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Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Rafael Lemaitre 202–395–6649
Friday, May 30, 2002

WHITE HOUSE DRUG CZAR APPOINTS ADMIRAL THOMAS COLLINS AS UNITED STATES INTERDICTION COORDINATOR

Washington, DC—John P. Walters, Director of National Drug Control Policy, today appointed U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Admiral Thomas H. Collins as the United States Interdiction Coordinator (USIC). The United States Interdiction Coordinator is responsible for harmonizing drug interdiction efforts with federal drug control agencies, U.S. Ambassadors and military commanders, and ensures that U.S. interdiction assets are optimized and effective. Admiral Collins' appointment is effective immediately.

ONDCP Director John P. Walters said, "Admiral Collins understands the devastating impact drug abuse has on our communities and the necessity for a balanced drug control policy. His experience with effective drug interdiction strategies supports the President's philosophy of disrupting the market of illegal drugs. Drug trafficking and consumption threaten the rule of law, democratic institutions and human rights throughout the world. The President's strategy of attacking the economic basis of the drug trade will reduce the volume of illegal drugs reaching our shores, reduce the threat international terrorist organizations pose, and strengthen democratic institutions abroad. We look forward to working with him as part of our united effort to reduce drug use in America."

President Bush's 2002 National Drug Control Strategy, released last February, calls for a 10 percent reduction in drug use over the next two years and a 25 percent reduction over five years. The Strategy focuses on preventing drug use before it starts, healing America's drug users and disrupting the market for illegal drugs.

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