Pubdate: Sun, 25 Sep 2005
Source: Decatur Daily (AL)
Copyright: 2005 The Decatur Daily
Author: Paul Huggins, Daily Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Drug Testing)
Bookmark: (Walters, John)


A variety of anti-drug programs, such as the Mocha Teen Coffee House,
will soon vanish unless the local community and the Morgan County
Substance Abuse Network can persuade federal officials to restore a
$100,000 grant.

Sue Brantley, co-chairwoman of the substance abuse network, said she
was shocked when she learned last week that the Office of National
Drug Control Policy had terminated the county's status as a Drug Free
Communities grantee.

Initially, she didn't think there was an appeal process to get
reinstated, but now the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America has
become involved to help 63 communities like Morgan County get their
grants back.

A key, Brantley said, will be faxing President Bush and ONDCP Director
John Walters immediately to tell them the termination was unfair.

The county has received the grant for five years, she said, and used
it to hire a program director, organize events such as Red Ribbon
March and Given the Opportunity grants, and develop Project I.D.,
which rewards youths who pass a voluntary drug test with free items
and discounts from local merchants.

The money also helped support a program to train local retailers how
to avoid selling alcohol and tobacco to minors, as well as a child
safety program.

The grant ended after five years, but Brantley said the ONDPC told her
Morgan County could reapply this year. She said she believes Morgan
County has demonstrated efficient use of the money.

Brantley said she has asked U.S. Reps. Bud Cramer, D-Huntsville, and
Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, to intervene and intends to get U.S.
Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Tuscaloosa, involved, too.

She believes the most effective lobbying will come from local
residents who fax their testimonies of why the local program should
remain funded.

Respondents can attach their names to a pre-written letter of support,
she said, by accessing CADCA's Web site,, and
clicking on "Drug Free Communities selection process flawed" in the
Action box.

Respondents also can send faxes directly to elected officials via the
follow numbers: Bush, (202) 456-2461; Aderholt, (205) 221-9035;
Cramer, (256) 551-0194; Shelby, (205) 759-5047; and U.S. Sen. Jeff
Sessions, (334) 244-7091. 
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake