ABC Evening News for Thursday, Mar 31, 1977
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(Studio) Report on marijuana use and decriminalization study by National Govs.' Conf. Latest reports on heroin traffic into United States are bleak. House hears testimony with regard to heroin smuggling from Mexico into US.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner
(DC) Problem of smuggling heroin across Mexican border noted. House Narcotics Abuse and Control Committee took wkend. trip to border patrol stations and returns saying patrol can't cope. [Chairperson Lester WOLFF - says traffickers 1 step ahead of lawmen; only way to stop smuggling is destroying poppy fields.] Law enforcement officials say problem is US' as well as Mexico's. [DEA spokesperson Peter BENSINGER - asks how United States can ask Mexico to spray poppies, when 1/3 of people in United States get probation on heroin or cocaine charges.] Congress to consider solutions, but short-term prospects not good. [WOLFF - says future looks bleak.]
REPORTER: Don Farmer
(Studio) Same congress group plans trip to "golden triangle" in S.E. Asia, another major source of United States heroin.
REPORTER: Harry Reasoner
(No location given) Poppies grown and opium harvested by hill tribes along Burma-Thailand border. Tribes get about $30 per pound and traffickers get $30,000 per pound in NYC, San Francisco and Amsterdam. Thai government tolerates practice and trade because of importance to economy of hill people, but tries to convince them to grow other things. Crop replacement program done jointly by Thai government and UN; details with regard to program, using tobacco and coffee, noted; will take time and expansion to be effective. [UN project dir. Richard MANN - says now is time for those concerned to begin contributing in large way.] Time and money involved, and lack of success with other methods of stopping traffic noted.
REPORTER: Ken Kashiwahara
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