High Comedy 

High Comedy 
Posted by CN Staff on June 17, 2003 at 17:26:06 PT
By Michael Wallach
Source: American Prospect
Remember the ads that first aired during the 2002 Super Bowl alleging that drug sales help fund terrorism? Never mind the continuing strength of al-Qaeda, the ads seemed to say, or how that organization might benefit from a U.S. attack on Iraq: It's those evil pot smokers who are threatening America. Anti-drug ads have continued to play the terrorism card for the last 18 months. And now Congress is looking to make sure that such ads continue.
The truth is that no anti-drug ads have ever really proved effective. In 2000, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) released the results of a five-year study showing that such ads have been a dismal failure. Kids saw the ads -- the OMB reported they saw them in huge numbers -- but without much effect: The OMB report stated that there "is no evidence that the ads had a direct effect on youth behavior." The OMB wasn't alone. Congress also reviewed the media campaign and was equally dismayed. "The conferees are deeply disturbed by the lack of evidence that the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has had any appreciable impact on youth drug use," according to the fiscal year 2003 appropriations conference report. "If the campaign continues to fail to demonstrate effectiveness, then the Committee will be compelled to reevaluate the use of taxpayer money to support the Media Campaign." One would think that this might have led to the discontinuation of the campaign. But in recently voting to reauthorize the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Government Reform Committee, chaired by Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), elected to allocate roughly $1 billion to continue the ads for another five years. Much of that money will get passed on to the major networks, which in the past have agreed to give the ONDCP twice as many ads as it has paid for. How might this $1 billion have been more productively spent? According to the National Priorities Project's Web site, $1 billion could fund 139,044 more slots for the Head Start program or 18,886 additional teachers for public elementary schools. Does anyone really believe that these ads are more effective at preventing drug use than funding early intervention programs or improving schools? The ONDCP's latest ads try to capitalize on the concern of many teenagers for the environment. "Did you know that when they make cocaine," asks a white male in a darkly lit room, "that the byproducts are so poisonous that it's devastated thousands of acres of rainforest?" "No, I did . . . I didn't know that," says another white male in a suit. The ads seem to carry a double message: Don't do drugs because they are bad for the rainforests -- and, yes, even white males in suits care about the environment. If the ONDCP's past results are any indication, neither message seems likely to actually influence youth behavior. And just in case America's teenagers aren't impressed by the Bush administration's newfound concern for the environment, another new ad shows a teenage girl holding a pregnancy test while her parents despair. "Smoking marijuana impairs your judgement," the tag line reads. "It's more harmful than we all thought." The ad implies, of course, that smoking marijuana makes it more likely that young people will get one another pregnant. (More likely than drinking beer?) Considering that the one real medical drawback to marijuana is that it can leave men infertile if they smoke vast amounts, the ads are puzzling to say the least. Which issue is the ONDCP really worried about, marijuana or pregnancy? Perhaps it's the combination: marijuana smokers having children. Now there's a long-term demographic trend that would give Karl Rove nightmares. Michael Wallach is a TAP Online intern and a graduate student at Columbia University's School for International and Public Affairs. Note: Why a House committee's recent appropriation of money to fund anti-drug advertising was a laughable waste. Source: American Prospect, The (US)Author: Michael WallachPublished: June 17, 2003Copyright: 2003 The American Prospect, Inc.Contact: letters prospect.orgWebsite: Articles:Fleeced By Anti-Drug Ads Rebuff White House in Drug Bill
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Comment #10 posted by Dan B on June 19, 2003 at 00:52:47 PT
Re: Infertility
I am somewhat of an expert on fertility issues (though not by any means a medical doctor) since my wife an I have been dealing with such issues for three years now, and my first wife and I had to deal with them before that. In fact, there may be a connection between cannabis smoking and infertility, but if there is it is not permanent, nor is it strong, and it mainly affects those who already have low sperm count. Some studies have shown that cannabis smoking can lower sperm count or motility, but that effect is mostly for those who already have low sperm count or low motility. Other studies refute the effect altogether. The idea that cannabis affects hormones is largely disproved. In short, the jury is out on some infertility issues, not on others.In my case (I am getting personal here, I realize, but what the heck) I had a low sperm count to begin with, then had an operation (it had nothing to do with cannabis use). I should note that I threw out my hydrocodone after the operation and used cannabis instead because it worked much better, and we happened to have some. I also smoked cannabis rather often during my recovery period, including right before and after intercourse (to be all scientific here). Six months after the surgery, my count was higher (e.g. just about normal), the motility was normal, and I continued to improve. A year and a half later, I was tested again and was found to be normal in all respects (I should mention that I discontinued cannabis use for several months for reasons other than recovery of my sperm count). Thus, cannabis not only did not have an adverse effect on my sperm count, but it actually helped me to recover from the surgery that was designed to improve my sperm count (reduced pain by far--before cannabis and with hydrocodone: pain=8 on a scale of 1-10; with cannabis and no hydrocodone: pain=3 on a scale of 1 to 10).I should mention that there are drugs that do have an adverse effect on fertility. Nicotine and alcohol are well documented as primary causes of miscarriage, low birth weight, birth defects (fetal alcohol syndrome, for example), and other birth-related issues, including infertility. Another more commonly used (and disregarded) drug that can cause infertility, especially for women, is caffeine. One large study showed that women who drank three or more cups of coffee per day were 27% more likely to have infertility problems, and women who drank one to two cups of coffee per day were 10% more likely to have infertility problems. In fact, there is more evidence that caffeine causes women to become infertile that that cannabis causes infertility. So, consider my case a study of n=1 that shows that cannabis is not necessarily a cause of infertility and can, at least in some cases, actually aid in the recovery from a surgery related to infertility.Dan B
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Comment #9 posted by Trekkie on June 18, 2003 at 10:40:15 PT
Hmmmm. My wife and I have been trying to have a child for seven years. Perhaps if I convince her to let me smoke again, or better yet, for her to try it (believe me, that german red-headed scorpio woman needs to take a chill-session, a.s.a.p.), we could have our own child and stop the painful adoption process we're going through.Of course, there is the danger of vehicular manslaughter, and improper gun control ("as seen on TV), but hey, whatever works...
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Comment #8 posted by afterburner on June 18, 2003 at 10:36:29 PT:
Re- Benton Harbor
Some facts left out of the politically correct Detroit News story:"Benton Harbor was 92.4 percent black and Benton Township 51.9 percent black, according to the 2000 U.S. Census. The motorcyclist who died was black, and the officers who chased him were white."-Police quell second night of riots in Benton Harbor didn't even mention that the community is black or that the motorcyclist had "marijuana."A black man on a motor cycle with "marijuana"? Sound like a familiar law enforcement target?ego transcendence follows ego destruction, equality for all, emancipation for cannabists.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on June 18, 2003 at 07:04:53 PT
Riots in Michigan
Hi Everyone,Here is an article about riots that have been happening in Michigan and there are a few pictures if you want to check them out. I'll keep looking for news but so far I haven't found anything to post. June is always very slow. PS: On another thread I see there is an argument but they know each other so I'm not going to say anything. Police Quell 2nd Night of Rioting in Benton HarborBy James Prichard, Associated PressBENTON HARBOR, Mich. -- Hundreds of people rioted for a second night over the death of a motorcyclist during a police chase. The rioters set at least five buildings and five cars ablaze in the impoverished city of 12,000. They shot one passer-by in the shoulder and beat and stabbed others, police said. In all, 10 to 15 people were hurt, none seriously. "It is so unnecessary. It is unbelievable to see this in our community," said Samuel Harris, police chief in the southwestern Michigan community. Snipped:Complete Article:
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Comment #6 posted by goneposthole on June 18, 2003 at 06:27:43 PT
infertility- pshaw
I have smoked cannabis for over 30 years. My wif has smoked cannabis for over 30 years. We have four children. She has one ovary.Believe me, from time to time, we have both smoked vast amounts. 
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Comment #5 posted by kaptinemo on June 18, 2003 at 05:53:24 PT:
This may be a first
Perhaps other 'regulars' can help on this:Unless I am mistaken, this is the first time such an article has shown up here. Namely, an article that asks a very pointed question: in these tight economic times we're in, where States are feeling a financial pinch they haven't felt since the days of the Great Depression and can't afford the largesse required by the War on Drugs, just how much better might the funds fuelling the DrugWar be used? Roads, schools, hospitals, prescription medicines, better education for kids, you name it; all would benefit immensely.This is a very dangerous question for antis, and they really don't like it being asked, for a number of reasons.Chiefest amongst those reasons is the very fact that asking it at all implies failure. Failure of policy, and by calling attention to that failure, invites even more scrutiny of the program.The War on Drugs is like a house that was knowingly built on a live termite nest. From the beginning, it was doomed to fall from it's own corruption. But the DrugWarriors have been busily patching and painting and covering the exterior with fancy siding and new windows, all to make the exterior look pretty. But look inside the house, and you see it's falling apart, despite all the money used to patch it up. One good hard kick from outside by someone with the necessary force - like Congress - and the rot would be exposed.Questions in Congress about how much better the HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS that have been wasted on the War on Drugs these past 23 years would be the equivalent of that sharp kick.This article ought to be sent to every State House across the country.
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Comment #4 posted by Lehder on June 18, 2003 at 05:35:18 PT
tune in, play dumb
>>Congress also reviewed the media campaign and was equally
   dismayed. "The conferees are deeply disturbed by the lack of evidence that the National
   Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign has had any appreciable impact on youth drug use,"The ads are extremely successful. The ads are directed at the parents, not their children, and succeed in maintaining absurd prejudices against marijuana and irrational public support for the war on drugs. That's the intent of the ads.The kids know this, I know it, and the people who write the ads know it. But if you want to be a team player and get along well with the black people in suits and the white people in suits and the people with money who pay for the ads, then you gotta conform to the myth and play dumb.
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Comment #3 posted by 312 on June 17, 2003 at 21:28:33 PT
Drug user 'pleased' with sentence
Sorry about the ridiculously long URL. You've got to read the following article. The guy even smoked a joint during the court lunch break!June 17, 2003 13:35"I WAS amazed I got off so lightly," an Ipswich drug user announced after he was sentenced for possessing more than a pound of cannabis.
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Comment #2 posted by The GCW on June 17, 2003 at 19:27:11 PT
Marc Emery stands up to pot-snatching cops 
Pot-smoking protest planned for June 19 at Toronto Police Station
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Comment #1 posted by mayan on June 17, 2003 at 18:30:54 PT
"How might this $1 billion have been more productively spent? According to the National Priorities Project's Web site, $1 billion could fund 139,044 more slots for the Head Start program or 18,886 additional teachers for public elementary schools. Does anyone really believe that these ads are more effective at preventing drug use than funding early intervention programs or improving schools?"The U.S. government isn't interested in preventing drug use. They are only interested in being depicted as doing so. The U.S government is the biggest drug dealer on the planet. Why else would they make illicit drugs worth their weight in gold? Anyone who supports the war on drugs is either extremely ignorant or has a vested interest in seeing it's continuance.THE BUSH-CHENEY DRUG EMPIRE: way out is the way in...Why Did Bush Not Act On Sept 11?
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