Mr. Clinton's Drug Summit

Article excerpt

President Bill Clinton is clearly trying to bring the drug-use issue back to the front burner of public opinion. In doing so, he follows his two immediate predecessors who turned drug problems and policies into potent election-year topics. Unfortunately, their solutions weren't very effective.

In some ways, Mr. Clinton is on the right track. He recently announced that his administration would target business and banking operations that aided drug cartels in laundering billions of dollars generated from illegal-drug sales. That's one of the most difficult, though effective, ways to put a dent in the drug trade.

Now Mr. Clinton says he will convene a White House conference on drug abuse, with emphasis on the young. Scheduled for January, the meeting will include participants from law enforcement, academia, the clergy, government, education and the media. They will seek ways to cut juvenile crime and drug use. All in one day.

The president should also invite a few ordinary citizens closest to the problem. More than 600,000 of them showed up at last month's Washington march and may have a few new ideas to share with him. Mr. Clinton says he is alarmed by violence among children and the influence of drug abuse on their behavior. "There are still too many of our children out there raising themselves," he says. …