Clinton Drug Plan Fails
to Prevent Adolescent Drug Use or Reduce Disease
Washington, DC: The
war on drugs has failed to protect America's children from drug abuse and
has failed to reduce the availability of cocaine and heroin, according
to a new report titled "The Effective National Drug Control Strategy."
The report was released on March 3, 1999, coinciding with Drug Czar Barry
McCaffrey' testimony before a House Subcommittee on his year 2000 budget
The "Effective Strategy"
recommends spending two out of every three dollars of the drug control
budget on prevention and rehabilitation. It also recommends tripling
funding for adolescent drug use prevention programs, with the emphasis
on investing in America's youth through after school programs, mentor programs
and honest drug education.
"Contrary to General McCaffrey's
claims, the drug war still relies overwhelmingly on incarcerating drug
users and trying to interdict drugs -- the two least effective methods
of reducing drug abuse," said Kevin Zeese, President of Common Sense for
Drug Policy and one of the report's lead authors. "We know what works,
but General McCaffrey keeps investing in strategies that are destroying
families, hurting kids and undermining the Constitution."
The Network of Reform Groups
(NRG), a coalition of two dozen organizations working for more sensible
drug policies, examined government data and independent research and concluded
that the drug war has not deterred children from using illegal drugs, nor
has it resulted in fewer deaths and injuries from drug use.
The report found that:
The report recommends that the
Drug Czar create a non-partisan panel of experts to evaluate current drug
control efforts and consider the full range of alternative policy options,
and recommends a reversal of the federal drug budget priorities, as well
as a range of reforms including eliminating mandatory minimum drug sentences,
lifting the ban on use of federal AIDS funds for needle exchange programs,
reversing the trend toward cutting school budgets to invest in prisons
and enacting "family friendly" laws that keep families together, kids in
school and social networks intact.
The U.S. government spent $3.6
billion on the drug war in 1988, and will spend $17.9 billion in 1999 --
$2 out of every $3 on law enforcement.
From 1985 to 1995, 85 percent
of the increase in the federal prison population was due to drug convictions.
Due to mandatory sentencing, drug offenders spend more time in jail (average
82.2 months) than rapists (average 73.3 months).
Drug overdose deaths are up
540 percent since 1980, 33 people per day are infected with HIV from injection
drug use, which is becoming the engine for a new epidemic, Hepatitis C.
The price of heroin and cocaine
has dropped dramatically since 1981, while purity of both drugs has increased.
The Effective Strategy can
be found on line at http://www.csdp.org/edcs/.
-- END --
Issue #81, 3/5/99
Announcements | HEA Reform Campaign Gains Momentum -- DRCNet Attacked by Republican Rep. Souder | Hundreds Rally Against Rockefeller Drug Laws | Amnesty International Charges that Women Behind Bars Suffer "Rough Justice" | Drug Policy Coalition Calls for Reversal of Budget Priorities | Federal Bill Reintroduced to Legalize Medical Marijuana | Canada's House of Commons Debates Medical Marijuana | Australian Prime Minister Criticized Over FBI Invitation | Sen. Hatch Advocates for Expansion of Maintenance Therapies for Opiate Dependency | Hemp Reform Efforts Underway | Editorial: Million Man Madness
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