U.S. Postal Service announces Drug Free USA stamp for 2020
By Denise McCarty
The United States Postal Service will issue a forever stamp in October 2020 to raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse. This stamp is an addition to the 2020 program, which was reported on the front page of the Nov. 11 issue of Linn’s.
The Postal Service revealed the design of the upcoming stamp Oct. 31, the last day of Red Ribbon Week, “the nation’s oldest and largest drug use prevention awareness program.”
“This Drug Free USA Forever stamp will help further raise awareness about the dangers of drug abuse, and the toll it is taking on families and communities around our country,” said Robert M. Duncan, chairman of the USPS board of governors.
“The Postal Service is glad to do its part in marking Red Ribbon Week, and renewing our commitment to helping these efforts to educate youth about the dangers of illegal drugs.”
The first national Red Ribbon Week in 1988 was sponsored by the National Family Partnership (formerly the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth), with President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan serving as honorary chairs.
The week is observed annually Oct. 23-31 and coincides with National Substance Abuse Prevention Month every October.
The Red Ribbon website said: “The Red Ribbon Campaign was started when drug traffickers in Mexico City murdered DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. This began the continuing tradition of displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. The mission of the Red Ribbon Campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment towards the creation of a DRUG-FREE AMERICA.”
The DEA also released an Oct. 31 press release about the new stamp, stating that earlier this year, the DEA and the National Family Partnership had submitted a letter to the U.S. Postal Service’s Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee “to propose a stamp to raise national awareness of the dangers of drug misuse through prevention, and education.”
Uttam Dhillon, the DEA acting administrator, said he was pleased with the new stamp, which “will help raise awareness of the fight against drug addiction and honor those who have dedicated their lives to the cause.”
The stamp design features the words “Drug Free USA” in blue at the top and “Forever,” also in blue at the bottom. The center of the design depicts a white star on a dark blue background. Radiating from each of the star’s five points are three stripes in red, light blue and blue, which according to the DEA press release suggest “the unity necessary at all levels to effectively address drug use.”
Greg Breeding of Charlottesville, Va., designed the stamp using original artwork by graphic designer Aaron Draplin of Portland, Ore. William J. Gicker, the USPS acting stamp services director, was the art director.
The Postal Service reports that further information about the stamp dedication ceremony will be announced in 2020.
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