Mayor abandons anti-drug program affiliated with Church of Scientology

LAS CRUCES — The city is immediately ending an anti-drug program aimed at third-graders after it was revealed it was created and bankrolled by the Church of Scientology.

The “Drug-Free Marshal” program, started in late November, had only been presented to five schools but was intended to be promoted eventually among all third-graders in the Las Cruces Public Schools.

Mayor Ken Miyagishima apologized Saturday and said it was not his intention to promote the religion. The mayor said he was approached this summer by Richard Henley, of Foundation for a Drug-Free World, who showed him a pamphlet adorned with the seals of El Paso, Española, the Rio Arriba County Sheriff’s Department and the Horizon City, Texas, and Socorro, Texas, Police Departments and asked if the city would “support eradicating drug use in the community.”

In small type at the bottom, the pamphlet is copyrighted by Foundation for a Drug-Free World, Narconon and Association for Better Living and Education, all Scientology programs.

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