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House passes bill to start anti-drug grants program

SHARE House passes bill to start anti-drug grants program

Neighborhoods with successful anti-drug programs would become eligible for federal matching grants of up to $100,000 under a bill that cleared the House.

Despite federal anti-drug efforts, supporters noted that drug abuse has increased among teen-agers and said the time had come to encourage communities winning their drug war.The bill passed 420-1 on Thursday, with Republican Rep. Ron Paul of Texas voting against it. The measure advances to the Senate.

House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who a day earlier restated his goal to have a drug-free America by Jan. 1, 2001, also praised the bill. He said drug abuse leads to other social ills, such as child and spousal abuse.

"It is a significant building block in the right direction," the Georgia Republican said. "It is the kind of program that will have fewer young people involved with drugs and a healthier and safer country."

A spokesman for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, which would administer the program, said the Clinton administration supports the bill.