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Authorizing Legislation

The Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988 established the creation of a drug-free America as a policy goal. A key provision of that act was the establishment of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) to set priorities, implement a national strategy, and certify federal drug-control budgets. The law specified that the strategy must be comprehensive and research-based; contain long-range goals and measurable objectives; and seek to reduce drug abuse, trafficking, and their consequences. Specifically, drug abuse is to be curbed by preventing young people from using illegal drugs, reducing the number of users, and decreasing drug availability.

The Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994 (PDF) extended ONDCP's mission to assessing budgets and resources related to the National Drug Control Strategy. It also established specific reporting requirements in the areas of drug use, availability, consequences, and treatment.

Executive Order No. 12880 (1993) and Executive Orders Nos. 12992 and 13023 (1996) assigned ONDCP responsibility within the executive branch of government for leading drug-control policy and developing an outcome-measurement system. The executive orders also chartered the President's Drug Policy Council and established the ONDCP director as the president's chief spokesman for drug control.

The Drug Free Communities Act of 1997 authorized the Office of National Drug Control Policy to carry out a national initiative that awards federal grants directly to community coalitions in the United States. Such coalitions work to reduce substance abuse among adolescents, strengthen collaboration among organizations and agencies in both the private and public sectors, and serve as catalysts for increased citizen participation in strategic planning to reduce drug use over time.

The Media Campaign Act of 1998 directed ONDCP to conduct a national media campaign for the purpose of reducing and preventing drug abuse among young people in the United States.

The Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 1998 expanded ONDCP's mandate and authority. It set forth additional reporting requirements and expectations, including:

  • Development of a long-term national drug strategy
  • Implementation of a robust performance-measurement system
  • Commitment to a five-year national drug-control program budget
  • Permanent authority granted to the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas (HIDTA) program along with improvements in HIDTA management
  • Greater demand-reduction responsibilities given to the Counter-Drug Technology Assessment Center (CTAC)
  • Statutory authority for the President's Council on Counter-Narcotics
  • Increased reporting to Congress on drug-control activities
  • Reorganization of ONDCP to allow more effective national leadership
  • Improved coordination among national drug control program agencies
  • Establishment of a Parents' Advisory Council on Drug Abuse

Drugs and Sports Task Force. Executive Order 13165 (2000) (PDF) created the White House Task Force on Drug Use in Sports, which authorizes the Director of ONDCP to serve as the U.S. Government's Representative on the Board of the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA).

The Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-469), reauthorized ONDCP through FY 2010, contained several reporting requirements, and expanded the mandate of the agency.  A few key changes include the following:

  • Statutorily created the position of the U.S. Interdiction Coordinator (USIC) and the Interdiction Committee (TIC) within ONDCP, moving it from the Dept. of Homeland Security;
  • Authorized the Interdiction Committee (TIC) which is comprised of agency partners who review the National Interdiction Command and Control Plan, and discuss and resolve issues related to interdiction in support of the National Drug Control Strategy;
  • Added faith-based organizations and tribal officials to the National Drug Control Strategy consultation list;
  • Required the establishment of a HIDTA designation petition process, whereby local law enforcement agencies may petition to receive a HIDTA designation;
  • Granted statutory authority to CTAC's Counterdrug Technology Transfer Program, which transfers technology and associated training directly to state, local, and tribal law enforcement agencies;
  • Recognizing the importance of informing parents and adults of the impact of drugs on young people, the statute included parent advertising in the mandate of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, codifying the campaign's existing practice of directing a portion of campaign advertising to adults who influence youth.  Among other things, the Act authorized the Director to emphasize the prevention of youth marijuana use in campaign advertisements, and required the Director to expend at least 10 percent of appropriated funds on advertisements to reduce the use of methamphetamine.
  • Reauthorized the Drug Free Communities Support Program through FY 2012, increased the maximum annual grant award amount to $125,000. 
  • Established within the Dept. of Justice a National Methamphetamine Information Clearinghouse (NMIC)

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The Office of National Drug Control Policy publishes these guidelines in accordance with the Guidelines for Ensuring and Maximizing the Quality, Objectivity, Utility, and Integrity of Information Disseminated by Federal Agencies (Government-wide guidelines) published in interim final form by OMB in the Federal Register in Volume 66, No. 189 at 49718 on Friday, September 28, 2001, and in final form in Volume 2, No. 67 at 8452 on February 22, 2002.

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