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Statement on the Recommendations of the National Drug Policy Board

June 30, 1988

Today Attorney General Edwin Meese, Chairman of the National Drug Policy Board, presented me with the Board's report in response to my request for additional recommendations to strengthen our national drug policy. Next week I plan to approve an administration package that will be presented to the bipartisan executive-legislative drug task force.

The Board's excellent work builds upon the solid foundation already laid by this administration's strategy to reduce the supply and demand for illegal drugs. These recommendations send a strong message to drug-law offenders, including users and traffickers. I join the Chairman in emphasizing that we cannot tolerate criminals who violate our borders, terrorize our communities, or poison our citizens. Likewise, we cannot tolerate drug users who provide the illegal market for the drugs or who benefit from the taxpayers' generosity through Federal grants, contracts, or loans. We must hold people responsible for their drug use through accountable treatment programs and through our parole and probations systems. This problem touches all of us at home, at school, at work, whether in government or in the private sector.

The recommendations of the Drug Policy Board are intended to strengthen America's drug enforcement policies to implement six essential goals:

first, a drug free work force, both in the Government and in the private sector, through measures such as random drug testing and effective treatment programs;

second, drug free schools through Nancy's Just Say No program and by requiring effective antidrug policies on campuses as a condition to Federal aid;

third, expanded drug treatment accountability to ensure through testing that those programs eliminate drug use and move toward drug free environments;

fourth, expanded international cooperation through interdiction, joint detection, apprehension, and eradication programs, including a coordinated role for the U.S. military and drug enforcement agencies;

fifth, strengthened law enforcement with essential tools, such as the Federal death penalty for drug-related murders;

sixth, expanded public awareness of the dangers of drug use by working together at all levels.

On May 18, 1988, I called for a joint executive-legislative task force, a summit meeting of leaders in the Congress and the administration, to develop a comprehensive legislative package to address every aspect of the drug problem. I urge the task force to begin its deliberations with an initial meeting soon after the Fourth of July weekend so we can enact the necessary legislation quickly.

In addition, it is imperative for the Congress to restore hundreds of millions in cuts in our law enforcement budget requests and expeditiously pass legislation needed to successfully implement our drug strategy. The Drug Policy Board recommendations are a good starting point to pull together so that we can stop the sale and use of illegal drugs.