Mr. HUGHES. I would like to welcome here this morning the most distinguished senior Senator from Florida, Lawton Chiles. Senator Chiles was elected to the Senate in 1970 after many years of distinguished service in both houses of the Florida legislature. As one of the most active members of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, he is the father of many of the reforms in the way the Federal Government operates that we now take for granted. Reforms such as the Paperwork Reduction Act, the Federal Government in the sunshine laws guaranteeing open meetings, and the sunset laws that set time limits on the life spans of governmental agencies. He is ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and a key member of the Appropriations Committee and the Select Committee on Aging.

In addition to all of his other duties, Senator Chiles, 6 weeks ago, chaired a major South Florida meeting on ways to address both the public health and law enforcement aspects of the designer drug problem.

Senator, on behalf of the Subcommittee on Crime, we welcome you here this morning. We have received your prepared statement which, without objection, will be made a part of the record in full, and you may proceed as you see fit. We are just delighted to have you.


THE STATE OF FLORIDA Senator CHILES. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I appreciate your kind words and I am delighted to be before your committee, which I think has done such yeoman work again in trying to fight the scourge of drugs and crime that we find ourselves facing. I consider the problem that we are facing today a priority in our fight against narcotics. Designer drugs, or controlled substance analogs, have a source that appears to be limitless. If we could eradicate all the poppy crops, coca plants, and marijuana plants in the world, we would still be faced with this major narcotic supply created in the laboratory.

During the past year I have become more and more acquainted with the effects of synthetic or designer drugs; it is certainly not a pretty picture. In fact, the effects are monstrous, and part of the film that you saw showed that today. I have another short film, shorter than that, perhaps. But I would like to show you that, if I could. I think it would demonstrate the effects of synthetic drugs better than I can with words.

[Film presentation.]

Mr. HUGHES. Thank you very much, Senator, for an excellent statement. You may proceed as you see fit.

Senator CHILES. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

You see, these synthetic drugs created by chemists who slightly alter the analogs are some of the most dangerous narcotics on the market. They are so dangerous because they are so extremely potent and because they are so very cheap to develop.

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Senator CHILES. Examples of the potency of some of the “chemical cousins” to fentanyl are shown in the graph on the left. The extreme shown is the fentanyl analog which is 1,100 times more potent than morphine. Some chemists claim that fentanyl is 3,000 times more potent than morphine.

They are cheap. With a mere $500 of equipment, an illicit chemist can make 2 million dollars' worth of drugs. The little speck of powder in this vial represents a lethal dose of a fentanyl designer drug. It could be cut to make 200 street doses.

I would like to see if somebody could let the committee look at that. If you look on the bottom you will see that little speck, which would be a lethal dose and could be cut 200 times.

A closet full of designer drugs could supply all the Nation's drug addicts. As a chemist told me at a recent hearing, he could sneak enough fentanyl into the hearing room, he said, on the collar of his shirt to keep everybody in the room high for a long, long time.

At this point in time, we still have much to learn about designer drugs. Many lab technicians and medical examiners fail to detect or diagnose these drugs. Yet, we still have a frightening number of deaths attributed to designer drugs, as shown in the graph on the right. [Display] Senator CHILEs. The death rate is probably far greater. It is ineresting to note that the death rate dropped quite a bit in 1985, when they first began to crack down and raid some of the labs in California. As a result, we are now seeing deaths rise again in 1986 perhaps they have changed their analogs now and new drugs are out on the street.

What we do know, and what I have certainly learned, is that we are not going to get ahead of the clandestine enterprises that manufacture designer drugs. In fact, there are those who claim that the Controlled Substances Act we have now is a helpful catalog to the illicit chemists who create these drugs. By referring to those lists of analogs that are illegal, the chemists merely make a molecular change in a listed drug to make a new analog, one that is not on the controlled substances list.

In the Comprehensive Control Act of 1984, Congress gave the Attorney General the authority to place designated analogs on the controlled substances list. We think that is a good emergency or interim step, but we certainly need a more effective or an efficient law.

I believe that such a law is the Controlled Substance Analogs Enforcement Act, S. 1437, and the related House bills H.R. 2012, H.R. 2977, and H.R. 3936. As you know, the Senate passed its bill last December, and I am certainly grateful that this subcommittee sees the urgency of acting on a bill. And I urge you to give priority attention to this legislation.

As you know, the legislation we are addressing today would strengthen the laws by creating new penalties for manufacturing or intent to distribute, possession with intent to distribute or the distribution. In order to avoid the necessity of listing, thus advertising the specific controlled analog, the legislation would outlaw designer drugs, any substance other than a controlled substance that


has a chemical structure or can produce effects substantially similar to that of a controlled substance in schedules I and II.

Under current law the practicalities of identifying each analog, following the time procedures authorized for action by the Attorney General, and finally getting the analog listed under the Controlled Substances Act are not providing assistance for law enforcement, but rather for the criminals. We are literally giving them lead time to produce this new product. And such free enterprises we do not need.

I urge the committee to act as soon as possible on this legislation and close these loopholes which are facilitating the availability of designer drugs. The manufacture of designer drugs is indeed increasing. I hope that the committee and the full House will join with the Senate in stopping the insidious drugs before it is too late.

Mr. Chairman, again I want to thank you and your committee for your attention. I commend the committee for holding the hearing and for calling such excellent witnesses as Mr. Jim Hall of Miami. Mr. Hall is well acquainted with our drug problems in Florida including the emergence of designer drugs. He has been most helpful in educating me and many of our Florida members about the substance.

I know that this committee, led by you, Mr. Chairman, and with such members as Mr. Lungren and Mr. Smith, have been leaders. And I am delighted to see Congressman McCollum and Congressman Shaw, who have also been

leaders with us, in Florida, trying to fight these drug problems. They are terrible. We find ourselves sort of on the front line, as California finds itself. Although we know we might be the first place, they spread everywhere else after that. So I commend each of you for your efforts in this regard.

Mr. HUGHES. Thank you very much, Senator, for an excellent statement. I want to commend you, first of all, for the comprehensive approach you have taken. I know that recently you were instrumental in taking to Florida representatives from the Centers for Disease Control to work with the Miami committee to do some screening in Florida. I understand that was a very successful screening in Florida and I want to congratulate you on that.

I know you are familiar with the Attorney General's report of May 5, this year, on the subject of designer drugs. Did you have the same concern that I had when I read the following in that report? And I quote:

"The significant threat posed by the controlled substance analog problem requires a continued Federal intervention effort.'

Just two sentences later, in the same report, it says:

"These add-on funds for the Centers for Disease Control have been proposed for rescission.”

Senator CHILES. Yes, sir.

Mr. HUGHES. Did you have the same reaction I had reading those two separate provisions in one report?

Senator CHILES. Yes, sir, I had that same sinking spell in trying to determine how in the world we could have that happening. And I think with the potential danger of this, if and when this gets into the hands of organized crime, my goodness, all of the work that we have tried to do in changing the law of posse comitatus so we could bring in the Coast Guard and the military and involve our presence in trying to stop drugs from coming to our shore, all of the work that we are doing in trying to put strings on the foreign aid to countries in South and Central America and to other places in which heroin and cocaine is being grown-all of that could be for nothing when you realize the tremendous potential of what somebody can do in a closet with a makeshift lab in creating these drugs that give this Parkinson's-type syndrome and worse and the deaths that can result. The potential of it is so scary.

I think we do have an opportunity to try to get ahead of the wave. I think it will take the concerted work of not only the Congress but the administration to do that.

Mr. HUGHES. Well, designer drugs are an extremely important part of the overall national malaise that we face with substance abuse. The diversion of prescription drugs into the illicit market is another problem.

Senator CHILES. Yes, sir.

Mr. HUGHES. If you look at the data, the Dawn reports, upward of 75 percent of the overdoses and deaths are caused by prescription drugs—the diversion of prescription drugs into the illicit markets. It is a big business in this country.

A few years ago we had diversion investigative units. They were phased out in that 1981-82 round, as you well know. The DIUs, as they were called, were extremely effective in targeting Federal funds into local jurisdictions to try to deal with the diversion problem. They were so successful, those diversion investigative units, that we phased them out.

There is now a tremendous gap in the law. We can actually target in parts of the country where we have problems. Where we have a major diversion problem. In the last Congress, the Drug Enforcement Administration came to us and pleaded with us to provide a $6 million authorization for a State and local program to deal with diversion because the States have not picked up, really, where we left off a few years ago in dealing with the problem.

We authorized $2.7 million for the diversion program. The Office of Management and Budget refuses to approve the spending of the money. $2.7 million-a very small, modest sum to deal with the overall problem. They have now proposed that we reprogram those moneys.

So we have a lot of work to do in focusing in on the designer drug problem as well as the general diversion problem, which presents-

Senator CHILES. I think we do, Mr. Chairman. And I don't think we can pat ourselves on the back and think that because we pass this bill, which I think is tremendously important, that we are going to take care of the designer drug problem. Again, what we need to do is educate the public as to the potential hazards. We must get the message out there to young people—to even known users—before it actually hits them. You see in your film and the other film that I had what happens when they take one dose or try it several times. And they think it is China White or something that they have been using and suddenly they find that they are zapped with a substance that can paralyze them or kill them or have these other symptoms and side effects. Certainly we have got

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