Remarks to the National Drug Policy Board


October 3, 1988


The President. But now, I don't have to tell anyone here that every family in America has a stake in what all of you on this board -- what you do. You're the command team for our fight against drugs. And this is Dick Thornburgh's first meeting, so, Dick, welcome aboard. You have my full confidence. And with Doc Bowen at your side and the other members of this board, the fight against drugs couldn't be in better hands.


The time remaining in our administration is short, but the work before us is great. I expect this board to redouble its commitment to the vital work of achieving a drug free America. And this is another in which I want a sprint to the finish line. No letting up; drive as hard as you can. This administration has no more solemn commitment than the one it has made to families across our land to fight drugs.


I wish I could say the same for Congress. But when it comes to fighting drugs, Congress looks more and more like all talk and no action. They've cut funding for the major agencies that enforce our drug laws, and liberals in the Senate are trying to kill the House-passed drug bill. And that bill provides a Federal death penalty for drug-related killings, a modification of the exclusionary rule so that relevant evidence obtained in good faith can be used in court, and other needed changes in the law. It's time for Congress to end its dependency on the liberal agenda and to give our law enforcement officers the tools they need. And it's time for the Senate to pass a strong drug bill.


In conclusion, let me say that this board -- believe me, you have my fullest confidence. And you have a great responsibility, but you're equal to it. So, Dick, good luck.


Attorney General Thornburgh. Thank you, Mr. President.


Note: The President spoke at 1:17 p.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. In his opening remarks, he referred Secretary of Health and Human Services Otis R. Bowen.