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Cracking Down on Drugs
"I'm going to do everything I can to implement the 1995 National Drug
Control Strategy...We propose to work more closely with foreign governments to
cut drugs off at the source. We propose to boost community efforts to educate
young people about the dangers and penalties of drug use...We will work to
break the cycle of crime and drugs providing treatment to hardcore drug
users, who consume most of the drugs and cause much of the crime and
health problems. And we will punish people who break the law more
-- President Clinton
February 8, 1995
Background: Illegal Drugs are Still a Problem
Widespread Use. 1 in 3 Americans have used an illicit drug; 1
in 9 have tried cocaine. Half of high school seniors have tried drugs, and 1
in 5 use them regularly.
Alarming New Trends. Kids: After years of decline, in 1991,
we started to see signs of increasing drug use among adolescents. And
surveys show that fewer 8th, 10th and 12th graders have a clear
understanding of the risks associated with
drug use -- and are using more drugs. Drug Availability: Illegal drugs remain
readily available to anyone who wants to buy them. Cocaine and heroine street
prices are low and purity is high. And marijuana -- 10 times as potent as in
previous years -- threatens to entice a new generation of drug users.
The Costs of Drug Use. Drugs cost society an estimated $67 billion
-- 70% of which covers crime costs; 30% of which covers health-related costs.
That's why, despite shrinking government and reducing the deficit, the
Administration's Drug Strategy budget is the largest in history -- $14.6
billion to fight drugs.
A Four Part Drug Strategy
Crack Down on Hard-Core Drug Use
Heavy drug users consume a majority of the nation's illegal drug
supply. Although hardcore users account for only about 20% of all
cocaine users, they consume about two-thirds of the available cocaine.
And hardcore drug use is linked
to a disproportionate amount of crime and violence. On any given day, more than
half the arrestees in our cities test positive for drug use. Treating
these drug users can save us money -- as much as $7 per treatment dollar
-- and reduce crime. That's why our Strategy includes:
$919.8 million for the Substance Abuse Performance Partnership, including
a $60 million set-aside for the heaviest drug users;
$150 million for Drug Courts and $40.2 million for treatment in
prisons, so we can use courts, jails and prisons to turn
crime-committing addicts around.
Send a Strong No Use Message to Our Kids
Recent surveys show that adolescent drug use -- and the feeling that
drugs are cool and not dangerous -- is on the rise. Studies also show
an alarming level of violence in our schools, much of it tied to drug use.
Our kids need to get a strong "no" message on drugs -- as well as on
guns and gangs. Our Strategy proposes:
Implementation and funding of the Crime Bill's prevention programs,
to help keep kids in school, off drugs and out of trouble.
Reduce Drug-Related Crime and Violence
1994 Crime Bill.
The nation took a major step forward when Congress passed the President's
Crime Bill. It includes key tools and resource to help communities
reduce drug use and trafficking, such as:
100,000 more police
in community policing, to do everything from helping break-up open-air
drug markets to teaching kids about the dangers of drugs; drug
enforcement task forces that can cover several jurisdictions; increased
resources for the FBI, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and the
Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF); and drug courts.
Tough Federal Drug Enforcement. The Strategy calls for increased
coordination of federal anti-drug enforcement efforts,
a new comprehensive initiative to reduce marijuana cultivation;
targeted investigative resources on major drug traffickers;
expanded border control drug enforcement; and
increased coordination with private sector to crack down on money
Cut Drugs at the Source
Last year, the President signed a Presidential Decision Directive
outlining a 4-pronged strategy to reduce the flow of cocaine from the
Andean countries. It includes (1) strengthening the law enforcement and
judicial institutions in source countries; (2) destroying
narco-trafficking organizations; (3) working to interdict drugs at their
source as well as en route to the United States and (4) increasing
international cooperation on the drug issue.