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H.R.1812

Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission Act

Introduced on 4-15-15 by Eliot Engel [D-NY-16] and referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs. The cosponsor was Matt Salmon [R-AZ-5].

Purpose: To establish the Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission.

SEC. 2. Findings.

Congress finds the following:

(1) According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in 2013 in the United States, an estimated 24,573,000 persons age 12 or older were current users of illicit drugs: 1,549,000 cocaine, 289,000 heroin, 1,330,000 hallucinogens, 19,810,000 marijuana, and 6,484,000 prescription-type drugs.

(2) 22 countries are major drug transit or producing countries, 17 in the Western Hemisphere: The Bahamas, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

(3) Nearly all cocaine in the US originates in Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru. Most of the heroin originates in Colombia and Mexico. The cultivation, production and trafficking of cocaine and heroin generate violence, instability, and corruption.

(4) Drug trafficking is central to the growing strength of organized criminals to threaten US security and interests. Drug trafficking-related violence continues unabated in Mexico. Foreign Terrorist Organizations have used drug trafficking to finance their activities.

SEC. 3. Establishment.

Establishes an independent commission: the “Western Hemisphere Drug Policy Commission” which will coordinate with governments, international organizations, academic and nongovernmental leaders, and the Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (CICAD).

SEC. 4. Duties.

(a) Review of illicit drug control policies and identify options to improve existing international counternarcotics policy, including evaluations of:

(1) United States-funded international illicit drug control programs in the Western Hemisphere, including drug interdiction, crop eradication, alternative development, drug production surveys, police and justice sector training, demand reduction, and strategies to target drug kingpins.

(2) The impact of United States counternarcotics assistance programs in the Western Hemisphere in curbing drug production, drug trafficking, and drug-related violence and improving citizen security.

(3) Whether the proper indicators of success are being used to evaluate United States international illicit drug control policy.

(4) United States efforts to stop illicit proceeds from drug trafficking organizations from entering the United States financial system.

(5) Links between the illegal narcotics trade and terrorist activities around the world.

(6) United States efforts to combat narco-terrorism in the Western Hemisphere.

(7) Alternative drug policy models in the Western Hemisphere.

(8) Recommendations on how best to improve United States counternarcotics policies in the Western Hemisphere.

The Commission shall submit to the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the House of Representatives, the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate, the Secretary of State, and the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy a report that contains—

(A) a detailed statement of the recommendations, findings, and conclusions and

(B) summaries of the input and recommendations of the leaders and organizations with which the Commission consulted.

The report shall be made available to the public.

SEC. 5. Membership.

Ten members to be appointed as follows: 4 by leaders of Senate and House and 2 by the President. The members may not be members of Congress or other government officials. The Bills goes into the specifics of how the commission should be run.

$1,500,000 is authorized to be appropriated from the amounts authorized by section 23 of the Arms Export Control Act (22 U.S.C. 2763) for fiscal year 2016.

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