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GOP Calls for New War on Drugs

March 7, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The nation is losing ground in the war on drugs, Sen. Spencer Abraham of Michigan said today in the Republican’s weekly radio address.

In the last six years, the percentage of high school seniors admitting they had used an illicit drug had risen by more than half _ to 54 percent, he said.

``Let’s send our kids the right message,″ Abraham said.

Over the past five years, he said, the average number of federal drug defendants prosecuted had dropped by almost 1500 cases with the average number of drug convictions dropping by a similar amount.

Abraham said he was ``deeply worried″ about the trends and blamed the Clinton administration for failing to take enough action.

Abraham also reiterated his support for Republican legislation to increase the sentences for powder cocaine dealers rather than decrease the sentences for crack cocaine dealers.

The goal is to eliminate what some see as a racist policy that punishes crack dealers, who tend to be black, more harshly than cocaine dealers.

``The Clinton administration’s plan to reduce sentences for crack dealers sends our kids exactly the wrong message,″ Abraham said.

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