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105th Congress                                            Rept. 105-711
                        HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

 2d Session                                                      Part 1
_______________________________________________________________________


 
              SPEED TRAFFICKING LIFE IN PRISON ACT OF 1998

                                _______
                                

 September 14, 1998.--Committed to the Committee of the Whole House on 
            the State of the Union and ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

   Mr. McCollum, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the 
                               following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            DISSENTING VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 3898]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

  The Committee on the Judiciary, to whom was referred the bill 
(H.R. 3898) to amend the Controlled Substances Act and the 
Controlled Substances Import and Export Act to conform 
penalties for violations involving certain amounts of 
methamphetamine to penalties for violations involving similar 
amounts of cocaine base, having considered the same, report 
favorably thereon with an amendment and recommend that the bill 
as amended do pass.

                           TABLE OF CONTENTS

                                                                   Page
The Amendment....................................................     2
Purpose and Summary..............................................     2
Background and Need for Legislation..............................     2
Committee Consideration..........................................     3
Vote of the Committee............................................     3
Committee Oversight Findings.....................................     5
Committee on Government Reform and Oversight Findings............     5
New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures........................     5
Congressional Budget Office Estimate.............................     5
Constitutional Authority Statement...............................     7
Section-by-Section Analysis and Discussion.......................     7
Agency Views.....................................................     8
Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported............     8
Dissenting Views.................................................    10

  The amendment is as follows:
  Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert in lieu 
thereof the following:

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

  This Act may be cited as the ``Speed Trafficking Life In Prison Act 
of 1998''.

SEC. 2. METHAMPHETAMINE TRAFFICKING PENALTY ADJUSTMENTS.

  (a) Amendments to the Controlled Substances Act.--The Controlled 
Substances Act is amended--
          (1) in section 401(b)(1)(A)(viii) (21 U.S.C. 
        841(b)(1)(A)(viii)) by--
                  (A) striking ``100 grams'' and inserting ``50 
                grams''; and
                  (B) striking ``1 kilogram'' and inserting ``500 
                grams''; and
          (2) in section 401(b)(1)(B)(viii) (21 U.S.C. 
        841(b)(1)(B)(viii)) by--
                  (A) striking ``10 grams'' and inserting ``5 grams''; 
                and
                  (B) striking ``100 grams'' and inserting ``50 
                grams''.
  (b) Amendments to the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act.--
The Controlled Substances Import and Export Act is amended--
          (1) in section 1010(b)(1)(H) (21 U.S.C. 960(b)(1)(H)) by--
                  (A) striking ``100 grams'' and inserting ``50 
                grams'';
                  (B) striking ``1 kilogram'' and inserting ``500 
                grams''; and
                  (C) striking the period at the end and inserting a 
                semicolon; and
          (2) in section 1010(b)(2)(H) (21 U.S.C. 960(b)(2)(H)) by--
                  (A) striking ``10 grams'' and inserting ``5 grams'';
                  (B) striking ``100 grams'' and inserting ``50 
                grams''; and
                  (C) striking the period at the end and inserting a 
                semicolon.

SEC. 3. PREPARATION OF AN IMPACT STATEMENT.

  The United States Sentencing Commission shall prepare a statement 
analyzing the impact of the sentences imposed as a result of the 
amendments made by this Act and present that analysis to Congress not 
later than one year after the date of the enactment of this Act.

                          Purpose and Summary

    H.R. 3898 increases the penalties for manufacturing, 
trafficking, or importing methamphetamine so as to make them 
the same as crack cocaine, by reducing by one-half the quantity 
of methamphetamine required to trigger the mandatory minimum 
prison sentences established in section 841 and 960 of title 
21, United States Code. Under current law, 100 grams of 
methamphetamine triggers the ten-year mandatory minimum and ten 
grams triggers the five-year mandatory minimum. In both cases, 
under current law, an offender with prior felony drug offenses 
can receive life in prison, as can an offender when the use of 
the methamphetamine leads to the death or serious bodily injury 
of another. Under the bill, fifty grams triggers a ten-year 
mandatory minimum prison sentence and five grams of 
methamphetamine triggers a five-year mandatory minimum prison 
sentence.

                Background and Need for the Legislation

    Methamphetamine is no longer a problem confined to 
California and the Southwest, but has spread east, devastating 
some communities much like cocaine did in the 1980s. The 
testimony received in recent years paints a grim picture of an 
emerging epidemic: emergency room methamphetamine episodes in 
major metropolitan areas have increased dramatically; 
methamphetamine deaths in Los Angeles, San Diego, and San 
Francisco have increased 130 percent since 1991, and increased 
nationally by 144 percent; and clandestine methamphetamine labs 
have now been reported in all fifty States.
    There are numerous unique problems associated with 
methamphetamine. The profits involved in the methamphetamine 
trade are enormous. Methamphetamine causes longer highs than 
cocaine. Methamphetamine is processed in clandestine labs often 
located in remote areas, making them difficult to detect. And 
the numerous chemicals used in the manufacturing of the final 
product are extremely flammable and destructive to the 
environment. Over the last eight years, Mexican drug 
organizations have replaced motorcycle gangs as the major 
methamphetamine producers and traffickers. Mexican traffickers 
have established large clandestine labs throughout the 
southwest, and have saturated the western U.S. market with 
high-purity methamphetamine, leading to lower prices. In short, 
methamphetamine represents a dangerous, time-consuming, and 
expensive investigative challenge to law enforcement.
    The mandatory sentences in the bill are identical to those 
called for in the Administration's Methamphetamine Strategy 
(April, 1996). The House of Representatives passed a nearly 
identical provision in the 104th Congress as part of H.R. 3852, 
the ``Comprehensive Methamphetamine Control Act of 1996,'' by a 
vote of 386 to 34. The Senate version of the same bill did not 
include this penalty enhancement provision. Consequently, the 
provision did not become law.

                        Committee Consideration

    On June 5, 1998, the Subcommittee on Crime met in open 
session and ordered reported the bill H.R. 3898, without 
amendment by voice vote, a quorum being present. On July 21, 
1998, the Committee met in open session and ordered reported 
favorably the bill H.R. 3898, with an amendment, by a recorded 
vote of 21 to 6, a quorum being present.

                         Vote of the Committee

    There were two recorded votes (one on an amendment and one 
on final passage) during the Committee's consideration of H.R. 
3898, as follows:
    1. Amendment offered by Mr. Frank relating to a directive 
to the United States Sentencing Commission to conduct a study 
of penalties for trafficking in methamphetamine. The amendment 
was defeated by a vote of 6-21.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         Ayes                Nays       
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Sensenbrenner...............  ..................  ..................
Mr. McCollum....................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Gekas.......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Coble.......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Smith (TX)..................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Gallegly....................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Canady......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Inglis......................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Goodlatte...................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Buyer.......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Bryant......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Chabot......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Barr........................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Jenkins.....................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Hutchinson..................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Pease.......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Cannon......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Rogan.......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Graham......................  ..................                  X 
Ms. Bono........................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Conyers.....................                  X   ..................
Mr. Frank.......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Schumer.....................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Berman......................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Boucher.....................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Nadler......................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Scott.......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Watt........................                  X   ..................
Ms. Lofgren.....................  ..................  ..................
Ms. Jackson Lee.................  ..................                  X 
Ms. Waters......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Meehan......................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Delahunt....................                  X   ..................
Mr. Wexler......................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Rothman.....................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Hyde, Chairman..............  ..................                  X 
                                 ---------------------------------------
      Total.....................                  6                  21 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    2. Vote on Final Passage 21-6.

------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                         Ayes                Nays       
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Sensenbrenner...............  ..................  ..................
Mr. McCollum....................                  X   ..................
Mr. Gekas.......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Coble.......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Smith (TX)..................                  X   ..................
Mr. Gallegly....................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Canady......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Inglis......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Goodlatte...................                  X   ..................
Mr. Buyer.......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Bryant......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Chabot......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Barr........................                  X   ..................
Mr. Jenkins.....................                  X   ..................
Mr. Hutchinson..................                  X   ..................
Mr. Pease.......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Cannon......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Rogan.......................                  X   ..................
Mr. Graham......................                  X   ..................
Ms. Bono........................                  X   ..................
Mr. Conyers.....................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Frank.......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Schumer.....................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Berman......................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Boucher.....................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Nadler......................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Scott.......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Watt........................  ..................                  X 
Ms. Lofgren.....................                  X   ..................
Ms. Jackson Lee.................  ..................  ..................
Ms. Waters......................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Meehan......................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Delahunt....................  ..................                  X 
Mr. Wexler......................  ..................  ..................
Mr. Rothman.....................                  X   ..................
Mr. Hyde, Chairman..............                  X   ..................
                                 ---------------------------------------
      Total.....................                 21                   6 
------------------------------------------------------------------------

                      Committee Oversight Findings

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(A) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House ofRepresentatives, the Committee reports 
that the findings and recommendations of the Committee, based on 
oversight activities under clause 2(b)(1) of rule X of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, are incorporated in the descriptive portions 
of this report.

         Committee on Government Reform and Oversight Findings

    No findings or recommendations of the Committee on 
Government Reform and Oversight were received as referred to in 
clause 2(l)(3)(D) of rule XI of the Rules of the House of 
Representatives.

               New Budget Authority and Tax Expenditures

    Clause 2(l)(3)(B) of House rule XI is inapplicable because 
this legislation does not provide new budgetary authority or 
increased tax expenditures.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

    In compliance with clause 2(l)(3)(C) of rule XI of the 
Rules of the House of Representatives, the Committee sets 
forth, with respect to H.R. 3898, the following estimate and 
comparison prepared by the Director of the Congressional Budget 
Office under section 403 of the Congressional Budget Act of 
1974:

                                     U.S. Congress,
                               Congressional Budget Office,
                                 Washington, DC, September 3, 1998.
Hon. Henry J. Hyde,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3898, the Speed 
Trafficking Life in Prison Act of 1998.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Mark 
Grabowicz.
            Sincerely,
                                         June E. O'Neill, Director.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3898--Speed Trafficking Life in Prison Act of 1998

    This legislation would amend the Controlled Substances Act 
and the Controlled Substances Import and Export Act to lower 
the amounts of methamphetamine (speed) that trigger mandatory 
prison sentences and criminal fines for drug trafficking 
offenses and to raise certain mandatory sentences and fines. As 
a result, CBO estimates that enacting H.R. 3898 would result in 
additional costs to the federal government to incarcerate 
prisoners for longer periods of time. We estimate that these 
costs would total about $9 million over fiscal years 1999 
through 2003, assuming appropriation of the necessary amounts. 
Because H.R. 3898 could affect direct spending and receipts, 
pay-as-you-go procedures would apply to the bill; however, CBO 
estimates that the amounts involved would be less than $500,000 
annually. H.R. 3898 contains no intergovernmental or private-
sector mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act 
and would impose no costs on the budgets of state, local, or 
tribal governments.
    Current law provides for mandatory minimum prison sentences 
for drug trafficking offenses involving certain amounts of 
methamphetamine. For example, a person convicted of 
distributing 10 grams or more of methamphetamine faces a prison 
sentence of at least five years. H.R. 3898 would lower the 
amounts necessary to trigger mandatory sentences (from 10 grams 
to 5 grams) and would raise the minimum sentence for offenses 
involving 50 grams from five years to 10 years. The bill also 
would lower the amounts of methamphetamine necessary to trigger 
criminal fines. Finally, H.R. 3898 would require the U.S. 
Sentencing Commission to analyze the impact of the bill's 
provisions on prison sentences and report to the Congress 
within one year of enactment.
    According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, the longer 
sentences required by H.R. 3898 would increase the prison 
population by roughly 400 prisoners a year by fiscal year 2003. 
At an annual cost per prisoner of about $8,700 (at 1998 
prices), CBO estimates that the cost to support these 
additional prisoners would be about $9 million over the 1999-
2003 period. The full budgetary effects of H.R. 3898 would not 
be realized until after 30 years, when the additional prison 
population resulting from this bill would stabilize at roughly 
1,600 prisoners per year. Assuming no significant change in the 
number of annual convictions, the cost to the prison system on 
a long-term basis would reach about $14 million annually (at 
1998 prices), subject to the availability of appropriated 
funds. According to the Sentencing Commission, the number of 
methamphetamine offenders prosecuted in federal court increased 
by 73 percent between 1995 and 1997. If that trend continues, 
the number of annual convictions would rise significantly, and 
as a result, costs under H.R. 3898 would be much higher than 
estimated above. CBO estimates that the analysis required of 
the U.S. Sentencing Commission would cost less than $100,000.
    Furthermore, a new federal prison would probably have to be 
constructed between 10 and 20 years after enactment to support 
the anticipated increase in prison population. Based on 
information from the Bureau of Prisons, CBO estimates that 
added construction costs would be about $85 million (in 1998 
dollars).
    Enacting H.R. 3898 could increase governmental receipts 
through greater collections of criminal fines. Because the bill 
would increase the maximum fine that could be levied for 
offenses involving certain amounts of methamphetamine, however, 
CBO does not expect any increased collections of fines to 
exceed $500,000 per year. Criminal fines are deposited in the 
Crime Victims Fund and spent the following year. Thus, any 
change in direct spending from the fund would match any 
increase in revenues attributable to H.R. 3898, with a one-year 
lag.
    The CBO staff contact for this estimate is Mark Grabowicz. 
This estimate was approved by Robert A. Sunshine, Deputy 
Assistant Director for Budget Analysis.

                   Constitutional Authority Statement

    Pursuant to rule XI, clause 2(l)(4) of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, the Committee finds the authority for 
this legislation in Article I, clause three, section eight of 
the Constitution.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis

    Section 1. Short Title. This section provides that the Act 
may be cited as the ``Speed Trafficking Life in Prison Act of 
1998''.
    Section 2. Methamphetamine Trafficking Penalty Adjustments. 
This section amends the Controlled Substances Act and the 
Controlled Substances Import and Export Act so as to increase 
the penalties for manufacturing, trafficking, or importing 
methamphetamine by reducing by one-half the quantity of 
methamphetamine required to trigger the mandatory minimum 
prison sentences established in section 841 and 960 of title 
21, United States Code. Under current law, 100 grams of pure 
methamphetamine triggers the ten-year mandatory minimum prison 
sentence (while 1 kilogram of mixed methamphetamine triggers 
the same 10-year mandatory minimum) and ten grams triggers the 
five-year mandatory minimum prison sentence (while 100 grams of 
mixed methamphetamine triggers the same five-year mandatory 
minimum). In both cases, under current law, an offender with 
prior felony drug offenses can receive life in prison, as can 
an offender when the use of the methamphetamine leads to the 
death or serious bodily injury of another.
    Under section 2(a), the Controlled Substances Act (section 
841 of title 21, United States Code) is amended by reducing the 
quantity threshold for pure methamphetamine from 100 to 50 
grams for the 10 year mandatory sentence. It also reduces the 
quantity threshold for mixed methamphetamine from 1 kilogram to 
500 grams for the 10 year mandatory sentence.
    Section 2(a) further amends the Controlled Substances Act 
by reducing the quantity threshold for pure methamphetamine 
from 10 to 5 grams for the 5 year mandatory sentence. It also 
reduces the quantity threshold for mixed methamphetamine from 
100 grams to 50 grams for the 5 year mandatory sentence.
    Under section 2(b), the Controlled Substances Import and 
Export Act (section 960 of title 21, United States Code) is 
amended by reducing the quantity threshold for pure 
methamphetamine from 100 to 50 grams for the 10 year mandatory 
sentence. It also reduces the quantity threshold for mixed 
methamphetamine from 1 kilogram to 500 grams for the 10 year 
mandatory sentence.
    Section 2(b) further amends the Controlled Substances 
Import and Export Act by reducing the quantity threshold for 
pure methamphetamine from 10 to 5 grams for the 5 year 
mandatory sentence. It also reduces the quantity threshold for 
mixed methamphetamine from 100 grams to 50 grams for the 5 year 
mandatory sentence.
    Section 3. Preparation of an Impact Statement. This section 
directs the Sentencing Commission to prepare a statement 
analyzing the impact of the sentences imposed as a result of 
this Act and present that analysis to Congress not later than 
one year after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(Section 841 of title 21, United States Code)

                              Agency Views

                        U.S. Department of Justice,
                             Office of Legislative Affairs,
                                     Washington, DC, June 16, 1998.
Hon. Henry J. Hyde,
Chairman, Committee on the Judiciary,
House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Chairman: This is to provide the Department of 
Justice's views on H.R. 3898, the ``Speed Trafficking Life in 
Prison Act of 1998.'' We support the proposed changes to 21 
U.S.C. Sec. 841 and 21 U.S.C. Sec. 960 contained in the bill 
that would reduce the threshold quantities of methamphetamine 
required for mandatory minimum sentences under these statutes. 
The amendments made by the bill would conform penalties for 
violations involving certain amounts of methamphetamine to 
penalties for violations involving like amounts of cocaine 
base.
    Methamphetamine is a serious drug of abuse whose use 
pattern and level of associated violence have elements of 
similarity to that of crack cocaine. For this reason, and 
because much of the potent methamphetamine available today 
produces a severe reaction, we believe that the threshold 
quantities for determining mandatory minimum penalties for 
methamphetamine should be set at or about the same levels 
established for crack cocaine, to reflect the destructive 
effects of methamphetamine.
    The Office of Management and Budget has advised that there 
is no objection to the presentation of this report from the 
standpoint of the Administration's program.
            Sincerely,
                                          L. Anthony Sutin,
                                 Acting Assistant Attorney General.

         Changes in Existing Law Made by the Bill, as Reported

  In compliance with clause 3 of rule XIII of the Rules of the 
House of Representatives, changes in existing law made by the 
bill, as reported, are shown as follows (existing law proposed 
to be omitted is enclosed in black brackets, new matter is 
printed in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed 
is shown in roman):

              SECTION 401 OF THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT

                      prohibited acts a--penalties

  Sec. 401. (a) * * *
  (b) Except as otherwise provided in section 409, 418, 419, or 
420 any person who violates subsection (a) of this section 
shall be sentenced as follows:
          (1)(A) In the case of a violation of subsection (a) 
        of this section involving--
                  (i) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (viii) [100] 50 grams or more of 
                methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, and salts 
                of its isomers or [1 kilogram] 500 grams or 
                more of a mixture or substance containing a 
                detectable amount of methamphetamine, its 
                salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (B) In the case of a violation of subsection (a) of 
        this section involving--
                  (i) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                  (viii) [10] 5 grams or more of 
                methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, and salts 
                of its isomers or [100] 50 grams or more of a 
                mixture or substance containing a detectable 
                amount of methamphetamine, its salts, isomers, 
                or salts of its isomers;

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


    SECTION 1010 OF THE CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES IMPORT AND EXPORT ACT

                      prohibited acts a--penalties

  Sec. 1010. (a) * * *
  (b)(1) In the case of a violation of subsection (a) of this 
section involving--
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (H) [100] 50 grams or more of methamphetamine, its 
        salts, isomers, and salts of its isomers or [1 
        kilogram] 500 grams or more of a mixture or substance 
        containing a detectable amount of methamphetamine, its 
        salts, isomers, or salts of its isomers[.];

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (2) In the case of a violation of subsection (a) of this 
section involving--
          (A) * * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

          (H) [10] 5 grams or more of methamphetamine, its 
        salts, isomers, and salts of its isomers or [100] 50 
        grams or more of a mixture or substance containing a 
        detectable amount of methamphetamine, its salts, 
        isomers, or salts of its isomers[.];

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


                            DISSENTING VIEWS

    On July 21, 1998, the Republican majority on the House 
Judiciary Committee opted to endorse a faulty solution in 
search of a problem by favorably reporting to the full House, 
HR 3898, which would reduce the amount of methamphetamine 
needed to trigger five and ten year mandatory minimum 
sentences. In seeking to appear ``tough on crime,'' the 
majority has adopted an approach which is weak on positive 
results. We virulently oppose trafficking in methamphetamine, 
but we cannot support this legislation which is shortsighted 
and counterproductive.
    At the outset, we strongly believe that this legislation 
ignores the role of the United States Sentencing Commission 
(``Commission'') in setting federal sentencing policy. The 
Commission was created by Congress for the purpose of 
promulgating sentencing guidelines based on the bipartisan 
experiences of judges, prosecutors and other criminal justice 
practitioners. The Commission was designed to insulate these 
important questions from political influences and to improve 
the federal sentencing system in a way that would make 
sentencing less arbitrary and more consistent. The Commission 
has not suggested this legislation. Yet, the political 
considerations which the Commission was designed to defuse have 
led the majority to favorably report this misguided 
legislation.
    The need for this legislation has not been established by 
sources outside of the Commission. Rather than hold a single 
hearing on this legislation, the majority merely asserts that 
the use of methamphetamines in this country is an emerging 
epidemic. However, there is substantial evidence to the 
contrary. Between 1995 and 1996, the Substance Abuse and Mental 
Health Services Administration's Drug Abuse Network recorded a 
33 percent decrease in methamphetamine-related emergency room 
admissions. The Drug Abuse Network also found a 4.1% decrease 
in deaths related to methamphetamine between 1994 and 1995 (the 
latest year such data is available) and an overall decrease in 
the use of stimulants since 1985. Furthermore, contrary to the 
majority's anecdotal evidence of the violence associated with 
methamphetamine, since 1985 the number of homicide victims 
found to have tested positive for methamphetamine only slightly 
increased--from 18 deaths in 1985 to 22 in 1996. In addition, 
the penalties for methamphetamine related offenses are already 
severe, the second highest of all drug penalties with an 
average sentence of 8.1 years.
    The majority has selected a draconian ``solution'' which 
has continually been proven to be costly, inefficient and 
unjust--mandatory minimum sentences. Mandatory minimum 
sentences have led to an explosion in the costs of prisons. The 
Federal Bureau of Prisons budget increased more than 1,400 
percent after the enactment of new mandatory minimum sentences 
for drug offenses in the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986, jumping 
from $220 million in 1986 to $3.19 billion in 1997. It is well-
documented that this is not money well spent. A 1997 study by 
the Rand Corporation found that ``in all cases, conventional 
enforcement is more cost effective than mandatory minimums, and 
treatment is more than twice as cost effective as mandatory 
minimums.''
    Finally, the stated purpose of this legislation, according 
to its proponents, is to make the sentences for trafficking in 
methamphetamine correspond to the sentences for trafficking in 
crack cocaine. We believe modeling any sentencing policy after 
the crack cocaine sentencing policy is unwise because mandatory 
minimum sentences have failed to significantly reduce 
trafficking in crack cocaine and have created a criminal 
justice system which locks up a disproportionate share of 
minorities, many of whom are African-American, at enormous cost 
to the taxpayer. Prisons are literally filled with young 
African-American men and women serving mandatory minimums for 
crack cocaine trafficking and possession offenses--African-
Americans accounted for 88.3% of federal crack cocaine 
trafficking convictions in 1993, Hispanics 7.1%, Whites 4.1% 
and others 0.5%. While the majority has cited statistics which 
indicate that most methamphetamine prosecutions have been 
against white defendants, the majority's memorandum to the 
Judiciary Committee states that the rationale for this 
legislation is that ``Mexican drug organizations have replaced 
motorcycle gangs as major methamphetamine producers and 
traffickers.'' We are concerned that this citation of a 
specific ethnic group in the memorandum indicates the potential 
for the racially selective prosecution of Mexican-Americans in 
the enforcement of this proposed legislation.
    We all agree that drug abuse is a serious problem in our 
country. However, the need for this legislation has not been 
established, the solution it proposes is faulty and we 
therefore dissent from the passage of this legislation.

                                   John Conyers, Jr.
                                   Jerrold Nadler.
                                   Bobby Scott.
                                   Melvin L. Watt.
                                   Maxine Waters.