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Leaders' Responsibilities

November 10, 1985

Kudos to Californians for Drug-Free Youth ("Parties Join Forces for Fund-Raiser" by Betty Cuniberti, Oct. 31) for gaining active support from California congressional spouses in the Congressional Families for Drug-Free Youth. Apparently, in the so-called war against illicit drugs, politicians from both parties could party together quite easily at an anti-drug benefit in Washington, D.C., to help CDFY survive in its laudable grass roots volunteer work in behalf of kids and parents.

It is sadly ironic that while the California members of Congress and their spouses rally against "illegal" drugs, the most commonly dangerous illegal drug for minors--alcohol--continues to destroy young people through three leading causes of death: accidents, homicide, and suicide, all alcohol-related in most incidents. If these federal policy makers and their state counterparts cannot control the alcoholization of our youth, how can they expect to control their rampant chemicalization from the exotic illicit drugs everyone decries? As for the hatchet-job done by staff writer Cuniberti on the upstanding Californians for Drug-Free Youth by quoting an anonymous guest that "the drug-free youth people are serving booze" (at the black-tie fund-raiser), I would respectfully suggest that since "most of the money (raised) came from California business interests," Californians for a Drug Free Youth was not calling the shots.

Congressman Augustus Hawkins (D-Los Angeles) was unwittingly quite correct: "We're not making progress. We're not doing nearly enough" (in the self-serving war against the other drugs). That is why only three California congressmen have had the uncommon courage to co-sponsor H.R. 2526, a bill to require broadcasters to provide equivalent time for health and safety messages regarding alcohol consumption and misuse on television, radio, and cable. Voters truly get the politicians they deserve. It is one thing to pressure kids into learning to say no to alcohol and other drug use, it is another to pressure the "leaders" of the people to face up to their responsibilities.


Policy Chairman

Americans for Substance

Abuse Prevention

Newport Beach

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