tv The Presidency President Nixons Drug Abuse Initiatives CSPAN July 15, 2018 8:00pm-9:31pm EDT
drug abuse and -- initiatives. they discussed treatment approaches, but enforcement strategies and even president and's famous -- the national archives and the richard nixon foundation cohosted this event. it is 1.5 hours. e, >> it's a pleasure to welcome you here for another of the nixon legacy forums that we co-sponsor with the richard nixon foundation. welcome to those of you who are attending in person at the national archives building in washington, d.c. and also those of you who are joining us on our youtube channel. a special welcome to our c-span viewer this is morning. we started doing these in 2010 and have now put on over three dozen such programs which feature in-depth discussion of
various public policy initiatives undertaken by the nixon administration. documents are housed in the archives kept in the nixon library in california. but these are the discussions and debates behind those documents by the very people who created them which can provide unique insight on the implementation process utilized by president nixon. what we are adding today is the ability to electronicly retrieve the documents from the archives which will be posted on our website at the same time as the video of today's presentation. we will be working with the nixon foundation to make these documents available to future researchers and scholars. today's presentation is entitled no final victories, lessons from president nixon's drug abuse initiatives. and we're going to hear from several people from both the
treatment and law enforcement side who were involved in responses of the nixon administration to the spread of heroin addiction in our inner cities in the late 1960's. the essence of the issue heroin had been -- has been a scorch to society ever since it was first developed as a treatment for morphine addiction by bayer in 1948. they had heroin addiction on the run when we lost focus for our opioids are a continuing threat that can never be eliminated. please let me introduce our moderator, jeff shepherd. he joined the nixon administration as a fellow in 1969 and joined for five years as nixon's domestic council. >> good to be here. welcome to all of you.
as david said this is probably our 38th nixon legacy forum. and it provides a wonderful opportunity, wonderful partnership between the national arkifes and the -- archives and the richard nixon foundation and it provides to scholars into in yorba the papers linda. so you get the ability to actually get new insight into what happened. our favorite analogy is to the civil war, the archives has extensive record to what happened in the civil war. but nobody sat down with general grant and said why did you do this? what was your thinking? and what we're able to do with support from the nixon foundation and from the national archives is to go behind the documents and talk about the
whies and the where fors of what we did. today's program is on president nixon's drug abuse initiative. and those of us that worked in that area believe that we made dramatic progress against a particular sort of heroin addiction which was crippling the inner city. we're going to talk about how that came about and what we did may have been lost when the focused moved on to other things. so what i'm going to do is is it and have our panelists introduce themselves and tell you where they were when president nixon was inaugurated and how they became involved in the drug abuse issue. and we'll start with jeff
donfeld. >> i graduated law school from berkley in 1968. but during the summer of 1967, i was a clerk at the nixon law firm in new york. and that's openly what led to my being hired at the white house. i joined the white house staff in 19 -- early 1969 and worked for bud wilkinson, famous oklahoma football coach. bud had a vast portfolio of obligations, one which was drug abuse. when i came into his staff, he said what would you like to do. and i felt that drug abuse was an area was an area which i knew nothing about but i felt i could make a contribution to the well-being of america if i could figure out what the issues were and how it might be approached. it turned out that as a result of research, which i was able to do primarily by traveling around
the country including visiting dr. dupon's program in washington, d.c., dr. vinny prim new york, dr. doles in nice wonder, new york and primarily jerry jaffy. he was the head of the illinois drug abuse program. i visited therapeutic communities, methodone communities. and the only folks who had data on recidivism were the folks who done.dealing with metho >> you're getting way ahead of us. 're just introducing ourselves. so i'm going to stop you. jeff and i are very good friends. he can't spell his name but we're very good friends. he's the policy guy at the white
house on drug treatment. and then we go to bob dupont. bob, where were you when nixon was elected and how did you become involved in this? >> my life changed when richard nixon was inaugurated in a dramatic way. and let me go back before that how i got to that point where my life changed so dramatically. i graduated from emory college in atlanta in 1958 and from harvard medical school in 1963. i did my psychiatric training at harvard and came to n.i.h. for research training. when i finished that in 1932, it was time for me to find my first job. up until that time i had been in training. one day a week during his residency, i worked for the state prison which was distinguished as the place where malcolm x served six years and i really fell in love with the prisoners and the prisons as a
career thought. and i thought i really care about these people. i want to help them. i want to make a career in this area and find some way to use my medical knowledge to do something about that. so come my time, i finished my training july 1st of 1968, which is very important time for what we're talking about, i went to work for the district of columbia department of corrections. now, understand what happened next. you have to understand that at the time washington, d.c. was a federal city. the mayor had just been appointed by lyndon johnson, walter washington and the city was run by the federal government. and the president was in charge of what was going on here. so in that context, i am a lifelong democrat. i was then. i am now. and when richard nixon was elected, i thought my life was coming to an end. i had lots of ideas for reforms
and corrections. mostly having to do with alternatives to incarceration and use of medical treatments. i thought well, this is over. and everybody expected richard nixon was not going to reappoint walter washington as the mayor. and when nixon came in and re-appointed walter washington, it changed the whole cly nat the district of columbia in terms of opening up possibilities. what i found was, once nixon was there was all of my reform ideas that i had in mind which was languished under lyndon johnson was suddenly interesting and by may of 1969, i my first correctional reform programs were funded. you can't imagine how fast the federal government moved under those circumstances and that changed my life. what really changed -- >> we're going to stop you right there. >> that gets you started. >> life has changed. >> we're very eager to tell our stories. these are good idealistic
people, young people coming to washington. and then we get to john kohlmann. >> thank you very much, jeff. i'm very honored to be here today and this panel. i graduated from college in 1964. a year later, i joined the federal bureau of narcotics in new york. my boss found out that i took to post language literature. this t me to working in area. applied and was selected in the fall of 1969. in september, i arrived in paris. and i was stationed in france for over three and a half years. and that's where i was the day when president nixon was -- >> not to go on too long.
otherwise he takes the whip. normally i don't get really involved. but i was involved in drug abuse at the nixon white house -- >> on the law enforcement side. >> i joined the domestic council in 1970. and my public policy beat was law and order, crime and drugs. but what you have here is four people two of whom are young lawyers that are working on effectua elopment and tion. and two people that are career experts. john and i are on the law enforcement side. but we come from different aspects. so what we're going to do is go through the development of president nixon's attitudes and initiatives in drug abuse. and each -- each of these people is going to add as we go through
because the -- the development may be everything in the story of nixon's drug abuse initiatives. so let me go to our first exhibit. and this is -- these are all papers that you would find at the national archives. this is from the 1968 campaign. and this is a booklet called "nixon on the issues" that was compiled by anna lease and marty anderson who did domestic affairs for president nixon during the campaign. and what they were asked to do s demonstrate that nixon had made substantive statements about different policy initiatives. and what we were able to find was he did speak to the drug abuse issue and we've highlighted the first and the fourth statements only to show that from the very outset nixon is talking about drug abuse as a
law enforcement issue, always first. but treatment is always there. he doesn't lead with treatment. but treatment is always a part of nixon's approach to -- to drug abuse. and just to remind you in case you weren't around in 1968, president nixon's campaign had two principle themes. end the war with honor and restore law and order. the drug abuse comes over the latter. but the lead was law enforcement. and then we go to president nixon's special message to the congress and this is july 14th. he's been president for six months. and he submits a message to the congress divided into 10 principle areas where he wants initiatives and reforms. and if you're -- if you're looking for the origins of what
he wanted to do on drug abuse or what his staff was helping him to do on drug abuse, this is the key document. so we will keep going. but from the very outset, he's talking and including drug abuse as an important situation. and then we came across this moynahan, niel professor moynahan was the original assistant to the president for urban affairs. he dabbled in everything. that was an absolute delight. he came across the memo that he wrote to john mitchell and the highlighted part that said we could interdict the smuggling of heroin and make a huge difference. jeff, you have some memory of that. >> well, one of the comments that dr. moynahan makes is that if we attack the problem, we can
solve the heroin addiction problem in the united states between 12 and 24 months. disrupt the supply change and go to the next problem. that would end it as we look back on history. that obviously was not a correct perception. and-- but the idea of going trying to disrupt the supply chain at its source or the rench part is -- is not an irrational approach. it was just the timing. >> it was two-prong. i'll let john kohlmann talk about this more specifically. it was the source of the open. and then france for the laboratories. >> and which you have john go into this. john had enough sense not to go into it in his introduction so he wouldn't get cut off. but this is his moment because he was heavily involved in the french connection.
>> dr. moynahan went to a number of vndd officers throughout the middle east and europe and visited turkey. and saw firsthand the growing of the opium popies in turkey. and hen visited france talked with the agencies and the agents about some of the diplomatic initiatives that might be under taken because at the time we're talking about 1969, 1970. 85% of the heroin available in the united states being consumed in the united states 85% was made in laboratories, clandestine laboratories in southern france. and it was made from opium oduced in turkey or morphine based which is an interimmediate area stage between opium and heroin but it has a one to one
consistency with heroin so it's easier to smuggle. he realized the importance of controlling this national traffic if you're going to -- if you're going to stop the importation of heroin to the united states. and so that was key to the recommendations to the attorney general. his recommendations was to increase diplomatic efforts, our efforts overseas and increase the global pressure on the producing nations particularly turkey in the opium business. >> this wasn't a bolt out of the blue that nobody had thought of before. what's different is this is the assistant to the president saying to the newly installed attorney general, let's put some muscle behind this? >> exactly. >> i think we benefit, john from just describing for the audience the trek of popies are growing in turkey.
they ooze gome. that you score the pod. the gum oozes out over night. you scrape the gum off, very labor intensive and that becomes gum opium. and how does that get to france to where we are? >> about 10% of the raw materials consistented of raw opium. but that was very jeff because as jeff said it was produced by the opium pod scra, scraped off the pod at night or whatever. and solidified into some sort of a ball like half a kilo or kilo package. and then shipped off to france with the laboratories. but they found out early in the game that it would be a lot easier and they could make more money if they could convert it to morphine base. turkish opium or persian opium
has a morphine content of about 10%. but if you turn that into morphine base by chemical process, the morphine base has a morphine content sometimes exceeding 90%. when that's turned into heroin, the heroin will have a final percentage purity of between 90%, 95%, sometimes reaching over 95%. by being able to smuggle morphine base, there's a 10-1 volume ratio. so for every 10 kilos of opium they could make one kilo of morphine base. >> so when they have heroin in south of the france, how does it show up over here? >> well, that was a very complex and difficult challenge for the bndd at the time because we knew french heroin was reaching new york because new york was the hub for the entire united states, not just the east coast but as far west as california in
some cases. and so the mystery was how was the heroin getting from the laboratories and southern france into new york city where it would be controlled by the mafia mostly at the first turnover connections?ch there was a group of french ex-patriots. these are criminals. people wanted for crimes in french as far as the french-indo-china war. some of these people were living in southern brazil. the brazilian authorities wanted them out of the country because ey were creating problems in brazil. they worked closely with the united states. but there were no direct flights between brazil at the time and europe. they had to come through the united states. and when they came through the
united states, they were captured and in most cases rather than go back to france where several of them were sentenced inabsent yeah -- although the death penalty had been cancelled since he was sentenced to death, they would basically be fating life in prison. they agreed to corporate. so they turned over everything they knew about the investigations and it turned out that they were the conduit, they were the link between the sources in southern france and the italian mafia groups in new york that were importing the heroin. >> and in the movie called "the french connection." it's in the floor plates, the doorjamb of jaguars as i recall. >> exactly. >> but typical smuggling, it just happened to be heroin. it could have been diamonds. >> exactly. by the way "the french connection" movie was a
wonderful movie based on the booby robin moore. but it was a compilation of different vignettes from different cases. there wasn't a single french connection case per se. and all of the vignettes in the production in the movie occurred, but they occurred in different cases. and yes, cars were very popular smuggling instruments from the french because back in those days we had a number of trans atlantic vessels between traveling between new york and europe. they were italian vessels, french, swedish, scandinavian, british, etc. and these vessels were ideal places to place things like personal cargo, automobiles, but the problem was that even though we were able to at times get the drugs by seizing the automobiles , the people who accompanied them were what we call mules. they really didn't know much
about the organization other than they were hired to simply accompany a car. and so even if they corporated, they weren't able to tell us very much. it wasn't until we got the people out of brazil that we were able to link up the italian mafia people in new york with the french connection. >> just to remind the audience, you got started because you were in new york york -- working for the federal bureau of narcotics. you did such a good job, they sent you to france. >> well, thank you very much for the compliment. i had a very good familiarity with the cases. and that helped -- >> super. well, we'll go on. this is president nixon in a meeting in the cabinet room with the bipartisan congressional leadership, and they're talking about a drug abuse control and treatment issues. and again, this is in the first year of his administration. so he sent the message to
congress. and then he invites the leadership up to the cabinet room to talk about the sponsors and the desire. these people in a nice way are being lobbied to pass legs. it takes -- it takes a little over a year and a half to actually get the legs. but they're working very hard. nixon devoting personal time and attention to moving this along. ow, we were able to spot bud krog in the picture. bud's not able to be with us today. but jeff and i both worked for bud. and in the minds of people who look for the origins of the staffing of president nixon on the drug abuse issue that that's bud's job. and we were mere helpers at the time. talented mere helpers.
this is an interesting shot because none of us are in the shot. this is president nixon saying hi to the president of france welcoming him in the rose garden with secretary of state bill rogers looking on. and john has a story about that. >> yeah, this is a very interesting meeting because at the time there was a lot of growing pressure in the united states on france to do something about the heroin traffic. there were several french restaurants including one in shington, d.c. that were refusing to serve french wine until they did something about the heroin problem. they were running a tally much like they had done during the vietnam war. there was a good deal of pressure on france to do something. when their president came to visit president nixon, he was to have the to
president place upon him this tremendous responsibility of getting his country out of the heroin business that was damaging the united states so uch. again, i was in paris at the time but was working with the police. i agreed when the french president returned from his visit to the white house, the mets sadge came to the minutes -- message came to the ministry of the interior that they had to step up their operations and get serious about the heroin labs in southern france. my colleagues, the police officers that i worked with on a daily basis, they said we don't know what your president said to our president, but whatever it was he's lit a fire on under us so we've got to close these places down. and that precipitated a lot of initiatives between the french and the americans and then, of
course, mr. crog from the white house came over. nd that was the beginning of a project that was called the franco-american committee. i believe it was known as the franco-american commission. but it was started as committee, and it was a bilateral connection between france and the united states to share information and to allow the french police to open an office in new york, which they did. and to allow the bndd officers such as myself and in paris to work jointly with the french police doing things that were let us say a little bit out of the normal course of events in french policing. for example, in the united states we in bndd used ys. niques like undercover b
the nair anyway chure of the narcotics crime is where you don't have a complainant. so you have to have a way of getting into these organizations. the very effective way was using informants to give you the information about what was going on. and wire taps and things like this. in france like -- under the napoleonic code law which actually was in most of europe informants were not allowed to participate in the cases like they were in the u.s. they couldn't pay them for their information. and undercover bies were completely out of the picture because that would be a crime in itself to actually precipitate a by. these techniques that were very common in the united states and effective were unknown in france. but the french police had a
great interest in this. this franco-american committee that was set up by mr. crog and his assistants was very effective in creating an atmosphere in which there could be cross training. for example, rather than we americans telling the french you don't know what you're doing or the french saying you don't know what you're doing in our country, we could have formal training sessions at the police academy in which we would explain the legal basis for how we work and how best to work. they learned a great deal from us and they learned a great deal from all of this. >> we're almost exporting our law enforcement approach to a completely different culture. >> right. >> who they have a common interest in stopping this but they don't use our ways. >> precisely. and this committee that i talk about had two levels. one was an executive committee
level which was made of the minister interior for france who spoke flawless english and really liked our country, our president and our people. and of course, john mitchell who was mr. nixon -- president nixon's attorney general. so they got along very, very well. they signed the agreements. and the formal group would meet once or twice a year once in france and once in the united states. back in france and back in the united states. they would meet to discuss bi-lateral issues. we were part of the working group because we were the police. we knew, for example, if there are any obstacles in our relationship they would be communicated up to the principles and neither one of us -- neither one of the working groups whether it was a french police or the bndd that they would have to resolve at the executive level. so we made sure that we worked
together very well so that everything was looking well from the top. it was a brilliant plan and project. so what you have, i think fairly, is in the first year of the nixon administration you have more direct involvement and photographic evidence of law enforcement. he alludes to treatment. but treatment is not leading in the first year. but watch as we go through this panel. watch how this changes. this is why we do these panels because this stuff is fascinating. >> i want to talk about that first year. >> sure. >> you're going past that. i want to go back to this and what happened. president nixon or richard nixon ran on a campaign of law and order. drugs was part of that in terms of the social disruption that was going on in 1968. but drugs during that campaign meant l.s.d. and marijuana. it did not mean heroin.
it had to do with the social chaos that was associated with the drug problem during that campaign. then when nixon ran against the crime he called washington -- the crime capital of the nation, and he focused on crime in washington, d.c. as an example country that the he was going to take care of. when he came in he had an agenda, lots of things on his mind. washington, d.c. was not the highest of his priority. but a group of business people including katharine graham and eric bennett williams met with gibson. he said you ran about this being the crime capital of the country. you are accountable for crime in this city starting january 20th, 1969. and we are going to hold a press conference every single month about crime in washington and it is now your problem to do something about that. that refocused nixon on
washington, d.c. and what could be done about the crime problem. he then -- and just to talk -- to get the sequence of this clear about what happened, that started an interest in things like what i was doing in corrections. but the question was what is causing crime in washington? why is it going up? lyndon johnson had established the d.c. crime commission. he had a national crime commission. it wasn't invented by nixon. it was real. it was serious but what was causing it? why was it going up? the economy was going very well. the unemployment was down in the district of columbia at that time. and that's where i got into the picture. because in the summer of 1969 working in the department of corrections, i did drug testing of everybody coming into the d.c. jail. and i identified of 44% of the people coming in were heroin addicts. and then i asked the question
what year did you first start using heroin? and i put a graph together of when that was and with the d.c. crime rate and that tracked perfectly. that was the moment -- that was idely reported right away. and what it did was refocus the attention on the drug but this me on heroin, not only -- on l.s.d. and marijuana and on crime. and that became an entirely different way of thinking about it. and this was nixson's priority. he had started with a major increase in the police force. but then the question is what do you do about the heroin problem? that's when i got interested in drug treatment and did like jeff did, went around and met people ho were doing things including jaffy in chicago. we have to have a drug treatment in washington, d.c.
and on september 15, 1969, the first methadone program started in the department of corrections with me as the leader of that. one more step. on february 17th, 1970, walter washington building on that beginning created the narcotics freeman administration in washington, a massive methadone program in the next year we did 15,000 heroin addicts in the city. that was unprecedented that went on. and every month there was a report on crime rates and consistently those crime rates came down as long as the overdose death rates. but i want to get the timing of that, very important in that switching of the focus and suddenly the emergence of treatment as a very important part of not just reducing overdose deaths which is very clear was the purpose but also
reducing crime. >> i want to make the point that this is going on below the surface of national coverage and what we would say white house concern. here's bob du pont, idealistic young doctor out of harvard medical school who is beginning to make the case that treatment of heroin addicts reduces crime. but he's leading. and we don't even know who he is. he's dealing with a local problem -- i mean, it's important. it's in washington, d.c. but that kind of innovation isn't being driven by the white house -- >> no -- >> because we -- connect your work to the white house. >> oh, well -- well, first of all, walter washington reported to bud crog. whatever was going on in washington was on bud crog's
agenda, absolutely from the beginning. i can't impress that to you enough how what we were doing was front page news in washington, d.c. day after day after day. there was incredible focus on the crime issue and the methadone program. bycept of 1970, we had an expose on the cbs television station, an hour long talking about how methadone was poisoning the city. it was an amazing -- young guy just started this thing. and now all of a sudden, i've got an hour long prime time documentary against me. >> enemy of the people. >> and racial issues were involved in this. it was very difficult. what happened at that point was very striking and that is "the washington post" and "the evening star" put their top people on this question of what was going on, this television report. and both of them came -- the
editorial page of "the washington post" said he had to go to katharine graham because she owned to tell vision station that was attacking me. and he was going to come out. so both papers came out with lead editorials, dupont is right. methadone is the answer. to tell vision program is wrong. and that was an extremely important -- and i can't tell you how big it was in terms of the controversy that was going on. not something going on under the radar. and early on, bud krog wanted to talk to me. and my first visit to the west wing, it was very exciting. met people like you two guys, and it was very -- he was very interested in this. walter washington, the mayor was deeply involved in what we were doing. when i would get into trouble on racial issues for example on methadone, i would get discouraged and i would go of the mayor and i would say this is too hard for me. he said, no, the people of this
city love you. you're doing the right thing. you're helping us. if you don't show up here often enough, i'm worried you're getting another job or you're sick. so keep going. again, that was very visible. >> jeff, do you have something to add? >> i want to clarify something that you said geoff. think you said treatment -- heroin treatment had an effect on crime. you have to be more specific. it was really methadone treatment that had an impact on crime reduction, not just crime reduction but the unemployment of people in methadone, it stayed up. the criminal recidivism was reduced. and that was my findings when i went around the country to compare the difference between methadone maintenance and the therapeutic communities. an important comment that bob is
making, the country at least in i'll say the black community, a lot of the black community felt that the administrations' advocacy of methadone maintenance was an effort to subjugate the black community. there was nothing further than the truth from that statement. as a result of methadone maintenance, we not only reduced the death rate among heroin addicts. but we gave them an opportunity to have productive lives. and so there was a perception especially in a therapeutic psychiatric community that we were pushing an alternative addiction which we were. methadone was certainly addictive. but it had beneficial effects, ok? i know what the next slide is. >> you do? >> i want to get to that slide
where we can really dwell on methadone. >> and you're front running my slide. >> i apologize. >> you can catch up in a minute. this is just a campaign event in denver. they have the date and i can't read the dates. 1970. and this is -- heeze are law enforcement people -- these are law enforcement people. but this is the first time we see the words "methadone maintenance" appears from the president's remarks. we now and were -- i grant you bob is doing good work. and it's coming to the attention the whousms and jeff is devoting his attention to treatment. but this is percolating to the president himself. this is a law enforcement show. there's a white house conference. it's a sniffing dog. and you were talking earlier about what we were doing with these conferences.
>> yes, we were trying to get the media, television, movie producers, radio disc jockeys to inject anti-drug abuse messages into their programming. and so one of the things we did was we brought these folks to washington. we had bureau of customs put on this kind of demonstration with the heroin sniffing dogs. we had programs in the white house theater where we had ex-ed a dicks act out what happens in the -- ex-addicts act out what happens in the community. e had a modality approach to try to infuse into the culture of america that drugs was not really cool. and this particular picture has general autry standing to the president's left. and this is on the south lawn. then we get to an undated memo are the s council.
it was created by president nixon to comment on government structure and how structure affected the efficiency of the government. unfortunately, this particular memo is undated. so we're not sure when it came in. but it's describing the difficulty that they uncovered with the spread of drug abuse enforcement and treatment in all these different agencies. cause drugs is a growingly recognized program. there's money available. so every agency says wow, we can get a bigger budget if we get involved in the drug abuse effort. and what you get is too big a spread of effort and authority. and that's all the s council recognized in this memo. then we have the narcotics treatment and control act of
1970. and this is president nixon signing the bill in -- at the department of justice within the office of john ingersol who is bndd. d of the he knew how to do giant press events. this particular event he sibed in front of the bndd officers. it's a different kind of leadership. it's not just the public leadership. it's encouraging the troops. and then, this is the statement hat he made at that signing. and i highlighted at the bottom in yellow again, treatment is still there. he's saying that we can't abandon these people. we've got to do something on treatment.
and the language is unique because he's going to come up with better treatment. . i think you can say i'm looking for it. he's anticipating methadone as becoming the treatment of choice for heroin addiction. so we're going to go back to john here. this president nixon in paris attending charles degall's funeral. john, you were there. john: i was there. i remember that day very well because all the law enforcement officers assigned to the embassy in paris which will be the a.t.f., the f.b.i., the bndd, secret service and some of the army c.i.d. criminal investigation criminal officers. they were put on duty to supplement the protection detail for the president when he
visited funeral service for degall. i remember the president, he was very well received by the number of dig nataries -- dignitaries that attended the service as well as the french president. >> now i will tell you when we do these forums, we get the members of the panel with the president of the united states. that's the way these things work. one of the difficulties is when you're on the president's staff, one of your requirements is you stay out of the picture. you bring in the people the president wants to meet with or be seen with. and the staff is supposed to be off-camera. so with john who spent 33 years doing drug abuse law enforcement, we don't have a picture of john next to nixon but they were both at the samente event. so -- both at the same event.
>> we go to church together. >> well done. well done. [laughter] ok. here we go. this is president nixon. and there are fun stories about this. en we told david ferrio, the archivist that the drug panel was there his first question, are you going to include the picture with elvis pressley? this is the single most popular owned by the national archives. not the constitution or bill of rights. it's nixon and elvis pressley. i'll let jeff tell it first. jeff: one day sitting in my office in the old executive office building, i received a call from bud krog whose office was literally across the haul
from mine. and he said the king is here. i said what? the king is here. bud, i'm really busy. what do you want? elvis pressley is at the north gate of the white house and he wants to see the president. i said, you've got to be kidding me. no, i'm not kidding you. come over to my office. we've got to prepare talking points for the president. before the staff would bring in someone to visit the president in the oval office. the staff would prepare talking points. here's what we suggest that you say. and the thrust of what we wanted president nixon to say to elvis is to try to get elvis involved in some anti-drug abuse comments. so i'm -- we prepare the remarks. elvis is invited into the oval office and he was bringing with him a silver plated .45 automatic that he wanted to give the president. >> commemorative pistol.
beautiful box. >> the secret service immediately confiscated the weapon. i was sitting with elvis's two bodyguards in my office, while elvis went into the oval office. and the bodyguard said, don't we want to go into the oval office with elvis? i said you can't do that. he said there will be a call for us to go over. when the call comes, i'll escort you over. meantime the phone rings. and it's bud krog and he says, jeff, get a bndd badge. elvis wants a badge. i said what? yep. ingersoll and ck get a badge. crawled -- called him and i said, jeff, i need a bndd badge. he said what for? the president wants to give one to elvis pressley. and the response was no can do.
i said what do you mean no can do? well, elvis hasn't gone through the training program. i said, jack, you probably don't understand this, the leader of the western world wants to give elvis pressley the bndd badge. get me an expletive badge right away to the white house. yes, sir. that's how that hand. elvis never got involved in helping us with any anti-drug abuse messages, very disappointing. and let me add this, you know, because we were six squares at the white house, we had no understanding of elvis's involvement with drugs. >> right. right. nobody knew. a slightly different take because we were both there. elvis wants to come see the president to tell the president that he's really for law and order and that in his own way he's discouraging drug use.
amongst his fan base. he can't come out and say look, kids, don't do drugs because that will detract from the sales of records. but he wants the president to know that he's trying in his own way. and he collects badges, you know? and that's why he wants a bndd badge. this is -- this is toward the end. i mean, elvis had an interesting career. , he'den he wasn't on tour eat his favorite dish was fried bananas and honey, i think. and he would gain a lot of weight. and then he would have to shed the weight to go on tour. and then it got harder and harder. so he would use amphetamines and he would get dr. 's prescriptions. and it was -- what comes to light later is it was drug abuse. but he wouldn't have described
it that way. he would say he's trying to trim down. you can see, he's a little heavy. when he came -- this is elvis. nixon and elvis are not out of the same mold. hold e of our jobs was to elvis for an hour to make sure things were calm enough to take him over to the oval office. there was a big debate about whether this was an astute audience to grant -- elvis just showed up at the northwest gate, you know? i'd like to see the president. you don't do that. so bud, and jeff and i were making nice with elvis for an hour to -- before we gave the signal because we're in the old executive office building, the west wing is across the street. before we gave the signal that we thought it was ok. that he wasn't going to say something rabid.
but elvis is dressed, you know, like the king. he's sweeping up and down the hallway of the old executive office building, going into offices an 'emd embracing the secretaries. having an absolute ball. everything stopped. elvis is in the building. everything stopped. and it was -- it was a glorious day. and it's -- you know, it's the most popular picture for a reason. bout 15 years later, i took my son down to washington trying to convince him how great his father once was. and we were going to go and see a friend who was back as a member of the white house staff. so we're at the northwest gate to go in. my son is too young to have a driver's license. he doesn't have i.d. and i've been cleared and he's
cleared with the wrong first name. so there's a kid who wants to come in with me to go into the west wing. and the guard wasn't quite sure what to do because it's the wrong name. and so he calls over his supervisor. and his supervisor says, i think it will be ok. i remember mr. shepard when he was on the white house staff. i was there five years. i remember when mr. shepard was on the white house staff. in fact, he was here the day elvis came. and my kid's eyes light up. that was the most important thing to him, the whole trip. that elvis -- and to this day, if you were involved in the elvis visit, i mean, it's -- it's significant. >> historic. >> and he meant well. he's a great singer. he was -- he was an awe chucks kind of guy if he was off the stage.
it was madam and sir. just an interesting guy in any event. this is what shut these people off. this is the key meeting if you're -- if you're looking for origins, if you're going back through the documents and you're looking for origins of a change in policy, something like seeking out the source of the nile -- yeah, you keep going back up to the smallest creek. where does it start? this picture and what went on a little bit before and a little bit after is key to understanding the dramatic change in drug treatment and we let jeff go without my interruption here because he has a heck of a story to tell. >> as i mentioned earlier, i went around the country trying to identify the best that america had to offer in terms of treatment and people.
and all fingers pointed in the direction of dr. jerome jaffy. within the they're putek community there was always criticism pointing at deficiencies in either the individuals or the program of various treatment programs. however, no one criticized dr. jaffy. as a result of the respect in the treatment community, i asked dr. jaffy to form a group of nongovernment folks to put together a paper of recommendations for what the federal government should do in the way of treatment, education, rehabilitation, epidimiology. at first, many of the folks were reluctant because people in the they're putek community did -- in the therapeutic community did
not trust richard nixon. dr. jerome jaffy, a jewish democrat is appointed america's first drug czar. nd jerry then elected paul garrido. >> before you got the oval office, you faced down cabinet officers a little bit before this. >> ok. thank you. you said you weren't going to interrupt -- [laughter] >> it's a good interruption. >> it is. i put together before this meeting, i had put together a krog in memo to bud chi analyzed the various treatment programs that i had visited around the country and came with recommendations for the united states to adopt methadone treatment as a treatment modality.
following that memo i was called into the office participating in that meeting was john mitchell, the attorney general, elliott richardson who was then health, of h.e.w., education and wellness. dr. richard brown, the director of the national institute of mental health. advocating ly one methadone maintenance. i had done the statistics. the other gentlemen were silent or opposed. dr. brown was opposed because that was a threat of funding and criticism of the psychiatric community. ack ingersoll. perhaps jack mitchell was aposed because it was introducing to america on a widespread basis if the program were implemented.
it's an addictive drug. he sat in and listened and ultimately led to a recommendation to the president that the united states adopt methadone maintenance. >> let's pause for a second. let's go through with bob's help what the alternative treatments were and how many methadone actually worked. ok. bob? >> yeah, the -- the -- there had been an earlier episode of heroin addiction that focused in california and new york. and in both of those states they had developed a substantial civil commitment program for heroin addicts. governor rockefeller embraced the civil commitment approach to the problem. separate from that growing out of it the program called synonon
became across mississippi as daytop and odyssey house which was therapy to the communities in new york city was an alternative treatment program that involved a year or two or three years of residential care of heroin addicts. it changed their character and that was the approach john lindsay, the mayor of new york, for what was going on -- those were the two sort of polar ideas. what happened was vincent dole started in the 1960's his program which involved giving the person an oral dose of methadone once a day. heroine addicts have to inject the drug and it is very unstable. method on, because it is overly effective, you can once a day dose. what he found is that with the
use of methadone, it prevented having overdoses and stopped the euphoric effect of injecting heroin because of the blockade of the methadone and people were able to go about functioning well. but there was tremendous controversy about the methadone. genius moves of jerome jaffe was to package the methadone in what he called a multi modality program. we're talking as if it was just methadone. it never was that. it was methadone plus. it included these other elements . package, but the dominant form of treatment and the driver of it was methadone. immunity andt
commitment, they were not scalable to the size of the problem. you couldn't mobilize a response like that. .ou couldn't have done it there wasn't enough ability to do that. but methadone, you could. >> stop for just a second. i'm going to summarize this because i'm on the outside. methadone is addictive. it is synthetic. it has nothing to do with opium. you take it orally once a day. they put it with orange juice. you don't get a high because it is going through the system, but it blocks the craving for heroin, so you become functional, but addicted to a drug that doesn't give you a high. >> i wouldn't use the word
addicted. physical dependence. with this young, inexperienced lawyer working nonstop on treatment, he's gone around and he's seen several examples of where methadone is working. he comes back and does a paper and says this is the future. faces down and he all the powers that be that have been relying on civil commitment and therapeutic communities, and the money that comes with that. and this young, aggressive white -- we don't have a picture with john ehrlichman and he covenant secretary, but
prevailed. then he takes jaffe as the guy with the answer in to see the president. now i'm going to go to the next picture. this is pitching the president in private. this is john ehrlichman, bob halderman, jeff -- >> i had hair there, so you don't recognize me. >> and arnie weber with his back to the camera. bad place to be. public. later, we go developments whole from your paper to the meeting in ehrlichman's office is a month probably. you think the government can't act when it wants to? >> there's even a better story than that in terms of government
acting quickly. there was a confluence of concern among the american people with regard to the relationship of heroin addiction and crime and vietnam. we're coming. we have slides. and there's two or three of these slides. this is the president's message on june 17, 1971, where he says "i want to create a special office for drug abuse prevention , i want congress to enact it, but i'm going to create it by executive order, and i'm going to appoint jerrod jaffe to run it. " jeff has done all the staffing on this. he's not quite senior enough to be in the picture, but jeff has done all the work.
there's a public announcement of this presidential endorsement and organization designed to encourage a treatment based on methadone. >> it is more than that. focus withined to the federal government all treatment education rehabilitation research. there were 14 different agencies. each have their own domain. there was no consensus. there was no vision. there was no uniform concept as to what we were trying to achieve. the concept was that centralized programs and budgetary authority within the executive office of the president to give direction to the federal government's
approach. >> two issues here. we don't want you to miss this. the four.comes to you could say radical new treatment. this is putting the full effort of the president of the united states behind this treatment modality, bringing into the executive office of the president the authority to do this. it is an interesting design. it is going to be in for three or four years, then go to the national institute of health. it is bringing it into get it right to be sure the bureaucracy follows the presidential leadership. as we said when we were seldom in this,
government policy changes can you point to the exact moment when the decision was made. this is that moment on treatment. aspectother interesting of the legislation that went to congress and was unanimously passed, was the idea of a sunset clause. we decided if we didn't accomplish our goal, we ought to disintegrate. we didn't want another perpetual bureaucracy. that was the nixon administration not wanting to expand the federal bureaucracy. >> jay jaffe is the first drugs are, but he's temporary. now we get to go to vietnam. it was worth the wait. shortly after that meeting in the oval office, jared jaffe and
i are told to go to the pentagon to talk about the heroin addiction problem in vietnam. so we go over to the pentagon. we meet in a large conference room with generals and admirals. problemys, you have a with heroin addiction. the military was not very forthcoming in conceding there was a problem. jerry said, the president thinks there's a problem. well, what would you like to do is to mark -- to do? we have to determine the problem, determine how many soldiers are addicted to heroin. congressmenfter two claimed that 10% to 15% of our soldiers are addicted to heroin. jerry says we could do urine
analysis. the generals say there really .sn't the technology jerry says, what if there's a machine that can analyze a sample in 30 seconds? the generals say, it doesn't exist. jerry says, do you have a speakerphone? yes we do. can i make a phone call? jerry calls some folks in palo alto and says, i'm in a conference room -- could you explain the free radical as a nique? long story short, there were machines that have been developed that could do a urine sample in 30 seconds. made with the pentagon was, if i can find
these machines, will you fly them over to vietnam? yes sir, we can do that. scientists in palo alto say, we've got the machines. the machines were put on air force jets on the west coast. prim of newand dr. york, flew over to vietnam to watch the machines in operation. i was flown out to a base to observe soldiers urinating into bottles to see how the system worked. vietnam,ame back from we came to the western white house to brief the president. becausein that picture i went to see my parents in los angeles. these can see how parental visits come home to roost.
you have been, john, president back, jerry jaffe, coming from vietnam, reporting on the installation of these machines. we are getting short on time. to put it into context, the accusation was these returning soldiers -- because nixon is drawing down. there were 537,000 u.s. troops in vietnam when nixon took office, and he's drawing them down, and the accusation was these are heroin annexed, killers, that you are returning to the united states and letting loose in society, and we've come up with a machine that shows if you are really addicted. word gets out -- correct me if i'm wrong, but word gets out, if you skip use of drugs for three days, you will come out clean
and you can go home. if you do not pass the test, you cannot go home. >> the soldiers were told that if they were not clean, they would stay in country for detoxification and then they would be sent to a detox facility perhaps in southeast asia. we were creating an incentive to the soldiers to stay off heroin. out of 22,000 tests that were done at one point in time, the incidence of heroin dependency was 4.5% versus what the claimed to be 10% to 15%. >> after the incentive. fantastic. and the rumor, the allegation of these heroin at ask being loose in the united states went away.
separate, but significant victory. based on scientific testing. all right. to lawoing to go enforcement. this is president nixon with miles ambrose. miles ambrose was the commissioner of customs. and the idea of bringing treatment into the executive office seemed such a great idea that the next step was we brought law enforcement into the executive office through the creation of rodale, the office of drug abuse law enforcement. we took the commissioner of customs and made him in charge. here he is taking president nixon to the customs facilities where a lot of the drugs are coming in. a -- touring the
facilities at jfk. the president has a lot of these. this is the international narcotics control cabinet senioree and it has the cabinet officer. what you make about this picture is they had recently seized heroin. presidentk behind the , where we would normally have some people seated, there's a laboratory. in front of each of the cabinet officers, we have an envelope that looks like a pound of flour, and that is heroin. this is what we do here. the word was, don't touch the
envelopes, because you will pick up some of the heroin dust. there was a very impressive display. i think we can name some of them if you go up the left side. treasury, andof across, nixon. left is the's secretary of defense. to nixon's right is bill rogers, the secretary of state. the way the cabinet room is set up, the oldest departments flanked the president. on either side of him, vice president directly across, he's not in this picture, but treasury and justice are. this is another example of the use of the president's time and the emphasis coming down from
the president on the importance of combating narcotics. you treatment guys have half these slides. what is this. >> is this the president signing 21, 1972. march congress passes the drug abuse office and treatment act of 1972, which led to an enormous increase in the federal budget for drug programming. i want to mention, one of jerry jaffe's mantras was that america should have sufficient treatment within the country so that no addict can claim that he committed a crime because of his heroin dependency because he could not get adequate
treatment. that was one of our goals, to vastly increase treatment opportunities throughout the united states. one of the things you have to keep in mind is -- i would like bob to talk to this, america didn't have adequate infrastructure of treatment folks that knew how to deal with heroin annexed. addicts. the methadone treatment programs were not that expensive. bob, i would like for you to talk to the relative expenses. again, that was jerry jaffe's mantra. let's get treatment into america , and this created the compassionate balance between what was perceived as only the nixon administration's focus on law enforcement balanced with compassionate programs.
did forook at what this the law enforcement side. we are seizing importation. we are increasing the price of drugs. we are doing our dead level best to end the availability of heroin. and at the same time, we are making treatment available for those people are. you've got this very happy balance at the time between stronger law enforcement and wider availability of treatment. when you go back to jerry jaffe in the press room, he's being , created by executive order. this is the actual legislation. the room is full. this legislation passed the congress without a single
dissenting vote. nixon said off-camera, time and people, theo his votes are for law enforcement. people don't want addicts roaming around on the streets. that is what my constituency wants. but we can't do that to these addicts without supplying treatment. there aren't any votes for expanded treatment. we are going down both paths at once. i'm concerned about running out of time. we've got to start to conclude here. slide to more than a talk about. person i'm the only who's known all 17 of them. >> we can get through them.
withre's nixon meeting treasury and law enforcement people in the oval office, talking about drugs yet again. here's another meeting in the cabinet room. chronology,rough a nixon is doing something at least every other month on drug abuse treatment or law enforcement. here he goes down to texas and he's talking to the customs agents where the stuff has started to come in a cross the border. -- weare two articles don't have time for you to read them. veryad written at the time important articles. this is science magazine. this one he co-authors with wilson. author of the broken windows theory, that you have to
get on petty crime right away. he co-authors a wonderful article which we recommend to all of you. and this is another signature. bob is in this. we've broken into color pictures. bills. nixon signing to we're going to the last three slides. you can hold still. ab organized and sponsored 35th anniversary reunion of the people who worked on the drug treatment side in the nixon administration. this is the morning panel.
jerry jaffe is at the podium. they are talking about this dramatic change in treatment and fighting drug abuse that had occurred under the nixon administration. bob himself addressing the second panel. we didn't get a picture of the panel. but it was so interesting because of this reunion. h.e.w. headed the best. he had been a bureaucrat for 30 years and never had he remembered a situation like what happened when the nixon administration took leadership of drug abuse treatment. he said he was called into a
meeting at the secretary's office, the only time he saw the secretary, and richardson said this is an initiative, the president is exercising leadership, and i don't want to hear my departments not supporting it. which brings us to the last slide. we have five whole minutes. what are the lessons that we learned from president nixon's drug abuse initiative? ? >> i want to go back a little bit. what was nixon reacting to? nixon was reacting to the modern drug abuse epidemic, a change in the world that went on in the late 1960's. it was not like anything that happened before. was a drugore it
abuse academic -- epidemic. there was a huge, phenomenal change in what was going on. the nixon administration was right there when that happened. nixon grabbed a hold of that issue. foundation fore everything that has happened since. i think that is really important. a signature part of his administration. there, he saidt this is top priority. we have to pay attention to this. that was a very big deal. he created the first white house drug office. there has been a white house drug office ever since and there is to this day.
issue that haser had a white house office over that period of time. that tells you something about the gravity of the issue and the importance of that issue. he created the national institute on drug abuse, the premier research institution for drugs for the entire world. maybe 80% of drug research in the world. is $1.25 billion just in drug research going on. that started in 1973. he started the dea. important toy understand that. drugcrazy when people say policy is a war between law enforcement and treatment. iton is credited with saying
was just law enforcement. wrong. i'm a doctor. i'm going to tell you that law enforcement is a public health strategy to deal with the drug epidemic. treatment needs law enforcement. prevention needs law enforcement. it is commonplace to say we can't arrest our way out of the drug epidemic, but we can't treat our way out of the drug epidemic either. that was the signature of nixon. before nixon it was just law enforcement. nixon focused on law thercement, but he created research, the prevention, the treatment side of that as coequal. that happened during those precious years.
was a magic moment in history with the nixon administration. there were a lot of young people that had a lot of ideas and were given authority to make things happen. they did just what jeff was talking about, learning from what is going on. jeff went around, what is the best new thing to do? how do we make that national policy? that was the attitude. >> and that credit you are giving to jeff is not to me. >> both of you. >> we are at the end of our time. the last slide says, here's what we did. number one priority, accountability, innovation, committed leadership.
time and timeated again. we grant you that today may be different because it is a different kind of problem. it is in a different community. but lots of these things are transferable. we appreciate your coming. we appreciate your participating. we hope that at some point you will come on the website and look at the documents that accompany this panel. thank you very much. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2018] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] >> you are watching american history tv. follow us on twitter at c-span history for information on our schedule and to keep up with the latest his three news. -- history news.
>> next, sister professor mark burns on the radio on world war ii politics. byrnesory professor mark on the radio on world war ii politics. this is about 20 minutes. hit --mark burns is a history professor. lates america in the 1930's on the eve of world war ii? where was radio? that is ans: important point in our history. have four different radio networks. anyoneant that basically anywhere in america could hear the same thing. that had never happened before
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