Jimmy Carter photo

Strategy Council Remarks to Members of the Council.

November 07, 1977

I'd like to say a few things to start with before I ask you to report on what you have decided.

This Strategy Council, as you know, is responsible under the law for evolving broad policy matters for the drug control program.

Dr. Bourne, who is working in the White House, will coordinate what you decide and work very closely with the agencies involved as well. We've had remarkable success, I think, already in this first 10 months.

The purity of heroin is at the lowest point that it's been in 7 years. We've had, as well as that, an increase of 25 percent in heroin prices on the street, which is another good indication of the scarcity of it. In the first 6 months of this year, we've had about a 7-percent reduction in the National Crime Index, which I think is quite often directly related to heroin use, at least in some types of crimes.

We've also had good, perhaps even unprecedented, communication and cooperation among the agencies involved-between Justice and Treasury, for instance, and between HEW and State, Agriculture, the United Nations--as we try to not only control the sources of heroin but provide alternative crops to be produced and approach the United Nations and other countries, other than ourselves, to join with us in holding down drug traffic.

We've got an opportunity, I think, as we go into the new domestic programs, to provide adequate treatment for those who are addicted to drugs, including alcohol. And I'm particularly interested in pursuing-working with HEW and others-the control of the so-called legal drugs, barbiturates, that have probably caused almost as many deaths as most of the other drugs. And this overprescription of barbiturates by medical doctors is almost a matter of habit in some communities of our country, and we need to make sure that they aren't used in a destructive way to the health of the people who are inclined toward over-reliance on drugs because of some psychological problem.

Note: The President spoke at 11:45 a.m. at a meeting of the Council in the Cabinet Room at the White House.

Schneider was Deputy Director of the Office of Space-Environmental Science Affairs at State in 1968 and 1969 and country director for India from 1969 to 1973. Since 1973 he has been Deputy Chief of Mission in New Delhi.

Jimmy Carter, Strategy Council Remarks to Members of the Council. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242580

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