Government, Media Efforts Ineffective Anti-Drugs

  Government, Media Efforts Ineffective Anti-Drugs

Posted by CN Staff on January 10, 2006 at 07:45:33 PT
By Daniel Atherton, Daily Bruin Columnist 
Source: Daily Bruin 

California -- Winter break was going swimmingly until my mother picked the middle of a perfectly good day to teach me a life lesson by wrapping herself in a blanket. She took it in her hands, licked an edge of it, and then rolled herself up, all while plaintively asking me, "What am I? What am I?"When she saw that I was stumped speechless, she gave the answer: "A joint!" I learned my lesson about the evils of marijuana, and we went out for two heaping bowls of chocolate chip ice cream. Mmm!
OK, so that didn't actually happen. But that's apparently the sort of parent-child interaction that the Office of National Drug Control Policy has in mind in order to prevent marijuana usage because I did see an ad on television last week that depicted the above scenario playing out almost exactly – just without the ice cream. Evidently, the discourse about marijuana in this country has been reduced to playing charades with home decor items. Keep that in mind the next time your father pantomimes taking a huge hit from the living room floor lamp. We've all seen the ads that the ONDCP puts out. There are versions aimed at parents like the one above and also variants geared toward teenagers. The tag lines always point out helpful, totally legal alternatives to drugs, such as "Friendship: My Anti-Drug," "Responsibility: My Anti-Drug," or "Bolt-Action Assault Rifles: My Anti-Drug." My favorite of these shows a sad grandmother alone in her apartment. The announcer says, "Just tell your grandma you blew off dinner plans you made with her because you were stoned. She'll understand." I must not understand much about marijuana because it doesn't seem to me that a stoned teenager would blow off dinner plans of any sort. Not only would he most likely show up at Grandma's, but he'd probably bring all his buddies and eat every scrap of food in the apartment while Grandma scurried into the bedroom to avoid errant Hacky Sacks. I wonder if we'll see an extra-strong flurry of antimarijuana ads in this new year due to all the recent news stories with a promarijuana tilt. First came word in October that the FBI was thinking about relaxing its hiring rules regarding past marijuana usage, probably realizing that they had been ruling out almost everyone who has ever attended college or been within 50 feet of a Phish or Snoop Dogg concert. Then, in November, voters in Denver approved an initiative decriminalizing adults 21 and over if they are found in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana, giving new meaning to the term "Mile High City" (royalty fees for that joke go to the headline writers at the Rocky Mountain News). Finally, on Jan. 4, Rhode Island joined California and nine other states in legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes. The Rhode Island Legislature did not explain their decision in the face of the Supreme Court's June ruling that medical marijuana users could still be prosecuted under federal law except to say, "We put up a Jimi Hendrix poster and it looks awesome with a black light." In light of all these developments, it must be getting continually harder for the ONDCP to convince teenagers that smoking pot is irrevocably harmful. After all, scientific data continues to be mixed, and the conspicuous lack of support for do-it-yourself medical methamphetamines or medical angel dust shows to anybody with five functioning brain cells that marijuana is not in the same league as more hardcore drugs. There are no undisputed studies showing that marijuana actually acts as the famed "gateway drug" to worse substances like our high school health teachers would have us believe; any evidence touted by the government in favor of the gateway theory is countered by a study saying that there aren't any numbers to back this claim up. Most people know these things, which is why a December Government Accountability Office report found that, despite the claims of the drug czars and the ONDCP, there is no data to suggest that the U.S. government is actually doing anything more effective with the $40 billion a year spent on the drug war than flushing it down a toilet. The National Institute on Drug Abuse has also found more specifically that the youth advertising campaign, which costs $150 million yearly, has had no effect on teens' views about marijuana. Whether you think marijuana should be legalized and whether you think teens should be publicly discouraged from using it, it's relatively apparent that the condescending, counter-effective and downright stupid antimarijuana ads in the media should be stopped or have their message changed. There is far too much information out there right now about marijuana for idiotic TV ads to change teens' minds. Seeing perky mothers wrapping themselves in blankets just doesn't seem as convincing to me as more credible information that teens can easily find from other sources. Plus, their parents are starting to give themselves rug burns. Talk about a big charade. Note: Unrealistic advertisements and tenuous studies do little to sway teenagers’ beliefs about marijuana.Source: Daily Bruin (UCLA, CA Edu)Author: Daniel Atherton, Daily Bruin ColumnistPublished: Tuesday, January 10, 2006Copyright: 2006, ASUCLA Student MediaContact: viewpoint media.ucla.eduWebsite: Articles: Drug Bust - American Prospect Anti-Pot Ads are Dopey

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Comment #29 posted by FoM on January 13, 2006 at 09:34:28 PT
I know what you mean. The Love of Money doesn't mean a person has more money. My husband and I are actually doing financially better then he is and that was never our goal in life.
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Comment #28 posted by runruff on January 13, 2006 at 09:22:05 PT:
Money was his God?
Money could never have been my God 'cause all I ever saw was change.
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Comment #27 posted by FoM on January 11, 2006 at 07:42:50 PT
You could be right. He is or was a Republican and worked in NYC at Wall Street and he felt hippies values were against what he believed. Money was his god but maybe he has changed and sees there is more to life then what he believed. 
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Comment #26 posted by Hope on January 10, 2006 at 23:58:20 PT
Maybe the years have finally mellowed him some. You'd think if his hatred was still alive, he couldn't bear to live in a place where so many of the people he despised had congregated. New Hope is a nice name for a town. Hope, as a something we all have to have to thrive.
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Comment #25 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 21:38:11 PT
Something I wanted to share. I was married to my son's father when Woodstock 69 happened. I was fascinated with this event and I asked him if I could ever try marijuana. He became furious with me. He hated everything there was about the hippies so that was the end of ever asking again. My one sister continues to correspond with him and she told me where he is living now. Where he lives now is as much a hippie area in Pa as there ever could be. I kind of smiled when she told me. I don't know how he feels anymore but he is bombarded with the culture of those days everytime he goes to town. It's a beautiful town called New Hope. I thought you might appreciate this.
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Comment #24 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 21:28:39 PT
It's good to see you and I love the link. I have been reflecting a lot these days too.
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on January 10, 2006 at 20:52:22 PT
Still here. Thinking. Praying. Nothing to say at the moment. You all, Runruff, the Kubbys are on my mind and in my heart.We are Stardust.
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Comment #22 posted by Patrick on January 10, 2006 at 20:38:17 PT
Comment #12
whig... That made me think of the movie Men in Black when Will Smith kicked the alien between the legs and it had no effect. Tommy Lee Jones quiped that, "he's a ball-chinian!" Sorry I am just laughing my arse off at that scene.....Oh and the ONDCP is sort of freakish unfunny Men In Black type organization don't you think? What with sneaking around from state to state in their suits hoping to brainwash everyone except they don't really have the mind control pen unless you consider their goofy ads as such. Seems to me that Johhny Pee and his henchmen and women are the freaking aliens here. End prohibition of cannabis and stop funding the war on drugs.
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Comment #21 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 19:51:44 PT
ekim and everyone
You reminded me of something I have thought about many times. If something happened to me my husband would post a message so you all would know. I hope that people who are a regular part of CNews would have someone who would post and inform us if something went wrong. That is a major shortcoming with the Internet and we should remember that long absence causes worry and that would help with others peace of mind. Someone you trust should be shown how to post and have your user name and password. It's just a suggestion but it would make it easier on us as a group.
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Comment #20 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 19:31:02 PT
ekim and whig
I think that the news gets too hard or maybe too personal for some people and they need to find other interests. I know that if I wasn't able to turn off the news in my mind and be like a robot at times I think it would drive me crazy. I find other interests when the news is really hard to do but keep looking for news to post.Whig, I understand and I was just kidding with you.
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Comment #19 posted by whig on January 10, 2006 at 19:24:15 PT
I know it wasn't very nice of me to criticise someone's physical appearance. I don't generally do that kind of thing, but he's so generally smug and seems convinced of his own cleverness, maybe reminds me of myself a little bit when I was young and stupid, when I thought I knew everything. You know?
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Comment #18 posted by ekim on January 10, 2006 at 19:22:30 PT
FoM have you read this 
The BBC News is conducting a poll: "Do you think cannabis should be made
As of 11 pm Monday - 82.5% yes, 17.5% no
You can still vote at[ cool tour ] it made me wonder how p4me is doing miss those [posts]
and everyone else that has posted here and not been heard of for some time.
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Comment #17 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 18:51:10 PT
Thanks Mayan
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Comment #16 posted by mayan on January 10, 2006 at 18:26:04 PT
"P 4 Me" Tour
FoM, regarding Johnny Pee's "P 4 Me" tour, Calvina Faye and her fellow drug-testing industry buddies have contributed heavily to the Bushies and now they want something in return. They would probably make some tall cash if all students had to pee for Johnny! Here's more on Alaska...Lawmakers try to toughen Alaska's marijuana laws:'s a piece on Weldon Angelos...Appeals Court Upholds 55 Year Mandatory Sentence:
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Comment #15 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 18:00:58 PT
Press Release from The Drug Policy Alliance
Oppose Drug Czar Propaganda Tour To Spread Random Student Drug Testing ***
January 10, 2006WASHINGTON - January 10 - The ONDCP is back on the road, trying to convince parents and teachers that costly, ineffective random student drug testing is the "silver bullet" to combat adolescent drug use. Organize a group to attend the summit near you, ask questions that will really put the drug war zealots on the spot, and arm yourself with literature that attendees can take home. Even if none of the summits are close enough for you to attend, you can still get involved by spreading the word. Visit our toolkit for complete information on how to get involved. Meeting locations and dates are: Orlando, FL, January 19, 2006San Diego, CA, February 22, 2006Falls Church, VA, March 15, 2006Milwaukee, WI, April 25, 2006 Learn More About Student Drug Testing Drug testing is humiliating, costly and ineffective, but it's an easy anti-drug soundbite for the White House. Student testing breaks the trust between children and adults, and drives students away from extracurricular activities. What's more, studies even show that student drug testing doesn't work to deter drug use. Read the story of how one student's life was turned upside down by drug testing. CONTACT: Drug Policy Alliance 
Tony Newman
212-613-8026, cell: 646-335-5384
e-mail: tnewman drugpolicy.orgTommy McDonald
212-613-8036, cell: 615-491-6518
email: tmcdonald
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 15:33:20 PT

Alaska: Push On To Pass Marijuana Bill
January 10, 2006
According to the Associated Press, one day into a new legislative session, the push is on to toughen Alaska's marijuana laws. The Senate Finance Committee Tuesday heard amendments to Governor Frank Murkowski's bill that would re-criminalize personal use of the drug. Dubbed a "must-pass" bill last session, Murkowski is asking state lawmakers to consider evidence of marijuana's dangers that should trump the courts' right to privacy rulings. Committee co-chairwoman Lyda Green (a Wasilla Republican) says she expects the bill to move out of committee on Thursday for later floor debate and a vote. Alaska laws regarding marijuana use are among the loosest in the country. A 1975 Supreme Court decision made it legal for Alaskans to possess small quantities of marijuana for personal use in their homes. --- Senate Bill 74 would stiffen penalties for marijuana use and possession. It would make possession of four ounces of pot or more a felony. Chief Assistant Attorney General Dean Guaneli testified that marijuana is more potent, and therefore more dangerous, than in the 1970's. Opponents say criminalizing the drug will not solve the problems of drug abuse.
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Comment #13 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 15:21:15 PT

Whig and Kaptinemo
Whig that was terrible to visualize. LOL!This article made me smile. What am I. What am I. I know he was kidding but it was so funny.
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Comment #12 posted by whig on January 10, 2006 at 15:10:16 PT

One thing that can be said about Alito
The man has balls.On his chin.
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Comment #11 posted by kaptinemo on January 10, 2006 at 15:06:29 PT:

Just sitting here, smiling
No, not the 'secret' type, just a regular one. We've been saying for years...for YEARS! about how wasteful the entire effort to propagandize against cannabis has been. Now the media has 'discovered' the subject. We may expect more in this as more of the media realize this is a 'safe' way of criticizing their LEOrg 'sources' without being directly confrontational. Because this is something even Congress has rapped the DrugWarrior's knuckles over. And in a time of increasing budget cuts, the once sacred cow of the DrugWar is now looking like it's ready for butchering.
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 14:48:08 PT

Something Funny Happened
I was getting housework done and a knock came at my door which doesn't happen out in no man's land where we live. It was an oil company that wants to lease our land. If it would have been a person that wanted to lease our land to grow hemp (if it was legal) or some other natural product I would have considered listening to the sales pitch. No coal or oil will ever come off this land as long as we own it. That's all for now. 
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Comment #9 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 14:22:36 PT

About Alito
I really tried to watch as much of the hearings as I could. The only thing I see is how good is a person at leaving an open door when asked a question. Wouldn't it be refreshing if they asked a direct question and got a straight answer with a yes or no? An example.Should Cannabis be legalized. An answer I would expect to hear would be.Well that depends on what legalize is.Politics is just learning how to manipulate the english language so no absolutes need to be dealt with in my opinion. I just call it passing the buck.
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 11:17:30 PT

Thank you for all you are doing. You go guy! Yesterday I had a couple e-mails back and forth between Allen at NORML and he told me how important CNews is to reformers all around the world. We are making a difference. 
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Comment #7 posted by Dankhank on January 10, 2006 at 11:08:54 PT

OT my morning
I attended a nutrition class this morning at the local military hospital and educated a bunch of folks about Cannabis.As a result I think that there will be some new folks checking out this site.It was interesting to hear some of the objections to "Cannabis" from a number of them initially, but as I continued to push it, interested increased. I ended up repeating "" for the folks that wanted to check it out.I always push this site for the uninformed and as always, am glad it is here.One predictable comment was about "the kids." I said that medical cannabis is not about kids, it is about sick people getting medicine.anyway ... Hello to all those folks from Reynolds Army Hosp that make it here ...Peace ...
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Comment #6 posted by Max Flowers on January 10, 2006 at 11:07:09 PT

I watched Alito's opening rambling statement and I thought he was just SCARY fake. I thought, oh no, this guy cannot be confirmed.
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Comment #5 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 08:53:14 PT

Nuevo Mexican 
Hi back at ya! I must confess that I haven't been able to look at Alito so I have been listening to music but I turned it on at least for a little while. ( his tie isn't even straight) LOL! I love Senator Kennedy. I know he made serious mistakes in the past but I believe he really cares for the normal everyday people.
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Comment #4 posted by nuevo mexican on January 10, 2006 at 08:50:59 PT

correction: coffin!
Another nail in the coffin of the failed war on drugs, (cannabis and the civil liberties of Americans, and people worldwide).
Be sure to listen closely to Alitos' non answers to Teds' pointed questions, this man is a one man war on the Bill of rights, a bush dream come true, the Dems better knock this one down, or we're done as the hollow shell of democracy we call ourselves. 
The truth will be revealed, with only Americans being sheilded, and that day ended TODAY!
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Comment #3 posted by nuevo mexican on January 10, 2006 at 08:46:29 PT

The war on drugs on trial, on C-Span now!
And ALL news channels!Bad day for the drug war, bush and the EXtreme Court, Americans are watching and Pissed that bush is spying on EVERYONE!Sen. Ted Kennedy is ripping Alito for his support of strip searching a ten year old girl, on National TV for all the world to see. Alito is a Drug War Nazi, and now everyone knows it, thanks to Ted Kennedy!Another nail in the coffing of the Repugs, AND the War on 
Cannabis and Americans' civil liberties!
I am loving the truth moment, get ready for more!
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Comment #2 posted by mayan on January 10, 2006 at 08:20:05 PT

Most people know these things, which is why a December Government Accountability Office report found that, despite the claims of the drug czars and the ONDCP, there is no data to suggest that the U.S. government is actually doing anything more effective with the $40 billion a year spent on the drug war than flushing it down a toilet.I want my money back!!! Considering that the ONDCP is a colossal failure, perhaps Johnny Pee should put his head in the toilet bowl and flush! THE WAY Announces The Citizens' Counter-Coup:, our country is in peril: Reasons Why "White Collar Terrorists" Are To Blame for 9/11, "America's New War," and the Impending World War III: 9/11:
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Comment #1 posted by FoM on January 10, 2006 at 08:03:21 PT

Just a Comment
When I found this article I couldn't help but grin from ear to ear. I watched a show last night on the Taliban in Pakistan on the Times Discovery Channel and something jumped out at me and I thought how interesting. The Taliban doesn't allow music or art or a woman to smile. I thought about how something is lacking in our right leaning people that are in charge of our country and they too don't seem to care about good thought provoking music or humor either. It was very eye opening and I wanted to share it. That's all for now.
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