Pubdate: Thu, 15 Apr 2004
Source: Sun-Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Copyright: 2004 Sun-Sentinel Company
Author: Madeline Baro Diaz
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (ONDCP Media Campaign)
Bookmark: (Walters, John)
Bookmark: (Youth)


MIAMI - Hoping to help Hispanic parents keep their children off drugs, 
Spanish language television ads will debut this week challenging parents to 
get involved in their teens' lives.

White House drug czar John P. Walters said his office was launching the ad 
campaign in the midst of data showing particularly high rates of marijuana 
use among Hispanic eighth-graders.

"What this campaign is about is helping to get information to more 
parents," Walters said during a news conference at Abriendo Puertas, a 
neighborhood center in Little Havana. "We understand in the youth media 
campaign that one size does not fit all."

The ads are versions of the "Parents. The Anti-Drug" commercials that 
already air across the country. Walters unveiled two similar 
Spanish-language TV ads on Wednesday, one featuring a boy and one a girl.

In the stark, mostly black-and-white commercials, the children ask their 
parents questions like, "Do you know what I did yesterday after school?" 
"Do you know where I'll be studying today?" and "Do you know that someone 
offered me marijuana yesterday?"

According to statistics provided by the White House Office of National Drug 
Control Policy, one in 10 Hispanics aged 12-17 reported they've used 
illegal drugs in the past month. Hispanic eighth-graders have the highest 
rates of "past-year drug use" for most illegal drugs. However, Walters 
said, by 12th grade Hispanics have lower drug use rates than non-Hispanic 

Combating marijuana use is a priority for his office, Walters said, because 
it is not as benign as many think. He said most marijuana in the United 
States today is, on average, seven times more potent than was available in 
the 1980s. He also talked about the negative effects it can have on children.

"Kids who smoke marijuana are more likely to end up taking other risks that 
could jeopardize their futures, such as engaging in delinquency, having 
sex, driving while impaired, using other illicit drugs," he said.

Walters said Florida has exceeded national goals for reducing drug use.
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