Report provides recommendations on how the United States government can support Caribbean nations in avoiding the high levels of violence and drug trafficking faced by Mexico and Central America
Report outlines key steps that the Obama Administration and Congress can take to reduce the massive U.S. demand for illegal drugs. In 2010, about 9 percent of Americans aged 12 and older were current illegal drug users. This is the highest rate of illegal drug use in the past decade.
Report argues that Central America is at a dangerous crossroads and calls for security in the subregion to become a greater priority across all U.S. government agencies.
U.S. Counternarcotics Strategy in Afghanistan
This July 2010 report by the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control states that the Taliban’s transformation into a drug cartel cannot be ignored, because it provides the terrorist organization with a massive source of financing that puts the U.S. mission in Afghanistan at risk. The report argues that if we ignore the drug problem in Afghanistan, we will fail in Afghanistan.
Prevention Act of 2011 (S.1236)
This bill would provide law enforcement and prosecutors
additional tools to locate border tunnels, identify criminals, and punish those
involved in illegal activity. This act
would establish punishments for the use, construction or financing of a border
tunnel, even in cases where a tunnel was not fully constructed. It would also include illegal tunneling as an
offense eligible for Title III wiretaps and would allow authorities to seize
assets in border tunnel cases. The
Border Tunnel Prevention Act of 2011 also
outlines a requirement to notify property owners and tenants in high risk
tunneling zones along the Southwest border of laws related to the construction
of illegal border tunnels and provide procedures for reporting violations of
such laws to authorities.
Trafficking Act of 2011 (S.1612)
The Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of 2011 provides new
tools for the Justice Department to combat the international drug trade. The bill puts in place penalties for
extraterritorial drug trafficking activity when individuals have “reasonable
cause to believe” that illegal drugs will be trafficked into the United
States. Current law states that drug
traffickers must “know” that illegal drugs will be trafficked into the United
States and this legislation lowers the knowledge threshold to “reasonable cause
to believe.” Drug traffickers from
Colombia, Ecuador and Peru produce cocaine in their countries but leave transit
of cocaine to the United States in the hands of Mexican drug trafficking
organizations such as the Zetas. Under
current law, our ability to prosecute source-nation traffickers from these
countries is limited since there is often no direct evidence of their knowledge
that illegal drugs were intended for the United States.
Saving Kids from
Dangerous Drugs Act of 2011 (S.513)
This bill targets drug dealers who use flavorings or
marketing to increase the drugs’ appeal to children. It provides enhanced penalties of up to 10
years for any adult who manufactures a controlled substance combined with a
beverage or candy product, markets that substance to appear similar to a
beverage or candy product or modifies the flavoring of a controlled substance
with the intent to distribute it to children under 18 years old.
Dangerous Synthetic Drug Control Act of 2011 (S.605)
This legislation permanently
bans chemicals commonly used in synthetic drugs similar to marijuana known as
“Spice,” and “K2,” among other names. Given the increase in synthetic marijuana across the country, this
legislation would permanently ban the chemicals used to make the drug, treating
K2 like other banned narcotics. This
bill also increases the time the Drug Enforcement Administration and the
Department of Health and Human Services have to ban substances on an emergency
basis from 18 months to 36 months allowing dangerous products to more quickly
be removed from the market.
National Medicine Abuse Awareness Month Resolution (S.RES.261)
This resolution –
which passed the Senate unanimously – designates October 2011 as National Medicine
Abuse Awareness Month. In light of
increasing non-medical use of prescription and over-the-counter drugs, this
resolution encourages communities and parents to promote the message that these
drugs should only be used for their intended medical use. It also encourages the safe disposal of