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Dole Urges Arts To Just Say No To The Glamorizing Of Drug Use Industries Haven’t Learned From Cobain, Phoenix, Candidate Says

Sun., July 28, 1996

Pointing to an increase in heroin abuse, Bob Dole urged entertainment and fashion industry officials not to glamorize drug use.

In a weekly Republican radio address, the GOP’s presidential hopeful blamed Nirvana guitarist Kurt Cobain’s suicide on his heroin addiction and referred to the overdose death of actor River Phoenix.

“Despite these deaths, there are still some in the entertainment, fashion and recording industries who insist on glamorizing drug use,” Dole said.

As a candidate, Dole has been a critic of the entertainment industry’s portrayal of sex and violence. But he was quick to say many members of the industry “understand … that glamorizing drugs has deadly consequences.”

But he urged “those in places like Hollywood and New York City who have the ability to influence our children” to ask themselves every day if their work would “send a false and deadly message to America’s youth that drugs are harmless fun.”

“If the answer to that question is yes, then I would simply suggest that you not go to work that day, and instead spend your time reading the obituaries of those in your industry who learned the hard way that drugs kill,” Dole said.

Dole began his remarks with a moment of silent prayer for the victims of the bombing of the Olympic Games in Atlanta.

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