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Clinton urges popular media not to glorify illegal drug use

President Clinton Saturday called on the entertainment industry to support his new $195 million ad campaign to counter a surge in teenage drug use by refraining from glorifying drugs.

In his weekly radio address, Clinton said popular media - including music videos, movies and magazines - too often fill children's minds "with warped images of a dream world where drugs are cool." He called on the media to give children "the straight facts: Drugs are wrong, drugs are illegal and drugs can kill you."Overall, illegal drug use in the United States has declined almost by half since 1979, but drug use among the young has been increasing in recent years. Among eighth-graders, use of marijuana has nearly tripled since 1991, according to federal drug abuse surveys.

Clinton said he had no full explanation for those trends but noted that "the number of anti-drug public service ads has fallen by more than one-third."

The new effort was first announced in the wake of the 1996 presidential campaign in which Republican rival Bob Dole accused Clinton of not doing enough about drug use. The $195 million advertising campaign, which is expected to be matched by the private sector, is projected to reach every child in the United States between ages 9 and 17 at least four times a week.

Clinton said it is crucial to reach young people with anti-drug messages. "Young people who have not used illegal drugs by age 21 probably never will use them," he said. "That's why we must reach our children with the right message before it's too late."

In the GOP's weekly radio address, two House members continued the party's assault on the Internal Revenue Service, saying they are determined to get the powerful agency "off the backs of the American people."