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Public Papers - 1989 - November

Remarks on Signing the Executive Order Creating the President's Drug Advisory Council


Today I am signing an Executive order creating the President's Drug Advisory Council. I have asked 27 very prominent Americans to serve on this Council. They are all leaders in their various fields, experienced in antidrug efforts. And they reflect a cross-section of views, but all share my goal of ridding America of illegal drugs. The Council will advise Director [of National Drug Control Policy] Bill Bennett and me on ways to implement the National Drug Control Strategy in the private sector. This Council will recommend ways to involve all elements of the private sector in the war against drugs.

When I announced the first National Drug Control Strategy last September, I asked the question: Who's responsible? Everyone who uses drugs, everyone who sells drugs, and everyone who looks the other way. This Council is composed of people, leaders in each of their fields, who will not look the other way and who will help Director Bennett find ways to enlist the support and help of all Americans in this struggle. And, Bill, I want to work with this Council in every way possible.

I'm specifically asking the Council to make recommendations to the Director and me in the following areas: better ways to encourage employers to ensure that their workplaces are drug free; better ways to enlist the aid of many Americans who want to volunteer their time and energy to winning the war on drugs; better ways to communicate to all Americans, especially our young, the importance of staying off drugs; and better ways to coordinate the many existing private sector and nonprofit antidrug efforts; better ways to involve the private sector in the building of prisons and jails.

The scourge of illegal drugs upon the lives of many Americans is simply devastating, and with the help of this Advisory Council, I look forward to stopping this devastation and guiding our nation toward an intolerance of illegal drug use wherever it may be found.

I am delighted to be here. I thank all of you for your willingness to serve on this. I will sign this commission and then I will ask each of you, if you would, to come into the Oval Office, and we'll get pictures and then go out for our class portrait -- [laughter] -- out in the Rose Garden, if you have the time -- I hope so.

Note: The President spoke at 10 a.m. in the Roosevelt Room at the White House. The Executive order is listed in Appendix E at the end of this volume.

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