News Release

After Gore Announces New Anti-Drug Plan, Critics Question Some Basic Assumptions

WASHINGTON — Hours after Vice President Al Gore announced a new White House anti-drug plan Monday, critics renewed their calls for fundamental changes in federal efforts to curb drug use. Those critics included a former counsel to the House Judiciary Committee, a prisoner who publishes a newspaper, and a sociologist. They are available for interviews:

ERIC STERLING
President of the Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, Sterling oversaw federal anti-drug efforts from 1979 to 1989 as counsel to the House Judiciary Committee. He helped write the law creating drug czar Barry McCaffrey’s office. Today, Sterling said: “Large city police chiefs, almost 3 to 1, identify drug abuse prevention and treatment as the most effective ways to fight the nation’s drug problem. But in McCaffrey’s 1999 strategy, the percentage increase for enforcement programs is 30 percent greater than the increase for prevention and treatment programs…. The latest drug strategy and the GOP attack are the same old Washington shuck and jive — next year thousands will be dead, millions will be addicts, the prisons will be bigger, and the drug kingpins will be laughing all the way to the bank.”
More Information

PAUL WRIGHT
Wright is a prisoner in Washington state, co-editor of Prison Legal News and co-author of “The Celling of America: An Inside Look at the U.S. Prison Industry.” Wright today filed suit challenging a ban on his book by the Michigan prison system. Said Wright: “Mandatory minimums are what’s driving the explosion of the U.S. prison population. This approach has clearly failed in the past, and Congress and Clinton are determined to bring this failure into the 21st century. The mandatory minimums are the exclusive province of the poor and politically unconnected. For example, Roger Clinton was convicted of cocaine trafficking, but only served two years — no mandatory minimums for him.” Wright can be reached through his colleague Fred Markham at the above phone number.
More Information

MIKE MALES
Author of “Framing Youth: Ten Myths About the Next Generation,” Males said: “The Federal Drug Abuse Warning Network, vital statistics, and crime reports show that for a decade, the escalating War on Drugs has been accompanied by skyrocketing levels of drug addiction, hospital emergency treatments, and deaths among adults, overwhelmingly those over age 30. Today, young people face far more danger from their parents’ and grownups’ drug abuse than from their own drug use.” Yet administration officials “propose another round of the same old bankrupt platitudes, centered on a $200 million taxpayer-underwritten advertising campaign aimed at aggrandizing themselves, distorting statistics, and attempting to grossly mislead the American people that their kids harbor some terrifying, hidden drug scourge.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167