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One Soccer Mom's Take on the Drug War

Jessica Peck Corry, Denver Post , 29th June 2006

I hope my daughter will never smoke marijuana. Regardless of whether she does one day, I know one thing for sure: Keeping it illegal can only harm her future.

Since 1998, the Office of National Drug Control Policy has spent more than $2 billion in taxpayer dollars on twin advertising campaigns seeking to discourage marijuana use. The first speaks to parents, calling them the "Anti-Drug."

It fails before it begins. Good parents are going to talk to their children about drugs. All the feel-good ads in the world aren't going to get indifferent parents to engage in such an awkward but essential dialogue.

The second campaign fails as well. In these, youthful but sophisticated graphics tell kids not to use marijuana. If there is one sure way to get adolescents to smoke pot, tell them that the government and their parents don't want them to. In fact, a recently published national study indicates that after viewing commercials for this campaign, young people were more likely to exhibit positive responses about the drug.

Politicians whisper quietly behind closed doors about the insanity of the drug war. Neither party, however, has had the courage to take a stand against prohibition publicly. Just imagine if the $2 billion invested in these ads - or the billions more spent prosecuting peaceful marijuana users every year - had been diverted instead into tuition grants for needy students or back to taxpaying parents who could directly invest in college funds.

Complete Article: http://www.denverpost.com/opinion/ci_3986708

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