Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A New Anti-Drug Commercial

I’m getting pretty tired of all this recent government anti-drug propaganda. You’d think they’d have learned by now that this stuff doesn’t work. Of course, the main reason for its failure is that it’s full of lies and gross exaggerations. Anybody that actually smokes marijuana knows this stuff isn’t true. Granted, what we are seeing today is a little more subtle than what was being produced in the Reefer Madness days, but still no more truthful. And, I don’t know about you, but if I catch somebody in a lie I’m going to be very skeptical about anything they tell me after that. In effect, this propaganda is essentially destroying the government’s credibility when it comes to informing people about drugs.

So I think the government needs to come clean and be honest about why they want to keep recreational drugs (other than alcohol, that is) and homegrown medicines illegal. Rather than talking about the devastating effects of drugs, they should be talking about the devastating effects of the war on drugs. So here’s my idea for an honest public service announcement:

The scene opens in front of a prison. A warden, who looks and sounds like a stereotypical small-town Southern sheriff (kind of like Jackie Gleason in Smokey and the Bandit), says:

“See this prison here? It’s chock full of what you call your ‘drug offenders.’ So what do you want to go and legalize dope for? If it ain’t a problem, then why are all those people locked up in there? Besides, what are we all supposed to do if they shut this place down. Become night watchmen?”

Cut to a corporate executive type in a very expensive-looking office:

“Where do you want to get your drugs? From a big company that spends billions on R and D and hardly ever hurts or kills anybody with their products, or from your own back yard. Who are you going to trust for your medicine? Yourself? We think it’s irresponsible and just plain crazy to get your medicine from anyone but us. Trust us, we pretty much know what we’re doing. It’s for your own good.”

Cut to a sleazy-looking minority gang member drug dealer standing on a corner in a seedy neighborhood. A couple of white teenagers are walking away:

“I’m all for the war on drugs. That’s how I make my living. If I can’t sell dope, how’m I suppose to pay for all my flashy jewelry and new cars? I got an image to maintain. And if you don’t care about me, think about the kids. Where they suppose to get they dope from if I’m out of business.”

Cut to a 15-year-old white suburban kid:

“Yeah, think about us. If I’m lucky, I can steal some liquor from my parents or get somebody to buy me some every once in a while. But I can always get weed. If it’s legal, what am I supposed to do? Think about us kids next time you want to go and legalize something.”

Fade to black.

Maybe this could even be turned into a whole series of PSAs, where each one features a different individual or group that benefits from the war on drugs. At least the government might gain some credibility for future propaganda. So NORML or anybody else, if you want to go ahead and produce these television spots you have my permission. I’d even be willing to serve as executive producer, or technical advisor, or even property master.

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