to create the position of the nation’s Drug Czar and has fought hard to support the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign and other prevention and treatment efforts.
“While our efforts in Congress have helped reduce the number of homegrown meth labs, these labs still present an incredible danger to law enforcement officers who raid them; they are an environmental nightmare; and most importantly, they’re an unbelievable hazard to kids,” said Sen. Biden. “We’ve got to help state and local authorities by providing them with the necessary training, education, and resources to deal with this disturbing and destructive trend. Meth production and use is like a balloon: clamp down on one side and the other side swells. We need to meet this challenge with an approach that addresses both the supply and the demand.”
Sen. Biden has been at the forefront of national policy on methamphetamine for over 15 years, issuing reports in the early 1990s warning that meth would make its way across the country and negatively impact rural America; writing major meth legislation in 1996 and 2000; and cosponsoring the Combat Meth Act of 2005, which regulates cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine and ephedrine, the active ingredients in methamphetamine. He is also a founding member of the Senate Anti-Meth Caucus, a group focused on devising a comprehensive, nationwide strategy to combat methamphetamine addiction.
Opening Statement by Senator Biden at Hearing on : Enforcing America’s Drug Laws: Is Small Town America Adequately Prepared for the Challenge? – While small town America has long been familiar with the scourge of alcohol abuse, widespread illicit drug use and trafficking is a relatively new phenomenon. As a report from The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) revealed, availability of drugs is now essentially the same in big cities, small towns and rural areas. The same report gave us these grim statistics:
Eighth graders in rural America are:
- 104 percent more likely than kids in cities to use amphetamine.
- 83 percent more likely to use crack cocaine.
- 50 percent more likely to use powder cocaine.
- 34 percent more likely to smoke marijuana.
Fighting Crime at Home and Abroad – “The women and men fighting this war on terror overseas should not have to return to find their neighborhoods overrun with criminals and meth labs. We must be able to protect our citizens at home while also protecting our nation overseas. Our service people and our nation deserve better. As we combat terrorism around the world, fighting crime in our own backyards should not take a back seat. But a report recently released by the FBI shows it has.”
Biden introduces most comprehensive anti-crime legislation in over a decade (pdf) – Senator Biden knows why so many people convicted on drug charges go back to doing what they did before they left prison. For meth cooks, getting out of jail, typically means going back to manufacturing meth as a way to put a roof over their head. In his report he says:
- There are over 2,000,000 individuals in our Federal and State prisons
and millions more in local jails, and every year, 650,000 ex-offenders
are released from Federal and State prison.
- Two-thirds of released State prisoners will be rearrested for a felony or serious misdemeanor within three years of release.
- The unemployment rate among former inmates is as high as 60 percent.
- 15-27 percent of prisoners expect to go to homeless shelters upon release.
- 57 percent of federal and 70 percent of state inmates used drugs regularly before prison.
- Nearly 20% of prison inmates reportedly committed their crimes to obtain money for drugs.
- Two-thirds of former prisoners who lacked adequate housing committed crimes within 1 year of their release, compared to 1/4 of those with housing.
National Drug Prevention and Education Week – Joe Biden (Delaware Democrat)and Chuck Grassley (Iowa Republican) introduced a resolution designating the week of February 10-16, 2008 as National Drug Prevention and Education Week. The resolution encourages communities to carry out programs and activities to educate parents and youth about the dangers of drug use.
Drug Trafficking Interdiction Assistance Act of 2008 – U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr, (D-DE) Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Drugs and the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, introduced the Drug Trafficking Interdiction Assistance Act of 2008 (S.3351), legislation designed to help disrupt drug trafficking by criminalizing the use of unregistered, un-flagged submersible or semi-submersible vessels in international waters whose operators intend to evade detection. Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) joined Sen. Biden in introducing this bill, which will give authorities a new tool to go after the drug lords who have been using this technology to avoid prosecution.