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Obama administration announces drug policy

July 7, 2011 at 5:29 PM

NOGALES, Ariz., July 7 (UPI) -- Federal officials unveiled a counternarcotics plan, saying it was a key part of the Obama administration's enhanced security along the Southwest U.S. border.

The National Southwest Border Counternarcotics Strategy outlines federal, state, local, tribal and international actions to help stem the flow of illegal drugs, cash and weapons across the U.S.-Mexican border, as well as expands access to drug treatment and supports programs to help break the cycle of drug use, violence and crime, the office of National Drug Control Policy said Thursday in a release.

"The demand for illegal drugs in America is a driving factor for violence, addiction, and crime on both sides of our border," Gill Kerlikowske, National Drug Control Policy director, said in Nogales, Ariz., where the plan was announced. "Federal, state, local, tribal, and international efforts to reduce the threat of drug trafficking along the Southwest border are paying off, but we cannot let up. We must continue to dismantle the transnational criminal organizations that prey upon our communities while also supporting programs and initiatives that reduce drug consumption in the United States and Mexico."

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said disrupting the flow of illegal drugs into the United States was critical for the country's safety and security.

"Through this strategy, the Obama administration will continue to strengthen our coordinated efforts to interdict drug traffickers and disrupt their links to terrorism and organized crime," Napolitano said.

Besides increases coordination and information-sharing among all law enforcement agencies, the strategy calls for collaboration with the Mexican government in its efforts against the drug cartels.

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