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George W. Bush on Drugs

President of the United States, Former Republican Governor (TX)


Aggressive drug education, treatment & enforcement

We must stand with our families to help them raise healthy, responsible children. And when it comes to helping children make right choices, there is work for all of us to do. One of the worst decisions our children can make is to gamble their lives and futures on drugs. Our government is helping parents confront this problem with aggressive education, treatment and law enforcement. Drug use in high school has declined by 11% over the past two years.
Source: 2004 State of the Union address to joint session of Congress Jan 20, 2004

$23 million more for drug-testing in schools

In my budget, I have proposed new funding to continue our aggressive, community-based strategy to reduce demand for illegal drugs. Drug-testing in our schools has proven to be an effective part of this effort. So tonight I propose an additional $23 million for schools that want to use drug-testing as a tool to save children's lives. The aim here is not to punish children, but to send them this message: We love you, and we do not want to lose you.
Source: 2004 State of the Union address to joint session of Congress Jan 20, 2004

Use of performance-enhancing steroids sends wrong message

Unfortunately, some in professional sports are not setting much of an example for our children. The use of performance-enhancing drugs like steroids in baseball, football and other sports is dangerous and it sends the wrong message: that there are shortcuts to accomplishment and that performance is more important than character. So tonight I call on team owners, union representatives, coaches and players to take the lead, to send the right signal, to get tough and to get rid of steroids now.
Source: 2004 State of the Union address to joint session of Congress Jan 20, 2004

$600M plan help 300,000 addicts via vouchers

Addiction to drugs is a cause of hopelessness. President Bush announced a 3-year, $600 million federal treatment initiative to help addicted Americans find needed treatment from the most effective programs, including faith-based and community-based organizations. This new investment will make treatment available to help 300,000 more Americans combat their addiction over the next 3 years, by providing vouchers to individuals identified as needing assistance.
Source: Campaign website, www.georgewbush.com Aug 29, 2003

Use faith-based programs for addicted Americans

Last year, approximately 100,000 men and women seeking treatment for drug addiction did not receive the help they needed. The President's plan is designed to complement existing programs and ensure that Americans struggling with addiction have access to a comprehensive continuum of effective treatment and support service options, including faith-based and community-based programs, and ensure that these options are more readily available.
Source: Campaign website, www.georgewbush.com Aug 29, 2003

Turned from alcoholism by power of prayer

In September 2002, Bush invited five religious leaders-three Christian, one Jewish, one Muslim-to meet with him in the Oval Office. "You know," he said, "I had a drinking problem. Right now I should be in a bar in Texas, not the Oval Office. There is only one reason that I am in the Oval Office and not in a bar. I found faith. I found God. I am here because of the power of prayer."

Bush seldom refers to his drinking days & almost never acknowledges how close he came to wasting his life altogether. Although he was born to wealth and privilege, up until 1992 his career was a study in failure.

In that confessional conversation, Bush told the clergymen that his favorite psalm was Psalm 27, one of the Bible's most searing statements of loneliness and remorse.

There is nothing divine about the American political process. Yet leadership remains the greatest mystery in politics. Bush was hardly the obvious man for the job. But by a very strange fate, he turned out to be the right man.

Source: The Right Man, by David Frum, p.283-84 Jun 1, 2003

$2.8B more for Drug War, for state treatment & abroad

Bush started the day with a narrower and more deliberate approach, unveiling a $2.8 billion proposal to curb illegal drug use. His campaign pitched the drug-policy speech as his main event, continuing the weeklong theme of “giving parents the tools they need.”

Clinton has requested $19.26 billion for antidrug measures in the fiscal 2001 budget, and has increased the drug-fighting budget more than $6 billion since 1993. A Bush aide said the governor’s five-year, $2.8 billion plan would be in addition to the current baseline budget laid out by the Clinton White House. Gore is proposing antidrug measures that would cost $5.3 billion over 10 years.

Among Bush’s proposals are providing $1 billion to states for treatment programs and conducting a state-by-state inventory of treatment needs and capacity, and increasing funding for the Western Hemisphere Drug Elimination Act by $1 billion over 5 years.

Source: Anne E. Kornblut and Glen Johnson, Boston Globe, p. A6 Oct 7, 2000

Clinton-Gore drug policy is inconsistent and has failed

Calling teen drug statistics “one of the worst public policy failures of the ‘90s,” Bush described a mounting national crisis. “From 1979 to 1992, our nation confronted drug abuse successfully. Teen drug use declined each and every year,” Bush said. “Unfortunately, in the last 7-1/2 years, fighting drug abuse has ceased to be a national priority.” Blaming a lack of funding and an inconsistent policy, Bush listed a litany of troubles: the doubling of teen drug use, the growth of methamphetamines, the increase of the number of high school seniors who use marijuana.

Gore aides dismissed the Bush statistics, saying they did not take the overall picture into account. Since 1992, the number of drug users ages 25 to 34 has dropped 39%, and drug use by teenagers ages 12 to 17 declined 21% between 1997 and 1999, a Gore spokesman said: He added, “Al Gore and this administration proposed the largest antidrug budget ever and under this administration drug arrests are up while drug use is down.”

Source: Anne E. Kornblut and Glen Johnson, Boston Globe, p. A6 Oct 7, 2000

Feds must help border counties fight drug traffickers

The federal government has a critical responsibility to enforce our nation’s drug laws and to stop international drug traffickers. In our battle against the international drug trade, the Southwest border is the front line. Much of the burden from this national battle falls on border counties, whose limited resources are already stretched thin. The federal government must step up and do its part.
Source: Southwest Border Initiative, in “Renewing America’s Purpose” Jun 7, 2000

Supports military package to Colombia to fight drug supply

Bush has said little on the drug issue. His campaign spokesman said the governor favors the Colombian military package [which would eradicate drug suppliers], “to make sure their military is well-trained and well-equipped to fight the drug traffickers.” Bush is still trailed by unsubstantiated allegations of cocaine use. Bush also is a strong supporter of faith-based initiatives to fight addiction.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A21 Mar 5, 2000

Stronger penalties for first time cocaine possession

As governor, Bush favored tougher laws for drug offendors, including signing legislation that allows judicial discretion to sentence first-time offendors possessing less than one gram of cocaine to a maximum of 180 days in jail. (Previously, first-time offendors received automatic probation.) Bush is still trailed by unsubstantiated allegations of cocaine use.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A21 Mar 5, 2000

Full background checks on drug use for all appointees

Bush was asked whether as President he would insist that he his appointees undergo full FBI background checks, which include questions about drug use. He would, he replied. “Could I pass the challenge of a background check? My answer is absolutely,” Bush said. “Not only could I pass the background check and the standards applied to today’s White House, but I could have passed the background check and the standards applied on the most stringent conditions when my dad was President -- 15-year period.”
Source: R.W.Apple, New York Times, p. A12 Aug 30, 1999

Parents make up for past by warning kids against drugs

Bush said that parents have a responsibility to make up for their youthful mistakes by warning their children to stay away from drugs. “One of the interesting questions facing baby boomers is, have we grown up? Are we willing to share the wisdom of past mistakes? And I think the message ought to be to all children, ‘Don’t use drugs. Don’t abuse alcohol.’ That’s what leadership is all about.”
Source: Mary Leonard, Boston Globe, p. A3 Aug 22, 1999

Supports tough drug laws as well as drug education programs.

Drugs and alcohol destroy lives. We have toughened laws for people who sell drugs. We also spend millions of dollars on education programs such as “Safe and Drug-free Schools” grants.
Source: www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/faq_index.html 12/31/98 Dec 31, 1998


George W. Bush on Alcoholism

Arrested for drunk driving, plead guilty, paid fine

On September 4, 1976, Bush was arrested in Maine for driving under the influence of alcohol after he left a bar. At the police station, his blood alcohol level registered at 0.10, the legal limit at the time. Bush pleaded guilty, was fined $150, and had his driving privileges temporarily suspended. The incident would not come out until just before his election as president.

Bush would later say he could pass a background check going back to 1974. The date was chosen because his father was inaugurated in 1989, and background checks of appointees went back fifteen years. "I'm not going to talk about what I did years ago," Bush said. "This is a Washington game where they float rumors, force a person to fight off a rumor, then they'll float another rumor. And I'm not going to participate. I saw what happened to my dad with rumors. I made mistakes. I've asked people not to let the rumors get in the way of the facts. I've told people I've learned from my mistakes, and I have."

Source: A Matter of Character, by Ronald Kessler, p. 35-36 Aug 5, 2004

A "carefree lad" who drank but never did drugs

If Bush had used illegal drugs [as a youth, when he was arrested for drunk driving], few around him knew about it. "I don't know why he said all this about drugs," his girlfriend from 1970 to 1972, said. "He never did anything like that. He was the straightest guy I knew. The most we ever did was go to a party and drink beer."

"I've never known him to take drugs, and he's never talked to me about taking drugs," his college roommate said. I've never been with him when he was taking drugs. He drank in college, and he drank as an adult. I never saw him drink to excess any more than anyone drinks to excess in college.

I was unmarried and single," Bush would latter say. "I deny every a

Source: A Matter of Character, by Ronald Kessler, p. 40 Aug 5, 2004

Spiritual reawakening ended beer and bourbon consumption

[In 1986] Bush had a reawakening of his Christian faith. While vacationing in Kennebunkport, the Reverend Billy Graham, a family friend, talked to him about accepting Jesus Christ as his personal savior. He began to study the Bible and recommit his faith As his spiritual life evolved, Bush began to reconsider his nightly consumption of beer and bourbon. He knew that drinking sapped his energy. Others noticed that it made him overly feisty and annoying.
Source: A Matter of Character, by Ronald Kessler, p. 47-49 Aug 5, 2004

Changed license in 1995 to avoid DUI arrest disclosure

Bush took one step to keep [his drunk driving arrest] under wraps in March 1995, when his driver’s license number was changed. MSNBC.com first reported this in August 1999. At the time, MSNBC’s sources said that Bush got his license number changed because he was worried about an arrest record surfacing. “He has an arrest record that has to do with drinking,” a source said then. “He’s worried it will come out, but his handlers keep assuring him it won’t.” The allegation was not disclosed by MSNBC.com at the time because the arrest could not be confirmed.

Also in August 1999, the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles told MSNBC.com that changing one’s driver’s license number was “highly unusual” and that it is done only when the holder of the license can prove that someone is using the license number for illegal activities. Repeated calls to Bush at the time were unanswered, until [they stated] Bush’s license number was changed for “security measures.” He declined to comment further.

Source: MSNBC.com Nov 4, 2000

Acknowledges arrest for drunk driving in 1976

Bush acknowledged Thursday that in 1976 he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol near his parents’ home in Kennebunkport, Maine. Bush, who was 30 at the time, pleaded guilty, paid a $150 fine and his driving privileges were temporarily suspended in Maine.

Bush said, “I’m not proud of that. I made some mistakes. I occasionally drank too much, and I did that night. I learned my lesson.” Bush said he was not jailed after the arrest. He said earlier in the week, “I quit drinking in 1986 and haven’t had a drop since then. And it wasn’t because of a government program, by the way -- in my particular case, because I had a higher call.“

Bush said the timing of the initial news report was ”interesting.“ When asked where the story may have originated, he said, ”I’ve got my suspicions.“ Al Gore and DNC officials both said they first learned of the arrest from news reports Thursday and said it would be inappropriate to comment on the matter.

Source: CNN.com report from West Allis, WI Nov 3, 2000

Quit drinking when alcohol started to compete with family

Bush told Oprah and her millions of female viewers he gave up drinking because “Alcohol was beginning to compete with my affections for my wife and my family. It was beginning to crowd out my energy. And I decided to quit.” He said Laura had not quite given him an ultimatum. “But I think she got disappointed in some evenings.. There were some times when she said ‘you need to think about what you’re doing.’”
Source: AP Story, NY Times Sep 19, 2000

Identifies with former addicts based on former alcoholism

Bush told a group of recovering drug addicts that he still identifies with their struggle, more than a decade after he gave up alcohol. Bush told the young men his Christian faith was critical in shaping his turnaround. He cast his battle in simple terms, saying: “Just like you, I’m on a walk, and it’s a never-ending walk as far as I’m concerned. I used to drink too much and I quit drinking. I want you to know that your life’s walk is shared by a lot of other people. Even some who wear suits.“ Bush has said he was never addicted to alcohol. But since giving up drinking in 1986 at age 40, he described that as a turning point in his life.
Source: Boston Globe, p. A12 Jan 22, 2000

Did not use drugs for the last 25 years

Source: Time Magazine, p. 34 Aug 30, 1999

Encourages abstinence from tobacco, drugs or alcohol.

Government can only be a part of the solution. I encourage all young people to take care of their bodies and abstain from using tobacco, drugs or alcohol. With clear minds, young people can achieve their goals and dreams.
Source: www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/faq_index.html 12/31/98 Dec 31, 1998

More federal funding for all aspects of Drug War.

Bush adopted the National Governors Association policy:

Source: NGA policy HR-13: Combating and Controlling Substance Abuse 00-NGA2 on Aug 15, 2000

Rated F by VOTE-HEMP, indicating an anti-hemp voting record.

Bush scores F by VOTE-HEMP on pro-hemp legalization policies

VOTE HEMP is a non-profit organization dedicated to the acceptance of and free market for Industrial Hemp. Industrial Hemp is non-psychoactive low THC varieties of the cannabis sativa plant. Currently, it is illegal for U.S. farmers to grow Industrial Hemp because it is improperly classified as a "drug" under the Controlled Substances Act. Since changes in law require shifts in thinking and this requires education in the facts, our primary goal is the education of legislators and regulators, farmers and businesses, students and other concerned citizens.

Source: VOTE-HEMP website 02n-HEMP on Dec 31, 2003

Other candidates on Drugs: George W. Bush on other issues:
George W. Bush
Dick Cheney
John Edwards
John Kerry

Third Party Candidates:
Michael Baradnik
Peter Camejo
David Cobb
Ralph Nader
Michael Peroutka

Democratic Primaries:
Carol Moseley Braun
Wesley Clark
Howard Dean
Dick Gephardt
Bob Graham
Dennis Kucinich
Joe Lieberman
Al Sharpton
Abortion
Budget/Economy
Civil Rights
Corporations
Crime
Drugs
Education
Energy/Oil
Environment
Families/Children
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Immigration
Infrastructure/Technology
Jobs
Principles/Values
Social Security
Tax Reform
War/Iraq/Mideast
Welfare/Poverty
Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts