Drug Abuse Policy Office

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Senior Policy Adviser, Drug Abuse Policy Office, 1981-1982

Director of the Drug Abuse Policy Office, 1982-1983

Special Assistant to the President for Drug Abuse Policy, and Director of the Drug Abuse Policy Office, 1983-1985

Deputy Assistant to the President for Drug Abuse Policy, and Director of the Drug Abuse Policy Office, 1985-1986

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This collection is available in whole for research use. Some folders may still have withdrawn material due to Freedom of Information Act restrictions. Most frequently withdrawn material is national security classified material, personal privacy, protection of the President, etc.

 

Biography

Dr. Carlton E. Turner was born in Choctaw County, Alabama in 1940. He graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi, earning a bachelor’s degree in chemistry and master’s and doctoral degrees in organic chemistry. Turner became one of the nation’s leading experts on the botany and pharmacology of marijuana.

Before joining the Reagan Administration, Turner headed the Marijuana Research Project at the University of Mississippi. He served in the University’s Research Institute for Pharmaceutical Studies, becoming Director of the Institute in 1980. He also worked as a consultant for government agencies and private firms in the United States, Mexico, and Canada, as well as for the United Nations.

Turner was appointed Senior Policy Adviser for Drug Policy in July 1981. In March 1982, his title changed to Director of the Drug Abuse Policy Office. He took on the additional title of Special Assistant to the President for Drug Abuse Policy in April1983. In March 1985, he was appointed 47Deputy Assistant to the President for Drug Abuse Policy. Turner served as the President’s adviser for drug abuse policy and assisted Nancy Reagan with her domestic and international drug abuse education projects. Turner left the White House staff effective December 31, 1986.

In 1987, Turner became President and Chief Executive Officer of Princeton Diagnostic Laboratories of America, a biomedical and pharmaceutical testing laboratory. In 1994, he joined Carrington Laboratories, where he served as Executive Vice President for Scientific Affairs, and then as Chief Operating Officer. He became President and CEO of Carrington Laboratories in April 1995. Carrington Laboratories changed its name to DelSite, Inc. in June 2008. Turner retired from his position as President and CEO of DelSite on December 31, 2008.

 

Description

Note

This collection reflects the broad range of activities and projects that Carlton Turner initiated and oversaw during his years at the White House. Under his leadership, the Drug Abuse Policy Office was heavily involved in drug awareness, education, and prevention outreach initiatives. It also coordinated discussion and policy on drug law enforcement issues and drug eradication efforts. Turner took an active role in the international aspects of the drug abuse problem, giving many foreign interviews and meeting with heads of state, foreign government officials, and directors of international addiction treatment organizations. The collection also reflects the scientific aspects of drug use and addiction treatment, due to Turner’s research background in chemistry and the pharmacology of marijuana.

This collection is arranged in fourteen series: Series I: Chronological File; Series II: Memorandum File; Series III: Subject File; Series IV: Congressional Name File; Series V: Congressional Subject File; Series VI: Oversight Working Group; Series VII: Drug Abuse Policy Office Reports; Series VIII: Itineraries; Series IX: Media File; Series X: Conferences and Meetings; Series XI: International File; Series XII: State Correspondence; Series XIII: Comic Book Project; and Series XIV: Publications and Reports.

 

SERIES I: CHRONOLOGICAL FILE, 1981-1986 (1.2 l.ft., Boxes 1-3)

This series consists of memoranda and correspondence relating to the activities of the Drug Abuse Policy Office, inquiries from the public, and Turner’s meetings, speaking engagements, and professional exchanges. The files contain both incoming and outgoing items. The material is arranged chronologically.

SERIES II: MEMORANDUM FILE, 1981-1985 (0.6 l.ft., Boxes 3-5)

This series consists of outgoing memoranda arranged chronologically. Many of the memoranda are reports to Edwin Harper, Roger Porter, and Jack Svahn. Also included are two folders of memos from Daniel Leonard to Carlton Turner.

SERIES III: SUBJECT FILE, 1981-1986 (29 l. ft., Boxes 5-71)

This series contains material relating to the full range of Turner’s work. Prominent topics include: the federal drug strategy; drug and alcohol abuse awareness events, campaigns, and literature; coordination with professional associations, volunteer organizations, and private corporations on anti-drug abuse initiatives; drug addiction treatment centers; adolescent drug use; drug testing and anti-drug campaigns in professional sports; drug testing in the military and the workplace; the Teen Titans anti-drug comic book; international narcotics production, trafficking, and interdiction; the National Narcotics Border Interdiction System; the South Florida Task Force; pharmaceutical theft; the legalization of marijuana; cannabis eradication with the herbicide paraquat; the White House Conference for a Drug Free America; and the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Coordinating Council. While many folder titles in this series indicate a particular meeting date, the folders often contain material relating to a broader time period.

SERIES IV: CONGRESSIONAL NAME FILE, 1981-1986 (1.4 l.ft., Boxes 71-74)

This series contains material relating to Turner’s meetings and correspondence with members of Congress. Topics addressed include: the federal drug strategy and role of the Drug Abuse Policy Office; requests for Turner to speak at conferences and meetings; constituent questions regarding drug abuse; cannabis eradication with paraquat; the health effects of marijuana use; penalties for marijuana trafficking; imitation controlled substances or “look-alike drugs”; penalties for drunk driving; rescheduling methaqualone as a Schedule 1 controlled substance; the Compassionate Pain Relief Act; cocaine dependency; the Teen Titans comic book; the Posse Comitatus Act and military assistance for drug interdiction efforts; Coast Guard drug-related arrests and seizures; cannabis eradication in Colombia; the diversion of legally manufactured pharmaceuticals; the Virginia Drug and Alcohol Information System; National Drug Abuse Education Week; the 1984 PRIDE conference; narcotics aid to Peru; and the Navy urinalysis program. The files are arranged alphabetically by last name.

SERIES V: CONGRESSIONAL SUBJECT FILE, 1981-1986 (1.9 l.ft, Boxes 74-78)

This series contains material relating to Congressional hearings, meetings, and legislation on narcotics matters. Topics addressed in this series include: the federal drug abuse strategy; coordination of federal drug interdiction efforts; federal support for state and local drug law enforcement; drug abuse prevention and education programs; the eradication of cannabis with paraquat; domestic marijuana production; teenage drug and alcohol abuse; legalization of medical marijuana use; drug abuse in the military; military urinalysis programs; military drug and alcohol abuse prevention programs; a proposed centralized Office of Drug Enforcement; military assistance for drug interdiction and the Posse Comitatus Act; the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1983; the Violent Crime and Drug Enforcement Improvements Act of 1982; imitation controlled substances or “look-alike” drugs; the nomination of Francis Mullen to be Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Agency; and a Congressional study mission on narcotics control in Latin America. The material is arranged alphabetically.

SERIES VI: OVERSIGHT WORKING GROUP, 1983-1986 (1.9 l.ft., Boxes 78-82)

This series consists of material relating to the meetings of the White House Oversight Working Group. Turner established the group in order to monitor federal drug enforcement activities and promote interagency communication. The group was composed of senior officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Customs Service, the Coast Guard, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Department of State, the Department of Justice Criminal Division, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Defense, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, and the Food and Drug Administration. The files contain monthly activity reports from the federal agencies, as well as some meeting agendas and minutes. For additional material on the Oversight Working Group, November 1986-March 1987, see the Subject File in the Donald Ian Macdonald collection. Turner’s work product for November and December 1987 is located in this file. Dick Williams served as the interim coordinator for the group in January 1987, and Ian Macdonald chaired the group as it was winding down in February and March 1987. Because this file contains Macdonald’s work product, it was retained in his collection.

SERIES VII: DRUG ABUSE POLICY OFFICE REPORTS, 1982-1987 (0.2 l.ft, Box 82)

This series consists of Turner’s weekly reports to the head of the Office of Policy Development. The reports summarize the activities of the Drug Abuse Policy Office and list upcoming events and meetings. Supporting memoranda, talking points, and reports are also included. The final folder in this series contains a small amount of material from January 1987, the interim period following Turner’s departure as head of the Drug Abuse Policy Office and preceding Ian Macdonald’s arrival. Dick Williams was responsible for the office reports during this period. Please note that additional weekly activity reports from 1982 and 1983 are located in category FG006-07 of the White House Office of Records Management (WHORM): Subject File.

SERIES VIII: ITINERARIES, 1981-1986 (0.3 l.ft., Boxes 82-83)

This series consists of itineraries for Turner’s domestic and international trips. The itineraries outline Turner’s scheduled meetings and speaking engagements, travel arrangements, and points of contact. When Turner traveled with the First Lady, her schedules are also included. The files are arranged chronologically.

SERIES IX: MEDIA FILE, 1981-1986 (2.7 l.ft., Boxes 83-89)

This series contains material relating to Turner’s interviews with television, radio, and print journalists. John Keller, Communications Officer, and subsequently Patrick McKelvey, Public Affairs Coordinator, coordinated the interviews for Turner. The files contain administrative and logistical records, background articles collected for interview preparation, and brief notes summarizing the interview. Interview transcripts and copies of the published stories are not included in the files. Folders are arranged chronologically by interview date. In cases where no interview was held, the folder is filed under the media contact date.

SERIES X: CONFERENCES AND MEETINGS, 1981-1982 (0.3 l.ft., Box 89)

This series contains material relating to speaking requests and conference invitations. The folders are arranged chronologically by date of the conference or meeting. For additional material on Turner’s participation in conferences and meetings, see Series III.

SERIES XI: INTERNATIONAL File, 1981-1986 (1.9 l.ft., Boxes 90-94)

This series contains material relating to: Turner’s visits to Austria, the Bahamas, Belize, Brazil, Colombia, Jamaica, the Netherlands, and Panama; meetings with foreign visitors from the United States Information Agency (USIA) International Visitor program and the Drug Enforcement Agency Executive Observation Program; USIA-sponsored interviews with foreign journalists; country-specific data on narcotics production, trafficking, and consumption; international narcotics-related crimes, arrests, seizures, and legislative developments; international production of opium and heroin; the eradication of cannabis and opium with paraquat in foreign countries; meetings with Colombian President Belisario Betancur on narcotics interdiction; Cuban involvement in drug trafficking; the 1982 visit of Attorney General William French Smith to Pakistan; National Security Decision Directive 221, regarding narcotics and national security; and evaluation of an Australian aircraft for Customs Department purchase. Also included is a file on military assistance in drug interdiction and the Posse Comitatus Act.

SERIES XII: STATE CORRESPONDENCE, 1981-1986 (2.1 l.ft., Boxes 94-99)

This series contains material relating to state and community drug education and treatment initiatives; Turner’s speaking engagements and meetings with community organizations; youth drug and alcohol abuse; school substance abuse education programs; parent associations for drug education and prevention; requests for information on the federal role in drug enforcement; cannabis eradication with paraquat in Georgia and Kentucky; heroin trafficking and consumption in New York City; and the Oregon Marijuana Initiative. These files consist primarily of general correspondence from the public. A significant amount of the correspondence is addressed to the President and Mrs. Reagan, and it was forwarded to Turner for response.

SERIES XIII: COMIC BOOK PROJECT, 1982-1984 (1.1 l.ft., Boxes 99-101)

This series contains material relating to the development and distribution of the Teen Titans drug awareness comic books. The comic books were designed to communicate the dangers of drug abuse to elementary school children. The Drug Abuse Policy Office coordinated the project, DC Comics developed the story line and artwork, and private companies funded the production costs. The Keebler Company sponsored the fourth grade book (released in April 1983), the National Soft Drink Association sponsored the sixth grade book (November 1983), and IBM sponsored the fifth grade book through the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth (February 1984). The files consist primarily of correspondence with educators, parents, and children. See Series III for additional material on the comic book project.

SERIES XIV: PUBLICATIONS AND REPORTS, 1981-1986 (2.7 l.ft., Boxes 101-107)

This series contains publications relating to cocaine and marijuana use; addiction treatment programs; adolescent drug abuse; drug-abuse resources for parents; drug and alcohol use in the military; narcotics and organized crime; cannabis eradication; national border management; mental health policy; and drugs and traffic safety. The publications date from 1977 to 1986. They are arranged alphabetically.

Last Updated: 02/24/2021 05:46PM

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