196. Minutes of the Working Group of the Cabinet Committee on International Narcotics Control1 2

Ambassador Vance noted the requirement of the CCINC to report, along with the other Cabinet Committees, to the President on October 1. He distributed a draft outline for the CCINC report and indicated that Mr. Lawrence would distribute to the Working Group members a suggested draft by August 27. Members were requested to inform him of any proposed revisions so that at the next Working Group meeting, set for 3:00 on September 7, an advanced draft could be reviewed for approval. Ambassador Vance would then send it to the Chairman of the CCINC, the Secretary of State, who would transmit it formally for comment to other CCINC members in order that a fully cleared report could be sent to the President by the October 1 due date.

Ambassador Vance then distributed a memorandum by Deputy Legal Adviser Louis Fields concerning the question of the cultivation of the bracteatum poppy and the production of thebaine. He asked that Mr. Fields’ legal memorandum be studied, together with a recent US Mission Geneva telegram on this question (Geneva 6543), and that Working Group members be prepared to discuss this matter also at the September 7 meeting.

Moving to the agenda, he suggested that Item F, “Developments looking to improved intelligence servicing of the CCINC effort,” be taken first. He referred to Mr. Bensinger’s statement and Mr. Kennedy’s memorandum, both distributed prior to this meeting, and asked each to provide supplementary comments. Mr. Bensinger cited the main elements of the IDIG–M organization and activity and suggested that there be an appropriate CCINC meeting to focus solely on intelligence. Noting concurrence, Ambassador Vance appointed a Task Force of Working Group members who would study the question and report back with a status report at the next meeting of the Working Group on September 7. Messrs. Bensinger, Kennedy, Acree, Johnson, Harrison, Muellenberg (Main Justice), and Cooke were [Page 2] designated as members of the Task Force which Ambassador Vance would lead. It was agreed that since major policy and resource questions were involved, it was fully appropriate to give the question attention at this level. Ambassador Vance noted that he had hoped the CCDLE work on the intelligence aspect might show the way for us in the international field. However, he noted distinctions between the purposes of the domestic intelligence effort, which are mainly related to prosecutions, and of the international intelligence effort, which are not mainly related to prosecutions in the United States but to the question of crop eradication and control and the general standard and adequacy of enforcement efforts of other governments. He wondered whether the fear of tainted court cases in the United States because of foreign intelligence gathered by CIA may have been a falsely assumed problem. Mr. Dickerson said that the problem of a lack of overseas intelligence still plagues Customs interdiction efforts. He thought Mr. Kennedy’s memorandum constituted an excellent identification of the problem and also that Department of Justice restraints with respect to intelligence sharing were excessive.

Ambassador Vance noted that DEA was not a member of the intelligence community, which fact inhibited both coordination and the interchange of information. It seemed wrong that DEA reporting could not be made available to the intelligence community and that DEA does not have available to itself important other US Government sources of information.

Mr. Kennedy noted that the Foreign Intelligence Board (FIB) has identified the issues. He felt that the policy and missions of the various affected agencies must be examined and that some help should be sought on determining whether the intelligence process needs to be restructured. He noted that the Institute for Defense Analysis (IDA) has familiarity in this area and might be asked to give consultative advice.

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It was decided that the Task Force on Intelligence, which had just been created, would meet on August 25 at 3 o’clock. Mr. Dickerson thought that it would be useful to have a cataloguing of issues for consideration at the next meeting. Mr. Johnson thought that staff work was needed. It was decided that a small group, consisting of Mr. J. J. Hitchcock (State/INR), Mr. Kennedy, a representative designated by DEA and one designated by S/NM, would agree on a checklist of issues to be considered-at the September 7 meeting.

Turning to the “Congressional Relations” agenda item, Ambassador Vance noted both the current Nunn committee hearings and the Bayh hearings. The latter, he hoped, would give some impetus to enabling legislation necessary as a prerequisite to our ratifying the Psychotropic Convention. Dr. DuPont indicated that the only hold-up with regard to that seemed to be certain members of the health community. He had talked to both Mr. Perito and Mr. Bonnie and learned that they both now support the enabling legislation if it could be amended in some respects which Dr. DuPont considered minor and not difficult. Dr. DuPont undertook to meet with Rogers and his staff to talk about it. He suggested that a letter from the President to Mr. Rogers might assure action at this session of the Congress.

Mr. Miller indicated that there were also constitutional issues to be resolved, namely the question of the delegation of power to an international body to decide what would be criminal in the United States. The convention provides that the international organizations may add new substances to the controlled lists; if one of these were not already controlled in the US, it would become controlled by international action. Mr. Miller thought that we might therefore have to reserve on the question of future additions to the lists by the international organizations. Dr. DuPont felt that the Department of State could readily explain this to other governments, particularly since we were able to point out that our Controlled Substances Act is stronger than the convention and we control many more substances than the convention. [Page 4] Also, we would, of course, examine the desirability of control of any substances identified by the international organizations and probably subject them to control. Mr. Miller, answering a question by Mr. Bensinger, gave as his view that we should ratify with a reservation as to future controls.

Mr. Ernst wondered what effect this would have on the western European industrial countries which manufactured psychotropic substances. Would this make them more or less inclined themselves to ratify? If it made them less inclined to ratify, we would not, by so proceeding, have done anything to advance our control objectives.

It was decided to create a Task Force to consider the reservations question. This would consist of Dr. DuPont, Mr. Miller, Mr. Fields, and Mr. Ernst. Contact should be made with Miss Gough in Geneva to ascertain her views as to the reservation question and the group should give consideration to direct contacts with European governments concerned in order to get a better idea as to their likely reaction to our ratifying with such a reservation.

With regard to the Mansfield Amendment, Ambassador Vance referred to the recent DEA guidelines, copies of which had been distributed to the group by Mr. Miller at the beginning of the meeting. Mr. Dickerson indicated that the outstanding instructions to the Customs preclearance units abroad did not need to be changed because of the new law, and Dr. Cooke indicated that DOD had issued guidance to Defense Department people abroad. He provided a copy of that guidance to Ambassador Vance.

Mr. Bensinger indicated that by October 1 a Mission Statement for each country in which DEA had agents assigned would be drawn up. This would tend to assure not only that activities are in keeping with current guidelines but that resources were appropriately targeted. Ambassador Vance said that he would like to see these Mission Statements in draft before they became final.

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The final Congressional Relations item noted was the recent creation of the House Select Committee on Drug Abuse and Control chaired by Lester Wolff. Congressman Wolff had indicated that he was going to give early emphasis to the domestic side of the problem, notably demand reduction. Ambassador Vance said he looked to the Committee to be helpful to furtherance of CCINC objectives and he would like to be informed of contacts of the Committee with other CCINC agencies in respect to the international program.

With regard to Agenda Item B, “Public Statements and press releases of CCINC concern,” Ambassador Vance requested that there be a full sharing of information in advance with regard to public statements. This was especially important now with increased attention from Congress to the program.

Moving to Agenda Item D, “Review of CCINC policy regarding assistance in foreign demand reduction activities,” Ambassador Vance said he thought the general guidelines portion of the draft paper submitted by NIDA was very sound on substance. A few drafting changes would be suggested and a telegram sending the guidelines to selected posts would be cleared around in the usual process. Dr. DuPont noted that in the present draft a concept of a balance and references to failures on the supply side have been taken out. He assured the Committee he was not seeking half of the CCINC appropriation, rather was envisaging something like $2 million a year for demand program projects. He emphasized that we must be careful to respond to other governments’ own perceptions of their drug abuse problems rather than how we might see them. Both Mr. Bensinger and Mr. Kennedy made statements favoring the principle of inclusion of demand projects in the program. Mr. Kennedy noted that intelligence on the demand side was virtually lacking and opined that $2 million could easily be spent if only on information collection with regard to foreign demand programs.

Miss Wampler expressed concern that we not declare our solutions to other countries. Dr. DuPont fully agreed and undertook to provide language in a draft instruction which reflects the Working Group views and assures that [Page 6] our missions abroad would have clear guidance as to our approach.

The draft paper, submitted by S/NM, on “Policy concerning USG assistance in crop eradication programs involving herbicide use” (Agenda Item E), was approved without comment.

With respect to Item G, “Probable future foreign heroin sources,” Ambassador Vance stressed that we are on the look out for potential future sources as the very evident experience of Mexico’s replacement of Turkey as a heroin source country made it clear that we must expect traffickers to attempt to shift to alternate sources as soon as they were denied existing ones. He said we were looking carefully at current opium producers and at certain Latin American countries as possible replacements of Mexico as our prime source. We do not intend to be caught napping. Some Committee members had not received DEA’s paper on this item and so it was agreed to consider the matter again at our next meeting.

On Agenda Item H, “Current trends in drug abuse affecting United States servicemen overseas,” Dr. Cooke said that the statement was fully self-explanatory. He added that 50 percent of the investigative resources of the Department of Defense were absorbed on drug cases. He expected this to continue and that the military overseas will have a significant drug abuse problem for the foreseeable future.

On Agenda Item I, “Report of interagency consideration of problem of use of APO mails for narcotics smuggling,” Mr. Fields indicated that the APO problem had diminished in degree, notably since troop withdrawals from Thailand. However, the decision in the Ramsey case was now the most pressing issue. (The local Federal Court held that Customs may not continue warrantless opening of first-class mail coming from abroad.) Mr. Dickerson agreed that this decision provided a touch operational problem for the US Customs. Customs had persuaded the Post Office Department to limit the impact of this case to the Washington area and hoped that the Ramsey decision will soon be overturned.

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On Agenda Item J, “Highlight developments in domestic drug abuse trends,” Dr. DuPont noted briefly that drug abuse indicators had shown a “plateauing” of the problem of heroin use in the United States since mid-1975. He referred Committee members to the most recent issue of the Heroin Indicator Trends Report for further details.

Ambassador Vance then used the remaining meeting time to briefly review program developments in the major countries of concern. He cited recent Presidential approval of forward funding for enforcement and crop substitution in Bolivia, and noted the recent Peruvian indication of desire to have a similar program in cooperation with us. He cited a recent agreement with the Government of Colombia on a suitable enforcement assistance program and noted our expectations for an increasingly effective eradication program in Mexico, assuming that the new Government’s commitment would be strong. He also brought the Committee up to date on recent developments with respect to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran.

Under Item K, “Planning for regional Embassy Narcotics Coordinators and DEA SAIC meetings,” Ambassador Vance noted that the European area conference would be held in London September 20–21 and the NEA conference in Tehran November 9–10. As for ARA, current consideration was being given to Bogota in early December. Suggestions were sought for the EA conference and some members felt that it would make most sense to go to Bangkok inasmuch as Thailand remains a major narcotics problem country.

  1. Source: Washington National Records Center, RG 59, INM/P Files, Lot 84 D 147, Cabinet Committee–Working Group. Confidential. For the Ramsey case see records of the Federal Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 176 U.S. App. D.C. at 73, 538 F. 2d, at 421. Paul Perito was Deputy Director of SAODAP until 1975.
  2. The Working Group discussed intelligence, congressional initiatives, the role of international organizations, the regulatory status of psychotropic drugs and papaver bracteatum, public relations, assistance for demand reduction activities abroad, drug abuse among members of the armed services, APO mail concerns, and domestic drug abuse trends.