Bush Anti-Drug Strategy Stresses Community 

Bush Anti-Drug Strategy Stresses Community 
Posted by FoM on February 12, 2002 at 17:49:38 PT
By Richard Tomkins, UPI White House Correspondent
Source: United Press International
President George W. Bush on Tuesday formally unveiled his $19.2 billion National Drug Control Strategy to reduce illegal drug use among Americans and said the goal by which it -- and he -- will be measured is the reduction of illicit drug use by 10 percent over the next two years and 25 percent by 2008.Reduction and elimination of drug use, he said, is being put "at the center of our national agenda" and that the emphasis will be on squelching demand for drugs and treating and rehabilitating its victims as well as stopping drug flow.
"We've got a problem in this country -- too many people use drugs," Bush said to assembled diplomats, anti-drug workers and congressional leaders during an address in the chandeliered East Room of the White House. "...This is an individual tragedy, and as a result, it's a social crisis. There is no question that drug use wreaks havoc on the very fabric that provides stability for our society."The White House, quoting the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, said 2.8 million Americans are estimated to be "dependent" on illegal drugs. Another 1.5 million fall into the lesser category of "abusers."The University of Michigan's Monitoring the Future Survey, quoted by the White House, says one out of every two teenagers has tried drugs at least once by the time they reach 12th grade. Some 26 percent of eighth graders reported trying illicit substances.Bush, echoing earlier statements, also linked the drug trade and terrorism, saying terrorist groups use profits from contraband to fund their organizations and terrorist acts."Just think about the Taliban in Afghanistan. Seventy percent of the world's opium trade came from Afghanistan, resulting in significant income to the Taliban, significant amount of money to the people that were harboring and feeding and hiding those who attacked and killed thousands of innocent Americans on Sept. 11," Bush said. "When we fight drugs, we fight the war on terror."Drugs help supply the deadly work of terrorists. That's so important for people in our country to understand. You know, I'm asked all the time, 'How can I help fight against terror? And what can I do, what can I as a citizen do to defend America?' Well, one thing you can do is not purchase illegal drugs. Make no mistake about it: If you're buying illegal drugs in America, it is likely that money is going to end up in the hands of terrorist organizations."Bush's new program features about a $10 million increase in funding for the expanded Drug Free Communities Support Program to $60 million. The Safe and Drug-Free Schools Program is tipped for a total of $644 million, while the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, which uses paid media messages for guiding youth and parent attitudes toward drugs is slated to receive $180.A new initiative funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service -- the Parents Drug Corps -- will begin with $5 million in funding."It is essential that our parents understand that they're the child's most important teacher and that the message of our parents must be unequivocal: Don't use drugs."And so one of the things we're going to work hard to do is to fire up the Parents Drug Corps, is to fund an initiative that will convince and rally parents to do their job. You know, ... I say that if we want to usher in a period of personal responsibility, if we want a new culture that changes from 'if it feels good, do it' to one that says we're responsible for our decisions, it begins moms and dads being responsible parents, by telling their children they love them, on a daily basis. And if you love somebody, you'll also tell them not to use drugs."We know that community involvement can help defeat demand."Treatment, meanwhile, features prominently. Overall, for 2003 the administration proposes $3.8 billion for drug treatment measures, an increase of more than 6 percent over 2002. The White House said the funding includes a $100 million increase in treatment spending for 2003 as part of a plan to add $1.6 billion over five years. The budget request also includes $50 million in new treatment spending to be targeted to areas with the greatest need - treatment for teens, pregnant women, the homeless and HIV sufferers."The vast majority of the millions of people who need drug treatment are in denial about their addiction," the White House said. "Getting people into treatment -- including programs that call upon the power of faith -- will require us to create a new climate of 'compassionate coercion,' which begins with family, friends, employers and the community."Compassionate coercion also uses the criminal justice system to get people into treatment."One area cited by the administration for its success is the drug court system used in Florida, which helps first-time offenders with treatment and rehabilitation.Noelle Bush, the president's 24-year-old niece -- daughter of Florida Gov. Jeb Bush -- is a possible candidate for drug court. She is currently undergoing treatment following her arrest in late January in Florida while trying to obtain the anti-anxiety drug Xanax with a fraudulent prescription."We must aggressively promote drug treatment," Bush said Tuesday, because a nation that is tough on drugs must also be compassionate to those addicted to drugs."Today there are 3.9 million drug users in America who need, but who do not receive, help. And we've got to do something about that. We've got to help."Communities, will play a central role, as will families, he said, because "we can't do it alone here in Washington ... ."The president's plan also includes $2.3 billion for drug interdiction, an increase of 10 percent over the previous year's funding. New moves will be taken to rid prisons of illicit drugs, and the administration is also requesting $731 million in dedicated funds for fighting narcotics production and trafficking in Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and Venezuela."We'll fight drug supply to reduce drug use, and punish those who deal in death," Bush said. "More than 280 metric tons of cocaine and 13 metric tons of heroin enter our country each year. To stop drugs from reaching our borders, the budget I've submitted includes nearly $2.3 billion for drug interdiction, an increase of over 10 percent from last year's budget."With the Coast Guard's help and with our partners in other nations, with the collaborative efforts with the leaders of all the nations in our neighborhood, we're going to fight drug traffickers, whether they try to bring their drugs in this country by sea, by land or by air. "I also want to target the supply of illegal drugs that are the source, particularly those in the Andean nations and I look forward to making sure the program is effective, that crop substitution works and crop destruction goes forward. I look forward to working with your presidents and telling them point-blank how anxious I am to make sure that our efforts to interdict supply is effective and meaningful and measurable and real."John Walters, director of National Drug Control Policy, later said curbing demand was essential and also an answer to criticism by other countries -- that U.S. demand for drugs is what fuels the supply and the criminal and terrorist elements in their countries that benefit from it."Reducing demand is the absolute foundation of our working with other countries," he said.The drug business must be viewed as such to be defeated, he stressed. The administration will look at it as a market, discover its weak spots and exploit those vulnerabilities -- such as supply routes, money transfers, etc -- to bring it down.Walters also said a controversial law that cuts off federal student aid to those convicted of drug offences will be reviewed."The goal is to say, 'if you're a repeat offender or a drug seller, we're not going to fund you,' but if you are rehabilitating yourself, funding for school will not be out of reach."Earlier this year, President Bush came under fire when he linked drugs use and terrorism in advertising aimed at keeping youngsters off illicit substances. Walters Tuesday also took up the note, citing the ties -- direct or indirect -- of European suppliers of Ecstasy and Middle East terrorists, and the vast profits being made by South American organizations from the sale of cocaine and other substances."I know they're ambitious goals, but when we meet them, our nation is going to be safer and more hopeful," Bush said of stopping demand, healing addicts and disrupting the drug trade. "You see, there is a moral reason for this fight, there is a moral reason to achieve this grand national objective, and it's this: Drugs rob men and women and children of their dignity and their character. Illegal drugs are the enemies of ambition and hope."The president's plan is not without critics. Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of Drug Policy Alliance, called the strategy "more of the same.""Basically, it's giving lip service and throwing a few bucks in drug treatment while the essential strategy remains the same, which is concentrating the vast majority of resources on enforcement and interdiction, notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence that these are ineffective strategies."Keith Stroup, head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, called the "piggy-backing" of fight against drugs with the war against terrorism mean-spirited."The suggestion that those people (marijuana smokers) are less patriotic or that they somehow support terrorism is absurd and an insult," he said.The administration was "attempting to demonize drug users because if they succeed in doing that, they won't have to be held accountable on whether they are doing more harm than good or whether they are being unfair."If you demonize someone, you can just lock them away for 20 years and no one is going to say anything about it."NORML favors the legalizing of marijuana. The Drug Policy Alliance favors policies that treat drugs and addiction as a health issues. Source: United Press InternationalAuthor: Richard Tomkins, UPI White House CorrespondentPublished: February 12, 2002Copyright: 2002 United Press InternationalWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:NORML Policy Alliancehttp://www.drugpolicy.orgBush Pledges To Reduce Nationwide Drug Use Says Plan Will Cut Illegal Drug Use by 10% Seeks Drop in Drug Use
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Comment #2 posted by freedom fighter on February 12, 2002 at 22:56:30 PT
Hell knows no fury from true Americans
"We must aggressively promote drug treatment," Bush said Tuesday, because a nation that is tough on drugs must also be compassionate to those addicted to drugs.In other word,"We must aggressively promote Jew (drug) treatment," Bush said Tuesday, because a nation that is tough on Jews (drugs) must also be compassionate to those addicted to Jews (drugs).In other word,Get the hell out of my house!ff
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Comment #1 posted by p4me on February 12, 2002 at 19:06:00 PT
restating the obvious
Reduction and elimination of drug use, he said, is being put "at the center of our national agenda" If any sensible person is asked about drug-abuse, he could not leave out alcohol and tobacco. And even though it is said a million times in a thousand ways, any sensible discussion of drug-abuse has to start with alcohol and tobacco. Here our great Busch does not even mention the biggest problems and how sick is that?When you talk about abuse of bad laws you can start with marijuana. The laws suck there Prezy Boy. When will the president use the term medical marijuana in any context. The elitism of this country has to be defeated and more sensible marijuana laws are at the heart of many. VAAI 
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