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President's Office of National Drug Control Policy Releases Funding Strategy for 1996


February 1995

On February 7, 1995, Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Dr. Lee P. Brown released the 1995 National Drug Control Strategy, in which the Clinton administration requests an increase of $1.3 billion for programs to fight the problems related to drug abuse in the United States.

The 1995 Strategy requests a total of $14.6 billion for Fiscal Year (FY) 1996, a 9.7% increase over the enacted levels of FY 1995.

Programs designed to expand the power of communities to deal with drug-related problems will receive the greatest increases in funding. The Strategy directs a "no strings attached" policy on Department of Health and Human Services-appropriated federal dollars. The only requirement that will remain for the funding is that states set aside some of the funding for drug prevention programs. The National Drug Control Strategy also outlines aid to communities through law enforcement expansions funded in the Crime Control Act of 1994 (Public Law 103-322).

The Strategy maintains the proportion of supply reduction to demand reduction funding from previous years. Of the requested $14.6 billion, $9.3 billion (64%) would go to supply reduction and $5.3 billion (36%) would go to demand reduction.

Supply/Demand Funding Proportions in National Drug Control Strategy

FY 1996
FY 1995
FY 1994
Total $14.6 billion $13.3 billion $12.2 billion
Supply % $9.3 billion
$8.3 billion
$7.7 billion
Demand % $5.3 billion
$4.9 billion
$4.4 billion

Source: Office of National Drug Control Strategy, "National Drug Control Strategy," February 1995, p. 113.

Of the $14.6 billion requested, $7.2 billion would go to the criminal justice system, an increase of $854 million over the estimated allocation for FY 1995. $2.8 billion is requested for drug treatment, and $2.0 billion for drug prevention. The FY 1996 request for international efforts is $399.1 million, an $89.1 million increase over FY 1995 estimated allocations. The FY 1996 request for interdiction is $1.3 billion, 8.8% of the total request.

The report requests increases from Congress for all program areas except interdiction efforts. Interdiction funding is remaining at FY 1995 levels because the Customs Service did not request an increase in funding due to funds leftover from previous years.

Members of Congress continued to assail the Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Clinton administration for what they perceive as a de-escalation in the "war on drugs." As was reported in the Jan. 1995 issue of NewsBriefs, two key Republican Senators sent a letter to Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Lee Brown complaining that the Clinton administration was failing to take a strong leadership position in fighting drug use and abuse. Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin

Hatch (R-UT) wrote that they see "no demonstrable progress" in dealing with the problems associated with drugs ("Republicans Blast Clinton Drug Control Policy," NewsBriefs, Jan. 1995).

The release of the budget request for FY 1996 did not serve to quell the majority members' concerns about the direction of drug control policy. "I think anyone would conclude the Clinton administration has failed to show leadership," Hatch said in an interview with the Washington Post (Pierre Thomas, "$14.6 Billion Sought to Fight Drugs," Washington Post, Feb. 8, 1995, p. A7).

Drug Control Spending by Function (in Millions)

Drug Function

FY 1996
FY 1995
FY 1994
Criminal Justice System 7,166.7 6,313.3 5,735.4
Drug Treatment 2,826.6 2,646.6 2,398.7
Education, Community Action and the Workplace 1,974.9 1,847.6 1,597.4
International 399.1 309.9 329.4
Interdiction 1,278.4 1,293.3 1,311.6
Research 570.7 538.2 520.3
Intelligence 334.0 316.0 291.7


Four-Way Split

14,550.4 13,264.9 12,184.4
Demand Reduction 5,256.5
Domestic Law Enforcement 7,616.4
International 399.1
Interdiction 1,274


14,550.4 13,264.9 12,184.4

Source: Office of National Drug Control Strategy, "National Drug Control Strategy," February 1995, p. 113.

The National Drug Control Strategy outlines four initiatives for drug control in FY 1996:

  1. Empowering Communities. Through the Crime Control Act of 1994, communities can obtain funding to hire police officers and apply for grants under the Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities program.

  2. Drug Treatment and Prevention. The Strategy requests a total of $1.3 billion for the "Substance Abuse Performance Partnership" administered by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Most of the requirements for these grants have been removed except a 20 percent set-aside for prevention programs.

  3. Reducing Chronic, Hardcore Drug Use Through Treatment. Designed to reduce demand for drugs and the crime- and health-related problems associated with drug abuse, the National Drug Control Strategy requests a total of $2.8 billion for treatment programs, an increase of $180.0 million over estimated FY 1995 enacted levels. Treatment programs include the Substance Abuse Performance Partnership, drug courts, and substance abuse treatment in federal and state prisons.

  4. Increasing Source Country Program Effectiveness. The Strategy requests $213.0 million for international narcotics control, including democracy-building, disruption and breaking of drug trafficking operations, and interdiction. The request represents a $108.0 million increase over the FY 1995 estimated enacted level.

The initiatives are similar to those outlined in the 1994 Strategy. (The priority ranking of the initiatives did change. The initiatives for FY 1995 were: reducing hardcore drug use through treatment, ensuring safe and drug-free schools by improving prevention efficacy, empowering communities to combat drug-related violence and crime, and increased international program efforts).

While $13.2 billion was requested for FY 1995, Congress appropriated $13.3 billion for drug control efforts but in a different mix. The 1995 Strategy points out that this funding was not in the areas for which money was requested (in particular, treatment and international efforts were severely underfunded), but was a result of programs in the Crime Control Act of 1994.

The White House also released a new plan to combat the international narcotics trade (Norman Kempster, "White House Targets Drugs, Terrorism," Los Angeles Times, Jan. 21, 1995, p. A6; Associated Press, "Christopher Unveils Plan to Combat Terrorism, Drugs," Oakland Tribune, Jan. 21, 1995, p. A6).

Secretary of State Warren Christopher, in a speech before Harvard University's Kennedy School, announced new measures to make it harder for suspected narcotics traffickers to enter the U.S., even if they have never been convicted of a crime. He said the State Department (working closely with Justice and Treasury) will coordinate stepped-up efforts to seize the assets of drug traffickers, halt money-laundering operations, and monitor the activities of suspected terrorist organizations through wire-tapping.

[See also, "Ten-Percent Hike Requested in Next Drug Control Budget," Drug Enforcement Report, Feb. 23, 1995, p. 1.

To receive a copy of the National Drug Control Strategy, contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service, Box 6000, Rockville, MD 20850, 1-800-851-3420. Ask for NCJ number 152702.]