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December 11, 1997: Fighting For a Drug Free America

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Fighting for a Drug Free America

Almost two years ago, General McCaffrey and I came with the Attorney General to Miami to launch a comprehensive anti-drug strategy for the nation -- a common-sense plan to address an uncommonly complex problem...Thanks in no small measure to heroic efforts on the high seas, in the air and along our borders, this strategy is starting to show promising results.

President Clinton,
December 11, 1997

President Clinton: Fighting for a Drug-Free America

Today, President Clinton traveled to Miami, Florida, to salute the Coast Guard's heroic efforts in stopping drugs from reaching our shores and to highlight other promising results of the Administration's comprehensive national drug control strategy. The Administration's anti-drug strategy is making progress: overall drug use is down and drug use by 12 to 17 year-olds has started to decline, but, as the President underscored in his remarks today, there is more work to do.

Shielding America's Frontiers from the Drug Threat

  • Record Coast Guard Interdictions: In FY 1997, the Coast Guard -- the nation's lead agency for maritime drug interdiction -- seized or assisted in the seizure of the highest amount of cocaine in its history. The Coast Guard, aided by other U.S. law enforcement agencies, seized 103,617 pounds of cocaine -- more than triple the previous year's total. Moreover, the Coast Guard increased its arrests of drug traffickers by a stunning 1000%.
  • Increased Department of Defense (DoD) Funding for Drug Control: The President is committing an additional $73 million in FY 1999 to DoD's $800 million counter-narcotics budget. DoD will use increased funding to: enhance source country interdiction efforts, primarily in Peru; carry out our international commitments to assist the Caribbean nations with maritime interdiction efforts; and work with Mexico to assist them in establishing their own interdiction capabilities.
Reducing Drug-Related Crime and Violence
  • Expanding High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTAs): Recent crime data show that drug-related crime is in decline. To further build on our efforts to combat drug-related crime and counter drug trafficking, the Administration and members of Congress announced the formation of the Central Florida High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. The HIDTA program provides federal assistance to better coordinate and enhance counter-drug law enforcement efforts (law enforcement from the local to the federal level) in critical areas where drug production, manufacturing, importation, or distribution flourish. This newest HIDTA will bring the total number of designated areas to 23 -- 18 of which have been created under the Clinton Administration.
Educating Our Youth to Reject Drugs
  • The $195 Million National Anti-Drug Youth Media Campaign: The number one priority in the President's 1997 National Drug Control Strategy is to motivate our kids to reject the use of illegal drugs. Recently, the President signed into law funding to launch the campaign. The $195 million National Anti-Drug Youth Media Campaign will use the full force of the media --from prime time television to the Internet to sports marketing -- to educate kids and parents about the dangers of drugs. The campaign will begin next month with ads in 12 pilot cities across the nation: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boise, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Milwaukee, Portland, San Diego, Sioux City, Tucson, and Washington, D.C.

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