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Dan Burton Jumps the Wall!!!


This is MAJOR news!!! One of America's staunchest prohibitionists Dan Burton (R-IN), shocked many on Capitol Hill when he came very close to calling for looking at legalizing drugs. My friend Sanho Tree from the Institute of Policy Studies was at this hearing and said "So many jaws dropped in the room that you would have thought everyone was zonked on Thorazine. The expressions on the drug warriors' faces was priceless when they slowly realized their formerly staunch ally might go the way of Gary Johnson". Read Burton's remarks below.

The following is conservative Dan Burton speaking at the House Government
Reform Committee hearing in Congress on on "America's Heroin Crisis,
Colombian Heroin and How We Can Improve Plan Colombia." December 12, 2002

Dan Burton: I want to tell you something. I have been in probably a
hundred or a hundred and fifty hearings like this at various times in my
political career,. And the story is always the same. This goes back to the
sixties. You know, thirty or thirty five years ago. And every time I have
a hearing, I hear that people who get hooked on heroin and cocaine become addicted and they very rarely get off of it. And the scourge expands and expands and expands. And we have very fine law enforcement officers like you go out and fight the fight. And you see it growing and growing, and you see these horrible tragedies occur. But there is no end to it.

And I see young guys driving around in tough areas of Indianapolis in cars
that I know they can't afford and I know where they are getting their money. I mean that there is no question. A kid can't be driving a brand-new Corvette when he lives in the inner city of Indianapolis in a ghetto. You know that he has gotta be making that money in someway that is probably not legal and probably involves drugs.

Over seventy percent of all crime is drug-related. And you alluded to that
today. We saw on television recently Pablo Escobar gunned down and
everybody applauded and said "that's the end of the MedellĂ­n cartel. But
it wasn't the end. There is still a cartel down there. They are still all
over the place. When you kill one, there's ten or twenty or fifty waiting
to take his place. You know why? Its because of what you just said a minute ago, Mr. Carr, Mr. Marcocci (sp). And that is that there is so much money to be made in it ? there is always going to be another person in line to make that money.

And we go into drug eradication and we go into rehabilitation and we go into education, and we do all of these things... And the drug problem continues to increase. And it continues to cost us not billions, but trillions of dollars. Trillions! And we continue to build more and more prisons, and we put more and more people in jail, and we know that the crimes ? most of the time ? are related to drugs.

So I have one question I would like to ask all of you, and I think this is a
question that needs to be asked. I hate drugs. I hate people who succumb to drug addiction, and I hate what it does to our society. It has hit every one of us in our families or friends of ours. But I have one question that nobody ever asks, and that is this question: What would happen if there was no profit in drugs? If there was no profit in drugs, what would happen. If they couldn't make any money out of selling drugs, what would happen?

Carr: I would like to comment. If we made illegal... what you are arguing
then is complete legalization?

Dan Burton: No I am not arguing anything. I am asking the question.
Because we have been fighting this fight for thirty to forty years and the
problem never goes way...

[After an inane response from Tom Carr]

....Well I don't think that the people in Colombia would be planting coca if
they couldn't make any money, and I don't think they would be refining coca and heroin in Colombia if they couldn't make any money. And I don't think that Al Capone would have been the menace to society that he was if he couldn't sell alcohol on the black market ? and he did ? and we had a horrible, horrible crime problem. Now the people who are producing drugs in Southeast Asia and Southwest Asia and Colombia and everyplace else. They don't do it because they like to do it. They don't fill those rooms full of money because they like to fill them full of money. They do it because they are making money. At some point we to have to look at the overall picture and the overall picture ? and I am not saying that there are not going to be people who are addicted ? they are going to have to be education and rehabilitation and all of those things that you are talking about - but one of the parts of the equation that has never been talked about ? because politicians are afraid to talk about it ? this is my last committee hearing as Chairman. Last time! And I thought about this and thought about this, and thought about this. And one of the things that ought to be asked is "what part of the equation are we leaving out?" And "is it an important part of the equation?" And that is ? the profit in drugs. Don't just talk about education. Don't just talk about eradication. Don't just talk about killing people like Escobar, who is going to be replaced by somebody else.

Let's talk about what would happen if we started addressing how to get the
profit out of drugs.

EVENT: House Government Reform Committee
AGENDA: Full committee hearing on "America's Heroin Crisis, Colombian Heroin and How We Can Improve Plan Colombia."
WHO: Felix Jimenez, former special agent in charge, New York Field Division, Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA); Tony Marcocci, detective, District Attorney's Office, Westmoreland County, PA; Scott Pelletier, detective sergeant, Portland Police Department, ME; Matt Undercover narcotics detective, Howard County Police Department, MD; Tom Carr, director, Baltimore-Washington High Intrnsity Drug Trafficking Area; Barry Crane, deputy director, Supply Reduction, Office on National Drug Control Policy; Paul Simons, acting assistant secretary, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement, State Department; Rogelio Guevara, chief of operations, DEA; Adam Isacson, senior
associate, Center for International Policy
DATE: December 12, 2002
LOCATION: 2154 Rayburn House Office Building

Associated links:
Watch this hearing at ... _heroin.rm
(advance to 1 hour and 18 minutes into the broadcast for Burton's remarks
-- this particular exchange is about ten minutes long). Be sure to see
Rep. Jan Schakowsky's followup remark to Burton.


Now, here's something to think about. Do ya'll suppose that Trent Lott's recent comments may have been an intentional diversion?

He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.
--Albert Einstein

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