Response To President Clinton’s Address

Press Release June 7, 1998
Media Contact

Tony Newman at 510-208-7711

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – Ethan Nadelmann, Director of the Lindesmith Center, issued the following statement in reaction to President Clinton’s speech before the UN General Assembly Special Session, “the Drug Summit.” “We are deeply disappointed that the President recommitted the UN and the US to a drug war that is more militarized and which will ultimately be more futile.

“President Clinton should conceded the obvious: After decades of relying on failed ideas like interdiction and training foreign armies, prices are down, drug use is up, more governments are corrupted and more ecosystems are in jeopardy. Increasing spending on the failed policies of the past won’t achieve a better result in the future.

“More than 500 global statesmen – including former UN Secretary General Perez de Cuellar and former Reagan Secretary of State George Shultz – have called upon the UN to rethink a drug war that is now causing more harm than drug abuse itself.

“Rather than joining a UN pep rally for failed drug policies, or fighting to stop TV ads that urge new approaches, as the White House Counsel’s Office has tried to do, the President should open the debate and open his mind and heart to new, more effective, and more compassionate ideas that will protect our children and our country.”

A young woman holds a sign that says "End the Drug War."

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