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The White House
For Immediate Release

White House Drug Policy Director Outlines Plan to Reduce the Impacts of the Illicit Drug Trade

WASHINGTON – Today, Gil Kerlikowske, Director of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Domestic Policy Subcommittee regarding foreign production and trafficking of illicit narcotics.

In Director Kerlikowske’s testimony, he expressed his confidence in the Obama Administration’s inaugural National Drug Control Strategy, which is science and evidence-based, and addresses both the public health and public safety challenges posed by drug abuse and its consequences. The strategy emphasizes prevention, treatment, recovery, enforcement and international partnerships designed to both reduce drug use and drug-related consequences.

Director Kerlikowske reiterated the Administration’s priorities related to international drug priorities, including the promotion of the rule of law, enhanced multilateral and bilateral collaboration, and continued efforts to support both alternative development and the reduction of illicit drug production and availability.

“The production and trafficking of illicit drugs poses a major threat to the citizens of the United States but also to the citizens of source countries and the world,” said Director Kerlikowske. “It is imperative that the United States continues to exhibit leadership in developing strategies derived from multilateral collaboration to reduce damaging effects of drug trafficking and abuse on the most vulnerable communities in the world.”

The National Drug Control Strategy, released in May, outlines several key objectives to address foreign production and trafficking of illicit narcotics. They include: Collaborating with international partners to disrupt the drug trade; supporting the drug control efforts of major drug source and transit countries; and attacking key vulnerabilities of drug trafficking organizations.

These objectives were designed to both reduce the threat to people posed by illicit drugs and violent transnational criminal organizations and to help our allies abroad to increase their own capacity to resist the crime, violence, and the corrupting influence of drug production and trafficking within their own nations.

Recognizing the tremendous challenges that partner nations face to resist the crime and violence associated with the drug trade, Kerlikowske articulated his “unyielding support of Mexican President Calderon and other world leaders who are courageously fighting cartels and drug trafficking organizations.”