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For Immediate Release
October 7, 2002
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

STATEWIDE ANTI-DRUG INITIATIVE ANNOUNCED

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., announced a statewide anti-drug campaign today that will result in $1 million worth of free cable air time for anti-drug public service announcements in the coming year. The Attorney General was joined by Wayne O'Dell, President of the Cable Telecommunications Association of Maryland, Delaware and D.C., Maryland Schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick, and Ken Crooks, Vice-President and General Manager for Comcast, Baltimore City in making the announcement.

The anti-drug campaign will feature an interactive element for all public and private Kindergarten through 12th grade Maryland students, who will be asked to submit a piece of original artwork depicting their own anti-drug message. Selected drawings, paintings, videos, songs, poems or other forms of creative expression will then be incorporated into a series of original anti-drug PSA's to be produced by the Cable Telecommunications Association and aired on cable stations throughout Maryland in 2003.

Attorney General Curran, who recently released a report on his year-long visit with Maryland students discussing issues of concern said, "We heard directly from students across the state that drugs are rampant among school-aged kids at parties, hang-outs and even in their homes. One student said, ‘I guarantee 80 percent of the kids in my school have tried drugs or use drugs,' that is a staggering statement that indicates we need to do more to educate our children and to find a way to change their attitudes about drugs."

Superintendent Grasmick, who attended some of the youth forums with Curran, applauded this new effort, "We are pleased this new program will use the positive power of cable television to reach into the homes of our students, parents and teachers to help inform and educate the public about the challenges of illegal drug use facing our students and our schools."

In addition to having their works incorporated into a PSA, winning students will also have the opportunity to meet the Attorney General and Dr. Grasmick at a reception showcasing their submissions and the resulting PSA's. A committee of representatives from the three entities will choose from statewide entries.

"The Cable Association is proud to use our industry's on-air resources to reach out to students in Maryland to help educate them about the dangers of illegal drug use," said O'Dell. Crooks added, "As the largest provider in the state, Comcast is leading the way on this anti-drug program as we strive to make a difference in the lives of our young people"

All interested public and private Kindergarten through 12th grade students may send their original entries to:

Cable Association Anti-Drug Program
CATV Association of MD, DE & DC
2530 Riva Road, Suite 316
Annapolis, MD 21401

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