Senators call on White House to campaign against illegal drugs

Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne Emiel FeinsteinSenators push mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staff Bipartisan group of lawmakers aim to reform US sugar program Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks MORE (D-Calif.) and Chuck GrassleyCharles (Chuck) Ernest GrassleySenators push mandatory sexual harassment training for members, staff Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks, background checks Senate panel to hold hearing on bump stocks MORE (R-Iowa) called on the Obama administration to use First Lady Michelle ObamaMichelle LeVaughn Robinson ObamaMichelle Obama: We raise men to feel 'entitled' Michelle Obama: 'Don't tweet every thought' Michelle Obama, Prince Harry visit public school in Chicago MORE or Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenThe Hill's 12:30 Report Pence talks regularly to Biden, Cheney: report Biden moving toward 2020 presidential run: report MORE to start a "high-level national dialogue" on illegal drugs. 

"While there are several effective drug prevention programs throughout the U.S. government, political leadership on illegal drug prevention must come from the top," a report from the two senators noted. 

The report also urged that efforts against drug abuse "emphasize links between international drug violence and environmental degradation and U.S. drug consumption."

Feinstein and Grassley are co-chairs of the Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control. Their report outlined strategies to combat drug abuse and the violence it prompts, recommending new education campaigns and probation programs, among other tactics. 

"There are multiple causes behind the demand for illegal drugs, so there has to be a multifaceted solution to the problem," Grassley said in a statement. 

"The dramatic escalation of violence in drug supplying countries might …  give some potential U.S. drug users pause if they were informed of the consequences their use has on other nations," he said. 

Feinstein noted that 50,000 people in Mexico have been killed by drug-related violence in the last five years. 

"Unfortunately, almost 9 percent of the U.S. population used illegal drugs in 2010, so it’s hard to argue that enough is being done to reduce demand," she said. 

"Only if we address the country’s appetite for illicit drug use can we prevent drug trafficking and the violence and loss of life it brings throughout Latin America and the Caribbean." 

The senators' report stated that drug abuse costs the United States $193 billion annually "in preventable healthcare, law enforcement and addiction expenses." 

Sens. Charles SchumerCharles (Chuck) Ellis SchumerTrump is right: The visa lotto has got to go Schumer predicts bipartisan support for passing DACA fix this year No room for amnesty in our government spending bill MORE (D-N.Y.), Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallDemocrats oppose effort to delay or repeal Interior methane rule CBS series 'Madam Secretary' exploring 'fake news' plot Democrats double down on calls for Congress to protect Mueller MORE (D-N.M.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseTech companies grilled over Russian election interference Hitting GOP, Dems pitch raising 401(k) caps Democrats double down on calls for Congress to protect Mueller MORE (D-R.I.), James Risch (R-Idaho) and John CornynJohn CornynAfter Texas shooting, lawmakers question whether military has systemic reporting problem Overnight Defense: Lawmakers question military's lapse after Texas shooting | Trump asks North Korea to 'make a deal' | Senate panel approves Army pick Overnight Regulation: House passes bill to overturn joint-employer rule | Trump officials to allow work requirements for Medicaid | Lawmakers 'alarmed' by EPA's science board changes MORE (R-Texas) are also members of the caucus.