Senators call on White House to campaign against illegal drugs

Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinGraham gets frustrated in public ‘unmasking’ debate Dem senators urged Obama to take action on Russia before election Senate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference MORE (D-Calif.) and Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyCoal, nuclear vie for supremacy in key Energy Department study GOP senators want surveillance requests from FBI Russia probe Overnight Cybersecurity: New ransomware attack spreads globally | US pharma giant hit | House intel panel interviews Podesta | US, Kenya deepen cyber partnership MORE (R-Iowa) called on the Obama administration to use First Lady Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaMichelle Obama surprises Chance the Rapper with BET Awards video Michelle Obama holds fitness 'bootcamps' for friends Obama marks Father’s Day: ‘I'm most proud to be Sasha and Malia's dad’ MORE or Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenAmazon primed for merger battle Delaware pool where Biden worked as lifeguard named after him The Hill's 12:30 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 SchumerTougher Russia sanctions bill facing another setback Trump claims GOP has a 'big surprise' on healthcare Senate Dems step up protests ahead of ObamaCare repeal vote MORE (D-N.Y.), Tom UdallTom UdallOvernight Finance: GOP divided over welfare cuts in budget | Lawmaker loses M on pharma stock he pitched | Yellen says another financial crisis unlikely in our lifetimes Overnight Regulation: EPA moves to repeal Obama water rule | Labor chief to review overtime rule | Record fine for Google EPA head faces skeptical senators on budget cuts MORE (D-N.M.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseGraham gets frustrated in public ‘unmasking’ debate Senate panel questions Lynch on alleged FBI interference Judiciary Committee to continue Russia probe after Mueller meeting MORE (D-R.I.), James Risch (R-Idaho) and John CornynJohn CornynUnresolved issues, very little time for Senate GOP GOP infighting erupts over healthcare bill Senators urge Trump to do right thing with arms sales to Taiwan MORE (R-Texas) are also members of the caucus.