Purpose

The Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control was created to “monitor and encourage United States Government and private programs seeking to expand international cooperation against drug abuse and narcotics trafficking” and to “monitor and promote international compliance with narcotics control treaties.” As a formal organization of the U.S. Senate, the Caucus has the status of a standing committee . The Caucus exercises oversight on a wide range of issues, including international counternarcotics assistance and domestic drug prevention and treatment programs. The Caucus has held numerous hearings over the years and has issued a number of reports on U.S. narcotics control policy.

 

History

The United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control was established on August 16, 1985 by the Foreign Relations Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1986 and 1987 and was originally called the United States Commission on International Narcotics Control. Pursuant to the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act of 1986, the name of the Commission was changed to the United States Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control, effective November 13, 1985. (The House of Representatives had requested the name change because it would more accurately reflect the membership of the group, given that no House Members were to be appointed to it.)

 

Membership

The original U.S. Commission on International Narcotics Control’s authorizing legislation provided that it draw its membership from the Senate and from experts in the private sector. Specifically, the group was to be composed of 12 members: seven Members of the U.S. Senate appointed by the President of the Senate, and five members from the private sector appointed by the President of the United States. Four of the seven Senators, including one designated as Chairman, were to be selected from the majority party after approval by the Majority Leader, and three, including the Member designated as Co-Chairman, were to be selected from the minority party, after approval by the Minority Leader. The five Commission members selected from the private sector were to be appointed by the President after consultation with the Members of the appropriate congressional committees.

The appointment of private citizens was discontinued after 1987 in accordance with the group’s redesignation as the U.S. Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. The Caucus now consists of seven member of the U.S. Senate. Four of the members represent the Majority, and three members represent the Minority, with two designated as Chairman and Co-Chairman.

Protecting Kids from Candy Flavored Drugs Act of 2015 (S.724) Introduced Thursday March 12, 2015. The Saving Kids from Candy Flavored Drugs Act of 2015 would:

Provide an enhanced penalty when a person manufactures, creates, distributes, dispenses, or possesses with intent to distribute a controlled substance listed in Schedule I or Schedule II that is:

Combined with a beverage or candy product, marketed or packaged to appear similar to a beverage or candy product, or modified by flavoring or coloring to appear similar to a candy or beverage product.

Transnational Drug Trafficking Act of 2015 (S.32) Introduced Tuesday January 13, 2015. The Transnational Drug Trafficking Act, which passed the Senate unanimously in the 112th and 113th Congresses, would provide the Department of Justice with new tools to prosecute drug traffickers from foreign countries. Specifically, it will help the department build extradition cases on drug kingpins from the Andean region, which includes Colombia and Peru. Kingpins from these countries often use Mexican drug trafficking organizations as intermediaries to ship illegal narcotics to the United States.

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

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 unused medication.

(S.RES.261)

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…

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.

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.

(S.513)