Senators call on White House to campaign against illegal drugs

Sens. Dianne FeinsteinDianne FeinsteinDem senator seeks more time for 'due diligence' on Sessions nomination Senate sets date for hearings on Sessions's attorney general nomination Senators move to protect 'Dreamers' MORE (D-Calif.) and Chuck GrassleyChuck GrassleyDem senator seeks more time for 'due diligence' on Sessions nomination Senate sets date for hearings on Sessions's attorney general nomination Mnuchin, Price meet with GOP senators MORE (R-Iowa) called on the Obama administration to use First Lady Michelle ObamaMichelle ObamaObamas post last Christmas card as first family The Hill's 12:30 Report Depleted Dems look to Senate for 2020 nominee MORE or Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenWhat gun groups want from Trump Senate passes stopgap funding bill, averting shutdown Senate advances funding measure, avoiding shutdown 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 SchumerSecond Dem calls for probe into Russian election involvement Schumer calls for Senate probe into Russian interference Senate Dems hold out on spending deal, risking shutdown MORE (D-N.Y.), Tom UdallTom UdallStaff shakeup begins at Dem campaign committee Tom Udall eyes NM governor bid Court ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada MORE (D-N.M.), Sheldon WhitehouseSheldon WhitehouseSenate Dems offer bill to curb tax break for Trump nominees Overnight Energy: Fight over miners' benefits risks shutdown | Flint aid crosses finish line in House Dem senator: Trump’s EPA pick is ‘corruption’ MORE (D-R.I.), James Risch (R-Idaho) and John CornynJohn CornynGOP senator: Russian hacking 'hardly news' Senators move to protect 'Dreamers' Democrats back down from shutdown threat MORE (R-Texas) are also members of the caucus.