Nobody actually believes those TV ads, right?
April 22, 2003 11:18 PM   Subscribe

Starting with Super Bowl 2002, the ONDCP launched a media campain linking drugs to terror, pregnancy, shooting your friend with your dad's gun, and running over a girl on her bike (Cost to taxpayer: $3.4 million). Soon after, the ads were refuted and parodied. Now the ONDCP says they'll end the ads in June, but not before they make some token Earth Day link and a weak argument against legalization.
posted by MarkO (32 comments total)

 

I like to watch.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:31 PM on April 22, 2003


"Like soda, or cheesy puffs."

Or how about cigarettes and alcohol, asshole.
posted by iamck at 11:37 PM on April 22, 2003


oh man that made me laugh.
posted by Espoo2 at 11:44 PM on April 22, 2003


It's *toke* even *toke* funnier *toke* if you *toke* watch it *toke* when you're high. *exhale*
posted by dazed_one at 11:57 PM on April 22, 2003


It's infuriating because there are people who will believe this crap. I have no words, at the moment, that bear printing.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 12:35 AM on April 23, 2003


"selling crack at playgrounds? well you've made a good point steve"

and then they had sex.
posted by luckyclone at 1:18 AM on April 23, 2003


i still think that its funny how its easier for me, being underage, to get an ounce of weed than to get a six-pack of beer. witness the success of the war on drugs...
posted by joedan at 1:31 AM on April 23, 2003


Kids aren't stupid. My students see these ads and, for the most part, mock them - not because they are drug users, but because they are learning (mostly from the Internet) that the information is bogus.

One irony, which Joedan hints at, is that legalization would bring greater control and, ultimately, make it harder for kids to get their hands on the stuff.

I feel a rant coming on, so I'll just shut up now. Thank you for the heads up, MarkO.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:35 AM on April 23, 2003


I doubt legalization will make weed more difficult to get, as it will always remain a drug that is very easily home-cultivated. To make (good) alcoholic drinks, whether they be beer or other fermented foods, requires a lot of finesse and care. But weed, well, it's a weed, it grows just about anywhere on the planet providing you can throw enough light on the leaves.

This is a bit of a red herring, anyway. The reason you legalize a recreational drug isn't because you want to make it harder for children to get their hands on it. It's legalized because the people in a society say that the dangers to the individual and larger group are less than the perceived benefits. If you're worried about the effects weed has on motivation, or are concerned with the harmful effects of carcinogens on the lungs, you're being a lot more honest with yourself than the idiots who equate marijuana with terrorism, underage pregnancy and handgun violence.

What a ridiculous ad campaign, though. It's as if they were deliberately told to show a connection between marijuana and every paranoid suburban fear. Pot helps Osama. Pot makes kids go Columbine. Pot makes your underage daughter pregnant. Car accidents, handgun deaths... I'm surprised they didn't try connect racism or class warfare with pot.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:07 AM on April 23, 2003


Instant camp.

"Ok, I'll buy lunch"
posted by jeremias at 4:31 AM on April 23, 2003


this has been such a monumental waste of money.

i always wondered why nick and norm would be discussing this. nick has to be high to think he'd win an argument with norm.

the way the spots are shot suggest an intimacy like they are in a bar. you never see the table but i bet norm has a highball glass in front of him.
posted by birdherder at 5:20 AM on April 23, 2003


"RIGHT-WING ZEALOTS - THEY'RE MORE DANGEROUS THAN WE ALL THOUGHT."
posted by quonsar at 5:43 AM on April 23, 2003


I worked, briefly, in the substance abuse prevention field. You should see some of the materials that are produced by the ONDCP as well as SAMHSA and other agencies. And they're usually freely available to the public! Check out the National Clearinghouse for Drug and Alcohol Information for a list of what's available. There is a some good information there, but there's a good deal of stuff intended to scare people into not taking drugs, too. None of the publications, though, will do anything but toe the party line when it comes to drug use; i.e., that it's bad bad bad. Posters, Tips for Teens (which were my favorites), and videos, oh my!
posted by eilatan at 6:17 AM on April 23, 2003


But weed, well, it's a weed, it grows just about anywhere on the planet providing you can throw enough light on the leaves.

Getting the plant to grow is easier than getting quality buds to sprout. It's not quite as easy as just throwing light onto the plant. If your children are cultivating weed in your home without your knowledge, then you have bigger problems than them cultivating weed in your house. Although I can see the problem with your neighbor growing it and supplying the neighborhood kids who are not old enough to buy it in the shops (although this happens today anyways).

the harmful effects of carcinogens on the lungs

If it were legal and possibly cheaper because of that, easier to get ahold of larger quantities, then you can bake it into sweet goodies and not have to smoke the stuff, eliminating carcinogens in the lungs.

the effects weed has on motivation

I tend to do massive amounts of cleaning and yard work after I smoke. I'm not so motivated when I don't. It actually depends on the grade of the drug. Different strains have different effects, from giggly and hyper to sluggish and gluttonous.

As far as the new ad goes, anyone who compares weed to crack and/or heroine in the sense that they do has no clue what they are talking about and are just begging people to mock them.
posted by archimago at 6:18 AM on April 23, 2003


One irony, which Joedan hints at, is that legalization would bring greater control and, ultimately, make it harder for kids to get their hands on the stuff.

How's that work exactly? If we can't regulate it while its illegal, how are we supposed to regulate it while it is?

It's legalized because the people in a society say that the dangers to the individual and larger group are less than the perceived benefits.

Its a recreational drug, although it may have certain benefits, its use is still mainly recreational, even if legalized. What are the perceived benefits of legal alcohol? You don't legalize drugs to keep them away from kids, you don't legalize intoxicants for their medicinal properties, you legalize it because then you can tax it. Al Capone, Joe Kennedy and every dealer on the corner know how much people are willing to pay to get f'ed up, but the government still hasn't seen the light on pot.

Let's end America's dependance on foreign weed, legalize it. Hell, you could not only end the massive outflow of cash but farmers wouldn't need subsidies if they could grow weed. Unfortunately, I'm sure the economy of nations like Mexico and the Netherlands would suffer immensely.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:19 AM on April 23, 2003


"What are the perceived benefits of legal alcohol? "

Umm... it's fun?
posted by Newbornstranger at 6:42 AM on April 23, 2003


How's that work exactly? If we can't regulate it while its illegal, how are we supposed to regulate it while it is?

Legalization would drastically increase supply, and therefore drive down prices. The "marijuana companies" would drive the dealers out of business. All that would be left would be a regulatable(?) industry.

And to speak to another point made above: yes, there would still be a market for homegrowers to sell to--underage kids. But I doubt most people would object to harsh penalties for selling to minors. We already have ridiculously strict laws against selling to consenting adults.
posted by jpoulos at 7:13 AM on April 23, 2003


Well, Pollomacho, the economies of the more notorious drug-countries (Afghanistan, Colombia, Mexico to some degree, etc.) don't depend on marijuana sales, with the possible exception of Mexico which still sees a good percentage come from marijuana. There has always been an understood coorelation between the violence of criminal organizations selling drugs and the types of drugs involved, so it's not surprising that illicit canabis elicits less criminal violence than, say, cocaine or amphetamines. Take a look at the organizations that are the most violent with the drugs they sell. Legalizing pot will probably have more of an effect on the small-time operators coming in from Canada, though they're probably the sort of people who'd be up for legalization anyway.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 7:19 AM on April 23, 2003


If you're worried about the effects weed has on motivation, or are concerned with the harmful effects of carcinogens on the lungs, you're being a lot more honest with yourself than the idiots who equate marijuana with terrorism, underage pregnancy and handgun violence.

But, alas, you're needlessly misinformed:

Liane Hansen… What is A-motivational Syndrome?

Dr. Earleywine… A-motivational Syndrome was this notion that you would somehow smoke cannabis and suddenly not want to do anything for society not want to contribute not want to hold a job and be incapable of setting goals and obtaining them. In both education and in occupational domains the data just don't seem to support this. For example, college students who smoke cannabis get grades that are comparable to college students who do not. Cannabis users seem to earn as much money and pay the same amount of taxes. Those sorts of things all seem to kind of defy the idea of A-motivational Syndrome....

Liane Hansen… What do you consider the health risks then concerned with the use of marijuana?

Dr. Earleywine… The biggest health risk associated with cannabis use right now just all has to do with lung function and although there aren't any documented cases of lung cancer in people who have smoked cannabis and only cannabis not cigarettes. There do seem to be some small changes in the lungs of people who smoke long term say twenty years or more that suggest they might be at risk for developing lung cancer.


Dr. Mitch Earleywine, author of Understanding Marijuana -- A New Look at the Scientific Evidence
(Introduction (pdf), Sample chapter (pdf)), transcript of interview by Liane Hansen on Sunday Morning Edition, November 11, 2002, NPR.
posted by y2karl at 8:09 AM on April 23, 2003


(Cost to taxpayer: $3.4 million)

Cost per taxpayer: 1.2 cents.
posted by goethean at 8:23 AM on April 23, 2003


That's 1.2 cents I could have spent on smoke!
posted by jennyb at 8:54 AM on April 23, 2003


Well, Pollomacho, the economies of the more notorious drug-countries (Afghanistan, Colombia, Mexico to some degree, etc.) don't depend on marijuana sales, with the possible exception of Mexico which still sees a good percentage come from marijuana.

Right, and that's why my comment included Mexico (the number one source outside domestic cultivation), but I didn't say anything about any of the other countries you mentioned. Holland has a significant American tourist trade because of their permissive laws, I imagine this would all but dry up if pot were legal in the US. By the way, most coke comes from Peru, not Columbia.

Legalization would drastically increase supply, and therefore drive down prices.

Thus making it more accessible to youth. Did you ever have a problem getting beer or cigarettes when you were 16? I sure didn't, then again I didn't have any problem getting weed either, but how much easier would it be if a "grown up" could get me a pack of Marlboro "Greens" at the Quick-E-Mart?

We already have ridiculously strict laws against selling to consenting adults.

And those are effective at curtailing sales? Hey, I'm not against you on this issue, I think it should be legalized, but not because I think it will be harder to get high. Quality controls can be implemented (which would possibly drive the home grown out of existence, after all how many home brewers do you know that makes a better beer than Schlitz?), taxes can be used to combat other drugs or chemical dependence, it could drive down the sales of alcohol (which contributes to more crime, violence, lack of motivation and chemical dependence than all the other drugs combined) and farmers (particularly tobacco farmers) can have another cash crop to rotate rather than depending on government handouts and letting their farms sit idle to drive the commodities prices up (much like soy has become for many in the last half century or so), not to mention the textile industry benefits, seed oil uses, birdseed, medicinal uses. People, especially teenagers are going to smoke pot, that is inevitable, why not legalize it for adults, keep it from being sprayed with toxic chemicals like it is now and let it be sold by "legitimate business people" rather than some shady jackass on the corner, scary backwoods white supremacists and Tijuana scumbag cartel members. I may not like big corporations, but when was the last time somebody wen blind or died from getting a shitty batch of bath tub gin (Darwin Award candidates not included) or had a run in with the cops over a truck load of beer (Smokey and the Bandit doesn't count)?

If we want to get it legalized, we need to talk turkey with the opposition, money makes the world go round, right? Talk tax revenues, sales figures and commodities shares, not some fantasy speculation that kids suddenly will stop smoking it or that it's really medicine rather than something to get high with.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:13 AM on April 23, 2003


LMAO
Funniest shite since Reefer Madness.
posted by joemeek at 10:50 AM on April 23, 2003


None of the publications, though, will do anything but toe the party line when it comes to drug use; i.e., that it's bad bad bad. Posters, Tips for Teens (which were my favorites), and videos, oh my!

From Tips for Teens: "In 1998, nearly 77,000 people were admitted to emergency rooms suffering from marijuana-related problems. This was an increase of more than 373 percent since 1991."

I haven't seen that one in a while, what a blast from the past! This bit of misinformation is especially fun, because the definition of "suffering from marijuana-related problems" used here is actually "told the doctor that you smoke pot, when he asked you if you ever use illegal drugs." Wow, that spider bite last year was pot-related? And that time I got stitches? Trippy, man, far out!

...sometimes I wonder if anyone falls for this sort of thing.
posted by vorfeed at 11:56 AM on April 23, 2003


admitted to emergency rooms suffering from marijuana-related problems.

There was an MTV special about weed maybe about a year ago. Anyone see it? It was more or less honest and informative, but about three times the host mentioned that weed is "dangerous." That's it. No elaboration on the danger, BUT there'd always be a clip of an ambulance pulling up to the ER on the word "dangerous."

If you end up in the ER for weed, you're doing something else very wrong.
posted by TurkishGolds at 12:30 PM on April 23, 2003


How's that work exactly? If we can't regulate it while its illegal, how are we supposed to regulate it while it is?

How do we regulate alcohol, or cigarrettes? We tax them, we require ID to purchase them, and in some cases we require a license to sell them. We regulate when, and where, they can be sold. Speaking for myself, it's much easier to buy weed than it is to buy alcohol (as a 19 year old male.)

Basically, legalization provides accountability. Legalization won't stop kids from smoking any more than it stopped them from drinking or smoking cigarrettes, but it gives us reliable means to go after the fuckers who sell to kids.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 1:03 PM on April 23, 2003


it gives us reliable means to go after the fuckers who sell to kids.

Right now it is illegal to possess pot in any form, if it were legalized for say the over 21 crowd like alcohol, then all someone has to do is get an older guy to buy it from the convenience store, just like beer. If you get pulled over with a bag of weed and there's a 21 year old in the car, you walk, how exactly does that make it more reliable to prosecute, "uh, your honor, he INTENDED to distribute it to the kids in the car" "How do you know officer?" "Well, he looked like he was going to." "Case dismissed, next!"

As a 19 year old, I drank, I drank A LOT, I also smoked a shit load of pot too. Should have been studying a lot harder, but, anyway, when I went home my parents bought me and my friends beer. They kept our spare fridge in the garage stocked with beer for my friends and I, but we had to drive someplace else and sneak weed. At 19 all I had to do was ask one of my older college friends to pick me up something or to use my fake ID for alcohol, at 16 all I had to do was ask for cigarettes at the store, but weed took time calling on the phone, driving in sketchy areas, going to shady houses, places I would have never gone. I remember going to a meth head's trailer to get weed and him cranked out on speed, bug killer (he was also an exterminator, thing Gribble from King of the Hill) and mushrooms, jamming some death metal and swinging his shotgun around, yeah, that was somewhere anybody, especially a 16 year old needed to be, but I was there, for a sack. Would I have to go through that at 19 in a legalized world, probably not, I'd just get my roommate with the sweet fake Delaware license to buy a sack of kind and some blunt papers and a case of Bush Light at the Amoco on the corner, oh, and some cool ranch Doritos too, dude, oh and one of those lolly pops with the battery attached that spins, kay?
posted by Pollomacho at 1:47 PM on April 23, 2003


not some fantasy speculation that kids suddenly will stop smoking it or that it's really medicine

I used it during chemotherapy, and it worked better than anything they could give me that was legal, including Marinol. My oncologist recommended it, and he is one of the most highly regarded in his field. It does get you high, but so do opiates, and they are used as medicine. It can be used for other reasons, and there's no reason not to let people use it legally, but marijuana is medicine, not just for cancer patients, but for plenty of people with other chronic and painful maladies, and for those who need to increase appetite.
posted by krinklyfig at 9:39 PM on April 23, 2003


I remember going to a meth head's trailer to get weed...

Weren't too bright as a child, eh? Weed is everywhere. You didn't have to drive across the tracks to the wrong side of town: a quarter of your teachers, lawyers, coaches, and baristas were smoking it...

Weed's easy and safe to get, if you know where to look. (In my town, you just wander into the park across from the courthouse and ask anyone...)
posted by five fresh fish at 10:09 PM on April 23, 2003


Weed's easy and safe to get, if you know where to look.

Thank's for the advice, I'm glad you had it so easily. I was 16 fucking years old in rural Alabama, how the hell was I supposed to know where to get weed except from the other stoners in the town? What, was I supposed to walk up to a random teacher or guy on the street in my ultra-conservative, bible beating town and ask if they had a joint to spare? I got older and wiser and found a better class of people to get it from, but jeez, its not like I lived in a place where weed is publicly available or decriminalized or where there is any type of cultural permissiveness towards drugs whatsoever.

It can be used for other reasons, and there's no reason not to let people use it legally, but marijuana is medicine, not just for cancer patients, but for plenty of people with other chronic and painful maladies, and for those who need to increase appetite.

It is first and foremost used for other reasons, mainly to get high, period. Occasionally people find getting high to be a relief from chronic pain from things like cancer treatment, or find that getting the munchies can help them overcome nausea or other eating problems. Some people also feel that getting loaded on tequila helps them overcome social awkwardness and nervousness or to cope with depression. Some people feel that snorting coke helps them stay up longer on their jobs as bond traders. Are they wrong? No, if it works, it works, no? But that doesn't mean that coke, weed and liquor are medicine, no matter what doctor recommended it. My doctor in college recommended that I use "the hair of the dog" to cure hangovers, it worked. I also had my jaw wired shut from surgery when I was younger and had to rely on a liquid diet, beer got me through then too (my cousin calls it liquid bread, which it is too, but it also got me drunk). I guess beer is medicine then? I'm glad pot worked for you, I genuinely am, that's great, but its because you were high and forgot you were in pain, maybe that does make it medicine, but mainly its for getting high, same with booze, same with coke, which may have great uses for people, but let's face it, mainly they are for getting fucked up with.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:14 AM on April 24, 2003


Sorry I harshed you, Pollomacho. In my town, pop 40k, there are grow ops and dealers all over the place. Seems to me it wouldn't be hard at all to find a good dealer here. (Hell, it's easy enough to do an outdoor grow here. Weather is perfect for it.) But, then, this is British Columbia, home of some of the best weed in the world, apparently.

There is a kernel of truth to that West Coast Stoner image...
posted by five fresh fish at 9:58 AM on April 24, 2003


It is first and foremost used for other reasons, mainly to get high, period. Occasionally people find getting high to be a relief from chronic pain from things like cancer treatment, or find that getting the munchies can help them overcome nausea or other eating problems.
...
My doctor in college recommended that I use "the hair of the dog" to cure hangovers, it worked. I also had my jaw wired shut from surgery when I was younger and had to rely on a liquid diet, beer got me through then too (my cousin calls it liquid bread, which it is too, but it also got me drunk). I guess beer is medicine then? I'm glad pot worked for you, I genuinely am, that's great, but its because you were high and forgot you were in pain, maybe that does make it medicine, but mainly its for getting high, same with booze, same with coke, which may have great uses for people, but let's face it, mainly they are for getting fucked up with.

Look, the fact that marijuana gets you high is incidental to its medicinal properties. Cocaine is used for medical use, as a topical analgesic. Opiates are used medicinally, primarily as painkillers, but people also abuse those substances, and sometimes they simply use them for non-medicinal purposes recreationally. Does that make their medicinal use less legitimate? No. So, before you think that it helped me because you think it had something to do with getting high and being able to forget my problems, let me disavow you of that notion right now. It worked very well as an antiemetic (anti-nausea), better than anything they could prescribe legally. In the case of cancer and AIDS, you're not just some idiot getting over a hangover. Don't be condescending. In the case of cancer and AIDS, and any disease which makes it difficult to stay nourished, the use of an antiemetic that works can be the difference between health and sickness, or even death. Think about that. The people who are using this for relief from a serious disease or condition aren't stoners. You've got some nerve.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:10 AM on May 3, 2003


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