Remarks on Signing the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986
today it gives me great pleasure to sign legislation that reflects the total
commitment of the American people and their government to fight the evil of
drugs. Drug use extracts a high cost on
The magnitude of today's drug problem can be traced to past unwillingness to recognize and confront this problem. And the vaccine that's going to end the epidemic is a combination of tough laws -- like the one we sign today -- and a dramatic change in public attitude. We must be intolerant of drug use and drug sellers. We must be intolerant of drug use on the campus and at the workplace. We must be intolerant of drugs not because we want to punish drug users, but because we care about them and want to help them. This legislation is not intended as a means of filling our jails with drug users. What we must do as a society is identify those who use drugs, reach out to them, help them quit, and give them the support they need to live right.
me take a moment here and salute a special person who has turned the fight
against drug abuse into a national crusade. She started long before the polls
began to register our citizens' concern about drugs. She mobilized the American
people, and I'm mighty proud of her. I know the work
In the last few years, we've made much progress on the enforcement end of solving the drug problem. Interdiction is up, drug crops are being destroyed while still in the fields all over the country and overseas, organized crime is being hit and hit hard, cooperation between governments is better than ever before. This legislation allows us to do even more. Nevertheless, today marks a major victory in our crusade against drugs -- a victory for safer neighborhoods, a victory for the protection of the American family. The American people want their government to get tough and to go on the offensive. And that's exactly what we intend, with more ferocity than ever before. But as I've said on previous occasions, we would be fooling ourselves if we thought that new money for new government programs alone will solve the problem.
not forget that in
been some real champions in the battle to get this legislation through
Congress: Senators Bob Dole, Robert Byrd, and Strom Thurmond; Congressmen Bob
Michel, Jim Wright, Benjamin Gilman, Charles Rangel, and Jerry Lewis. I'd like
to single out Senator Paula Hawkins in particular. She took this battle to the
public and has been a driving force behind the effort to rid our society of
drug abuse. Like
Note: The President spoke at in the East Room at the White House to a group of Cabinet members, administration officials, Members of Congress, and private citizens. H.R. 5484, approved October 27, was assigned Public Law No. 99 - 570.