Pubdate: Sat, 03 May 2003
Source: Daily Independent, The (KY)
Copyright: 2003 The Daily Independent, Inc.
Author: Jay Fletcher
Bookmark: (ONDCP Media Campaign)


The full-page ads being distributed by the White House's anti-drug office
are a striking example of government waste. The Office of National Drug
Control Policy (ONDCP) has a $150-million advertising budget for this fiscal
year - more than all other federal agencies' ad budgets combined -- that it
spends on ads that even they admit don't work.

The latest ad, an open letter to parents warning of the "dangers" of
marijuana, deliberately distorts scientific information about the drug,
confusing common effects of marijuana with extremely rare ones.

Most disturbing about the ads, though, is the fact that ONDCP-sanctioned
research about the ads' effectiveness shows that the ads simply do not work.

The onslaught of anti-drug messages, which link drug use with terrorism and
suggest that marijuana use can lead to unplanned pregnancies, has had no
measurable effect on teen drug use. In fact, some teens have shown increased
"pro-drug" attitudes after viewing the ads, according to the latest
ONDCP-ordered assessment of the media campaign.

The ads don't work, plain and simple. When other government programs fail
miserably, they lose funding. Misleading anti-drug ads should suffer the
same fate.

Jay Fletcher, president

Kentucky Marijuana Party

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