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Republicans Blast Clinton Drug Control Policy


January 1995

In a Dec. 22, 1994 letter to Office of National Drug Control Policy Director Lee Brown, two key Republican Senators blasted the Clinton administration's lead on drug policy and call for an intensified "war on drugs."

Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole (R-KS) and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-UT) write that they are disappointed in what they see as "no demonstrable progress" in dealing with the problem of drugs.

"It is now clear that the Clinton Administration drug policy is failing: two years of decreased prosecutions, increased hand-wringing about treatment and hard-core addicts, retreat on interdiction efforts, and an abandoned bully-pulpit have led to more drugs on our streets, increased drug use, and a darker future for our younger citizens. Reversing these trends will be a priority for the Republican Congress and should be a priority for the Clinton Administration."

The letter further cautions against cutting funds for interdiction and law enforcement efforts.

"We stand ready to work with you on this critical national problem, but clearly what has been done in the last two years has not worked. We will expect that the Drug Strategy due in February will diagnose what has been the problem with the anti-drug efforts for the last two years and recommend solutions for reversing the disturbing new trends in drug use. We will also expect the Strategy to set forth how you intend to make significant, measurable reductions in drug availability and drug use, and improvements in the attitudes of our young people regarding drug use."

In his response to Senators Dole and Hatch, Brown defended the current National Drug Control Strategy. "I must disagree with many of your conclusions and believe that they are based on inaccurate information. ... The Administration and Congress have a responsibility to the Nation to rise above political posturing and work together to solve our drug and crime problems."

"I am sure you agree with me that political rhetoric will not keep our children from being killed, nor will it stop our brave law enforcement officials from falling prey to the drug trafficking criminals," Brown wrote.

[See also Jerry Seper, "GOP Senators Vow to Give Priority to War on Drugs," Washington Times, Dec. 24, 1994, p. A4; Michael Hedges, "GOP-led Congress to Rev Up Drug War as Teen Abuse Rises," Washington Times, Nov. 28, 1994, p. A3; "GOP Interdiction," US News & World Report, Dec. 19, 1994, p. 22-3.]