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Drug Director Attacks Another Gingrich Proposal as ‘Simplistic’

August 29, 1995

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Clinton administration and House Speaker Newt Gingrich are at war over how to wage the war on drugs.

In the latest episode, Gingrich, R-Ga., called for executing a large number of drug smugglers as a deterrent.

``Do it one by one, it’ll add up,″ Gingrich said at a football rally Saturday in Canton, Ga. ``If the word gets back that we’re serious and we’re actually implementing it, then it will have a very chilling effect on people bringing drugs into the U.S.″

On Monday, White House drug policy adviser Lee Brown labeled the proposal ``ill-conceived″ and ``another simplistic solution to a complex problem.″

Last month, Gingrich said the country ought to ``quit playing games″ and either legalize drugs or adopt penalties severe enough to get rid of them. Brown called that statement ``political hypocrisy″ and ``a simplistic silver bullet.″

In a statement Monday, Brown said Gingrich ``will say and do anything except implement and fund the president’s comprehensive anti-drug strategy.″

Brown said the key to stemming drug abuse is stopping demand, and he called on Gingrich to restore the money Congress has cut from the government’s drug treatment and prevention programs.

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