White House Drug Office Names New Director

White House Drug Office Names New Director
Posted by CN Staff on September 16, 2003 at 15:40:50 PT
By Ira Teinowitz 
Following last week's announcement that the director of its youth anti-drug campaign was resigning at year-end, the White House drug office today said it has decided to replace Alan Levitt immediately. Quick Move: The Office of National Drug Control Policy last week had named Deputy Director Bob Denniston acting director to succeed Mr. Levitt, who has been with the campaign since it started six years ago and was to continue running the program until his departure. But today the drug office lifted the "acting" designation from Mr. Denniston's title. 
"In apportioning duties and responsibility, it became obvious that it would be clearer and cleaner for everybody if Bob was given authority sooner rather than later," said Tom Riley, a drug office spokesman. One of Mr. Denniston responsibilities will be to decide whether to renew the advertising contract currently held by WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather next July. Drug office officials said last week no decision has been made regarding the contract. Increasing Challenges: Mr. Denniston's appointment comes as the drug office faces increasing challenges from Congress, which is debating cutting funds for the media program, and lawmakers and advocacy groups looking to have anti-alcohol and -tobacco messages become part of the anti-drug campaign. Last week U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., head of a House Appropriations Committee panel, joined Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, D-Calif., in writing drug czar John P. Walters to urge him that some of the money for the ad campaign go to alcohol-related messages. "Alcohol is a drug and it is being abused by children," their letter said. Recent Studies: Citing a recommendation in a recent report from the National Academy of Science for a national campaign warning parents about the dangers of underage alcohol use, the two congressmen also asked Mr. Walters to take on the task of creating the campaign. Today, Cheryl G. Healton, president-CEO of the American Legacy Foundation, the foundation set up by state attorneys general to fund anti-tobacco advertising, asked that some of the drug money go to fund her group's "Truth" campaign. Citing a new study that claims teens who smoke cigarettes also smoke marijuana, Ms. Healton said using the foundation's anti-tobacco ads would have the effect of also reducing marijuana use. "The report we are issuing today calls upon the drug office and the Partnership for a Drug-free America to disseminate 'Truth' anti-tobacco messages as part of an overall strategy to reduce drug use about teenagers," she said. She also noted the tobacco company money that funded her foundation's ad campaign has mostly ceased. Using Matching Ads: Mr. Riley, the drug office spokesman, said the drug office already uses some of the matching ads it receives for its media buys for anti-tobacco messages. "Right now we would be very cautions about taking subtracting space and taking on extra responsibilities that might dilute the anti-drug messages," he said. Note: Bob Denniston To Head Media Campaign.Source: Author: Ira Teinowitz Published: September 16, 2003Copyright: 2003 Crain Communications Inc. Contact: editor adage.comWebsite: House To End Drugs & Terror Ads PSA's Must Be Identified The White House Drug Office Tangle
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Comment #3 posted by Jose Melendez on September 17, 2003 at 10:17:47 PT
Dilute THIS!
from: Messages Not Included 
in Federal Anti-Drug Ad Campaign Summer 1999On July 13, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee killed an amendment to the Treasury, Postal Service and Gerneral Government Appropriations Bill for FY 2000 (H.R. 2490) to include anti-alcohol ads in the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign. The campaign is a five-year, one billion dollar advertising campaign aimed at reducing teen drug use, headed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). The amendment, which was introduced by Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Frank R. Wolf (R-VA) on May 13, had been approved on a voice vote by the House Subcommitte on Treasury, Postal Service and General Government (Sonia Nazario, "House Panel Rejects Ads on Underage Drinking," Los Angeles Times, July 14, 1999, p. A7; Sonia Nazario, "Panel Approves Adding Alcohol to Anti-Drug Ads," Denver Post, May 15, 1999, p 6A). The measure was opposed by the alcohol lobby and Gen. Barry McCaffrey, head of ONDCP. McCaffrey said ONDCP is limited by statute to dealing with "controlled substances," which does not include alcohol. But, McCaffrey consistently attacks teenage alcohol use, saying "it's the biggest drug abuse problem for adolescents, and it's linked to the use of other, illegal drugs" (Chris Wren, "Lawmaker Seeks to Hit Alcohol in Anti-Drug Ads," Chicago Tribune, May 31, 1999). Mario Cuomo and William Bennett, new leaders of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America (PDFA), which is an arm of the advertising industry and a partner in the anti-drug media campaign, also opposed the Roybal-Allard bill. They said the campaign budget is simply not enough to combat the billions of dollars spent on advertising by alcohol companies. They concluded: ". . .to compete effectively, the Government would require hundreds of millions more to change teen-age attitudes about drinking" (William J. Bennett and Mario M. Cuomo, Letter to the Editor, "PDFA Can't Compete With Alcohol Promotion," New York Times, June 7, 1999). Ronald Sarasin, president of the National Beer Wholesalers Association, said that the amendment would "equate the illegal underage purchase and consumption of beer with the physiological addiction posed by crack, cocaine and methamphetamine." He added that beer wholesalers "are not drug dealers and are not engaged in drive-by shootings or other criminal activities." Including alcohol in the campaign would "dilute [McCaffrey's] effort to fight youth addiction to illicit drugs crack, heroin, "crank," cocaine and other drugs that create a criminal culture" (Ronald Sarasin, Letter to the Editor, "Beer Is Not an Illegal Drug," Washington Post, June 25, 1999). Tom Dalldorf, publisher of Celebrator Beer News said that "blindly linking `alcohol and other drugs' sends the wrong message to underage abusers in a society that has been down the path of prohibition only to find the `cure' far worse than the problem" (Tom Dalldorf, Letter to the Editor, "The Wrong Message," San Francisco Chronicle, June 20, 1999). However, John DeLuca, president of the Wine Institute, stated that his organization had chosen to "stay on the sidelines on this issue, which is a far cry from opposition" to the bill. DeLuca stated that he agreed with the statement by the ONDCP that "an anti-underage drinking message to youth is largely a separate and distinct message from the anti-drug message, requiring a significantly different strategic approach based on scientific and behavioral knowledge" (John A. DeLuca, "Wine Institute's Stance," San Francisco Chronicle, June 23, 1999). An editorial in the New York Times attacked the argument that going after underage drinking would dilute the anti-drug message, pointing out "the solid evidence showing that teen-age drinking is often a gateway to illicit drug use." The editorial noted that the first goal of the White House's National Drug Control Strategy is to "educate and enable America's youth to reject illegal drugs as well as alcohol and tobacco" (Editorial, "The Anti-Drug Campaign's Missing Link," New York Times, June 2, 1999). 
Hypocrisy: Same As It Ever Was.
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Comment #2 posted by Dan B on September 17, 2003 at 02:02:03 PT
"Right now we would be very cautions about taking subtracting space and taking on extra responsibilities that might dilute the anti-drug messages," he said.Translation: "Right now we would be very cautious about taking money from a campaign targeted at maintaining the money flow from the black market to big businesses that pay millions of dollars to our political campaigns and putting it toward fighting other big businesses (alcohol and tobacco) that pay millions of dollars to our political campaigns."'Nuff said.Dan B
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on September 16, 2003 at 16:50:11 PT
Liberty Mutual Insurance Company Study 
1 In 6 High School Seniors Drives While HighNumber Of Stoned, Drunken Drivers Nearly EqualSeptember 16, 2003Approximately one in six high school seniors admits to driving under the influence of marijuana, according to a recent study by Students Against Destructive Decisions and insurance company Liberty Mutual. 
 The estimated 600,000 teens who drive while high is just less than the 640,000 who are estimated to drive while drunk. Forty-one percent of teens surveyed said they were not concerned about driving after using drugs. In 2001, an estimated 38,000 students reported that they crashed while driving under the influence of marijuana, and 46,000 reported that they crashed while driving under the influence of alcohol. John P. Walters, the director of national drug control policy, said that parents should use the milestone of teens getting their drivers' licenses as a chance to talk about marijuana, alcohol and driving. "Combining drug use with teens' inexperience on the road and risk-taking behavior is a recipe for disaster," Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta said. According to a new report from the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, in 2002, between 10 and 18 percent of young drivers age 17 to 21 reported driving under the influence of an illicit drug during the past year. Driving-age teens were four times more likely to use marijuana than younger adolescents. The information was released as part of the "Steer Clear Of Pot" media campaign.Copyright 2003 by 
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