Drug Bust

  Drug Bust

Posted by CN Staff on January 09, 2006 at 13:08:08 PT
By Vince Beiser 
Source: American Prospect 

USA -- A $100-million anti-drug ad campaign was a complete waste. Here’s why. The federal drug czar’s famous advertising campaign is suffering a serious buzz-kill. The series of anti-drug radio, TV, print, and Internet ads produced by the Office of National Drug Control Policy is under unprecedented fire--including a recent call for its elimination from dozens of Congressional Republicans. That caps a series of scandals and dismal evaluations of the program that brings such bon mots as “Parents: The Anti-Drug” and “Above the Influence” to your TV screen.
With the Iraq war and Katrina cleanup straining the federal budget, the Republican Study Committee--a klatch of over 100 Republican members of the House of Representatives--called in September for the ads warning young people about the dangers of weed, speed, and other substances to be scrapped to save money. The campaign had a budget of $100 million for last year, and has cost taxpayers well over $1 billion since its inception in 1998. But as the Republican group, headed by Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, pointed out in a statement, "there is no solid evidence that media campaigns are effective in either preventing or reducing the use of illegal drugs." Indeed, research commissioned by the ONDCP itself has consistently failed to find any evidence that the ads are turning kids off of drugs. A series of Congressionally mandated studies conducted under the ONDCP’s auspices by the Maryland research group Westat, Inc., and the University of Pennsylvania concluded that “youth who were more exposed to Campaign messages are no more likely to hold favorable beliefs or intentions about marijuana than are youth less exposed to those messages.” “We found there might have been some impact on parents in terms of their willingness to talk to their kids about drugs, but none on the kids,” sums up Professor Robert Hornik, a University of Pennsylvania researcher who led the study team. “There was even some suggestion that they may have boomeranged, making kids more interested in drugs.” The ONDCP, however, is still selling its ads hard. “Advertising is a trillion dollar industry for a reason: it does work,” says spokesperson Tom Riley. “The Westat evaluation was an attempt to do something that has never been done before--measuring specific responses to specific ads. That’s not how any other advertisers track their effectiveness.” Proof of the campaign’s impact, says Riley, is in the declining numbers of young people who report using drugs. “That’s in large part due to the increase in awareness of the harm drugs cause, and that’s due to our media campaign,” says Riley. “I haven’t heard any other credible argument as to what has caused the drop.” Youth drug use does seem to have slipped in recent years--though not by much. An annual survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse released in late December reports small but significant drops in high school students’ drug use (with the exception of prescription painkillers and sedatives) in recent years--but the downward trend began in 1996, before the ONDCP’s ads began airing. Just over half of all teens will have tried some illicit drug by the time they graduate, the survey found, with marijuana the overwhelming favorite--a figure only about ten percent lower than its mid-90s peak. Another survey conducted two years ago by the Dept. of Health and Human Services found that 10.6 percent of youths between 12 and 17 years old were currently using illicit drugs, mostly marijuana, down from 11.6 percent in 2002. Then again, both figures are higher than the 9.7 percent the same study found in 2000. Its questionable results aren’t the only controversy the campaign has kicked up. Two executives of a media company formerly hired to create the ads were jailed this last summer for over billing the ONDCP. Last year, a General Accounting Office report declared that prepackaged “news stories” created by the drug czar’s office and distributed to local TV stations, where many aired without acknowledgment of their origin, constituted illegal “covert propaganda.” That finding echoed a scandal from 2000, when Salon magazine revealed that the ONDCP was allowing networks to fill public-service announcement requirements by inserting anti-drug storylines into popular shows like ER. Even the ads that admit they’re ads have come under frequent criticism. In 2003, the ONDCP was ridiculed for its $4 million Super Bowl ads alleging that drug users are indirectly funding terrorists, and linking a teenage girl’s unwanted pregnancy to her pot smoking. A series of print ads rolled out last year connects weed to serious mental illness. “Most people who have ever used marijuana know they’re being lied to by these ads,” says Aaron Houston, director of government relations with the Washington, DC-based Marijuana Policy Project. “How are they going to get kids and adults to trust them if they make such wildly outrageous statements?” The MPP and other drug reform groups have opposed the ONDCP’s ad campaign from the start. Houston says he’s not surprised to now find himself shoulder-to-shoulder with a bevy of Republicans. “It’s a waste of taxpayer money. Every independent analysis has shown it to be an utter failure,” he says. “Cutting this program is entirely consistent with conservative ideals.” Many in Congress apparently agree. The media campaign’s budget was cut by some $20 million last year, and now stands at the lowest level in its history. Caught between spendthrift conservatives, drug reform activists, and an overburdened federal budget, the drug czar may soon be forced to retreat from the airwaves. Vince Beiser is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer specializing in criminal justice issues. His work has appeared in The Los Angeles Times Magazine, Rolling Stone, The Village Voice, and Mother Jones.  Source: American Prospect, The (US)Author: Vince BeiserPublished: January 9, 2006Copyright: 2006 The American Prospect, Inc.Contact: letters prospect.orgWebsite: Articles & Web Site:Marijuana Policy Project Study: Anti-Pot Ads are Dopey Drug Czar Blasted Over Pot Story Drug Control Office Faulted For Issuing Fake Tapes

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Comment #17 posted by runruff on January 10, 2006 at 21:16:06 PT:
More bad stuff Re: consuming the herb.
The ONDCP has also found teenagers who imbibe the herbis maximas will find the bogey will not come to dwell underneath their beds. Stars may appear much closer than they really are. Misrepresented social issues ment to contain and mislead us will appear silly and frivolous. Herbis maxamis acts as a mental floss cleanning away truth decay.
It is a Mind Shine product produced by nature for our edification and enjoyment. As a foot note to this report. It author was taken out behind the Lincoln Monument and shot by a group of DEAs.p.s. I know this story is true because I made it up.RR
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Comment #16 posted by siege on January 10, 2006 at 07:49:28 PT
down hill fast
This country is on the same path that rome took to the end, I'm not sure they are smart enough to stop it. with all of bush's bad service it is going down hill fast and the longer he is in, we will be in full collapse. he has set us up for someone to come in and take over. he has strip the nation of the money that it takes to fight a war at home. and for the Guns: that was just a feel good thing so he could throw people off, what we the people need is a military coup to get rid of some of the intruched in government. when will they wake up. the governemt has taught the people from 1944/5 it is not right to stand up for what they belive in and to be politically right. I remember in the 50's the witch hunts that lots of people disappeared and jailed for no reason. it is the same with the drug war, I send this to all the Senators, The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 ("the FDCA"), 21 U.S.C. §301 et seq., is designed to protect public health by regulating "new drugs" that are intended for use in interstate commerce. .
and the most of them have hand deliverd to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, M.D. (R-TN), because I was not theres. and some of the Emails back Like it....
and said they where going to read it.
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Comment #15 posted by kaptinemo on January 10, 2006 at 03:06:41 PT:
Another example of CNEWS's bleeding edge 
relevence. This article is touching upon a theme that has been expounded upon in this 'place' for YEARS. Namely, that basic economics does indeed apply to the DrugWar, as the DrugWar can only operate with a flush economy...not one that's shrinking as ours is.Offshoring industries means fewer industries here in the US. Fewer industries mean less work. Less work means more joblessness. More joblessness means smaller tax base to fund the DrugWar from. It's that simple...and that ugly. And that is the reality confronting this country: it must finally decide in no uncertain terms exactly what IS important to national survival...and what is, in the end, useless tinsel and window drapery. The DrugWar was not, is not now, and never has been vital to national survival, despite the loud objections of the DrugWarriors; we did just fine without it as a nation for the first 138 years of our existence (from 1776 to 1914) prior to the first Fed drug laws being passed, and it will HAVE to live without a DrugWar if we are to continue as an economically viable nation. WE SIMPLY CANNOT AFFORD TO PAY FOR IT ANYMORE. And this fact is slowly seeping into the consciousness of those whose hands are on the purse strings. Which is why we are seeing aricles like this showing up here...*long* after that very same concept has graced these 'pages'. Once again, you read it here, first.
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 09, 2006 at 20:11:39 PT
Off Topic
I was reading a music list and they were talking about this radio station so I tried it. It's good if you like long time ago rock.
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Comment #13 posted by OverwhelmSam on January 09, 2006 at 18:57:07 PT
The ONDCP gets to find out what it's like to have to fight for your life.
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Comment #12 posted by whig on January 09, 2006 at 18:36:48 PT
God's Debris
This is a book by Scott Adams (yes, same Scott Adams who authors Dilbert), and I think it explains things pretty well.Strongly recommended.
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Comment #11 posted by mayan on January 09, 2006 at 18:24:32 PT
Oh, Yeah
Thanks for that link, runruff!
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Comment #10 posted by mayan on January 09, 2006 at 18:23:49 PT
9/11 Podcast
Visibility 9/11 Podcast - The Podcast dedicated to exposing the fraud of the official story of September 11th, 2001:
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 09, 2006 at 18:13:43 PT
A Comment On Runruff's Link
Besides CNews and music I am very interested in tv programs that are about past civilizations and also about the weather. Nature is our boss. We make decisions on how we will live in different climates and we are at the weathers mercy. That type of information has always fascinated me. On civilizations I like to learn what made a power strong and what made them weak. The core base of being strong is the family unit. The structure of society is held together with that delicate thread. If we don't pay attention to the root base strength of our society how can we survive? Money isn't family. Big business isn't family and neither is politics. Family units can be any people who share a common concern and responsibility not just a husband and a wife. If we fracture, our country will fracture, and we'll have to start all over again I believe.
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Comment #8 posted by Toker00 on January 09, 2006 at 17:43:58 PT
New Renaissance.
Runruff, I read the whooooole thing. (911 solution) Are we not saying the same thing here at this site? It's the same consciousness! We truly are entering a New Renaissance. Great Link! the Elite. Stop creating wealth for them. Remove the Law of Wealth and replace it with the greatest law, the law of Love. Makes sense to me.Wage peace on war. END CANNABIS PROHIBITION NOW!
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on January 09, 2006 at 15:48:42 PT
Just a Note
I made a mistake and posted a Kubby article on this thread so I removed it and put it on the right thread.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 09, 2006 at 15:20:49 PT

That's a very interesting link. Thanks.
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Comment #4 posted by runruff on January 09, 2006 at 14:52:02 PT:

Noam Chompsky
"Manufactuered Consent." We are grains of sand in the cogs of the manufacture. Whoopieeeeee!!!!
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Comment #3 posted by runruff on January 09, 2006 at 14:48:29 PT:

OT: Hi ya'll
There is a write up on this web site about 9/11 you might find interesting. Also links in the directory to other info.
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Comment #2 posted by herbdoc215 on January 09, 2006 at 14:24:25 PT

Sorry for double post...Emergancy situation!
I am really worried about Kubby 
As with my case the gov't is refusing to rule until last minute so nothing can be done to stop it...we must all get ready to try and push Placer County to try to save Kubby's life. I fear that Steve may not survive this process, especially since his case will be state to state and not federal like mine which mean he will get to play diesel therapy for next 6 weeks whilst red-neck sheriffs (like the ones who tried to trick me into signing releases so they could hold me three times to torture me more) transfer him from jail to jail and state to state with a hearing at each stop and ZERO medical care in between...21st century witch test! This isn't right, looking back upon my suffering it all just seems so needless...they really are willing to kill us over a plant that we have to have to survive! I'm begging everybody who ever thought they owed me anything to try and do all they can to get this man and his poor family some peace, please! Call, write, beg, cry, plead, bribe, trade, sell or whatever you have to do to bring this bs to an end for them. Cancer isn't anything to play with and this man really is sick, and if there is any decency left in this world then Canadians will see all we EVER wanted was a little peace...instead we have been lied about and vilified by almost every Canadian official we have come across. What is it going to take for them to wake up to the reality of this desperate attempt by us to try and live a normal as possible life with what little we have left. What is it about medical cannabis that makes us disposable, because they wouldn't let a dog be treated the way I was and Kubby is fixing to be treated! Kubby's blood will be on every Canadians hands, and the Sin of indifference will rest upon every American's soul! Peace, Steve Tuck 

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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 09, 2006 at 13:16:11 PT

Related Video from CBS
Teens Abuse Prescription Meds***A new report reveals prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions in America, especially among teenagers. Joseph A. Califano Jr. explains on The Early Show. 

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