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Bush Expands Community-Based Illegal Drug Programs - 2001-12-14

President Bush is expanding a program to help American community groups fight illegal drugs. Mr. Bush says profits from drug trafficking pay for the violence of international terrorists.

President Bush is doubling funding for community-based programs to reduce the demand for illegal drugs. The Drug-Free Communities Support Program sponsors parent drug education programs, local drug-use surveys in schools, drug intervention counseling, and financial incentives for businesses that adopt drug free workplace programs.

Speaking to members of youth groups involved in the fight against drugs, President Bush said he is increasing the program's current $50 million budget to nearly $100 million by the year 2007. Mr. Bush says there has been progress in the war against illegal drugs, but the federal government and local community groups cannot give up the fight because there is so much at stake.

"Drug use threatens everything, everything that is best about our country. It breaks the bonds between parents and children. It turns productive citizens into addicts. It transforms schools into places of violence and chaos. It makes playgrounds into crime scenes," Mr. Bush said.

President Bush said it is important for Americans to know that drug trafficking finances the work of international terrorists. "The terrorists use drug profits to fund their cells to commit acts of murder. If you quit drugs, you join the fight against terror in America," he said.

The Drug-Free Communities Support Program began in 1997. Since then, it has awarded more than 460 grants to local community groups that have to match that funding on their own.