FILE ID:97022501.tgi

(Goals include breaking foreign sources of supply)  (820)
By Jim Fuller
USIA Science Writer

Washington -- President Clinton has unveiled a national drug strategy
that focuses on reducing drug use among youth and breaking foreign and
domestic drug sources of supply.

Speaking February 25 at a ceremony to announce the 1997 National Drug
Control Strategy, the president said he intends to support the plan
with the largest anti-drug budget in history -- $16,000 million for
fiscal year 1998. This represents an increase of $818 million over the
FY 1997 anti-drug budget.

Clinton was joined at the ceremony by Vice President Gore; Barry
McCaffrey, director of the Office of National Drug Control Strategy;
Attorney General Janet Reno; and several other high-level officials
and members of Congress.

The president said that the 1997 strategy represents a 10-year federal
commitment supported by five-year budgets so that continuity of effort
can help ensure success.

The drug-control plan lists the reduction of youth drug use as a
primary goal, and calls for a major new national media campaign
directed at young people and their parents on the dangers of drug,
alcohol and tobacco use. The new initiative provides $175 million to
fund the campaign and seeks matching funds from the private sector for
a total of $350 million.

While noting that overall drug use has been reduced by half over the
last 15 years, Clinton said drug use among adolescents has gone up --
by as much as 150 percent among 13- and 14-year-olds during the past
few years.

"That's why prevention is important at that age, and indeed
considerably younger," he said. "If we teach our children well, more
of them will live well away from harm's way."

The 1997 strategy also calls for strengthening law enforcement to
combat drug-related violence, and developing effective rehabilitative
programs, including the supervised release and treatment for
drug-abusing offenders at all stages within the criminal justice

The FY 1998 budget includes $42 million, a 40 percent increase, to
help pay for drug-testing ®MDIN¯of ®MDNM¯those arrested on federal,
state and local charges. It also includes a 150-percent increase, to
$75 million, for "drug courts" that offer a voluntary alternative to
incarceration for nonviolent drug criminals.

Clinton also announced the release of $16 million in previously
appropriated Justice Department grants to more than 125 communities
planning or improving drug courts.

Another major goal of the drug control strategy calls for the
interdiction of illegal drugs in transit to the United States and at
U.S. borders, with particular emphasis on the southwest border, Puerto
Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The strategy reports: "We need to focus our efforts in these places --
without neglecting other avenues of entry -- by improving intelligence
and information-guided operations that allow us to...curtail the
penetration of drugs into the United States."

The strategy adds that Mexico -- both as a transit zone for cocaine
and heroin and a source country for heroin, methamphetamine and
marijuana -- is key to reducing the drug flow into the United States,
as are the island nations of the Caribbean.

The strategy calls for an additional 500 border patrol agents to stem
the flow of illegal drugs across the Southwest Border.

"Along our border to the south with Mexico, crime and violence linked
to drugs must be brought under control," Clinton said. "Our 1998
budget will bring considerable reinforcement to that border."

In his remarks, the president did not directly address the question of
Mexico's re-certification for anti-drug aid, which must be decided by
March 1. He said only that "we'll be looking at certification on
counternarcotics operations" when Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright returns from her overseas trip today.

The drug control strategy will also seek a net reduction in the
worldwide cultivation of coca, opium and marijuana, and in the
production of other illegal drugs, especially methamphetamine.

"We've made a start by supporting alternatives to drug crops," Clinton
said. "In Peru, coca cultivation dropped by 18 percent. In the next
decade, we want to completely eliminate the cultivation of coca for
illicit consumption."

The FY 1998 budget would provide $40 million for counter-drug programs
in Peru, the primary source of cocaine.

The strategy calls for the dismantling of major international drug
trafficking organizations, and the arrest and incarceration of their
leaders. It also said the United States must continue assisting
countries like Mexico, Peru and Thailand "that demonstrate the
political will to attack illegal drug production and trafficking."

Clinton said that the United States is committed to cooperating "with
our friends" in Latin America. "We want to cooperate with them, but we
want them to cooperate with us as well," he said. "We want to reduce
our demand for drugs, but we are determined to reduce the supply as