MPP Challenges Drug Czar on New Anti-Marijuana Ads

Discussion in 'Marijuana News' started by RMJL, Mar 11, 2003.

  1. An email that I received from the MPP:







    Dear Friend:

    On Friday, the Marijuana Policy Project received word that the White
    House drug czar's office would be running misleading anti-marijuana
    ads in 300 newspapers nationwide. We immediately crafted our own
    response ad, news release, and video news release (for TV stations to
    download for free to include in their news programs).

    Drug Czar John Walters is spending $150 million of taxpayer money this
    year to run ads that are intended to scare the American people into
    supporting marijuana prohibition, playing on parents' fears about
    teenage marijuana use.

    MPP's response is this: Marijuana is bad for teens, but marijuana
    prohibition is worse. As our newspaper ad asks, "How can you talk to a
    kid who's in jail?"

    Please see http://www.mpp.org/WarOnDrugCzar/ads for details. And
    please see http://www.mpp.org/WarOnDrugCzar/donate.html to help pay
    for MPP's rapid response.

    At http://www.mpp.org/USA/letters_6.html you will find several sample
    letters-to-the-editor. Please select one and submit it to your local
    newspaper as your own. Let's show the American people that the public
    is fed up with the Bush administration's use of taxpayer money to
    scare the American people into supporting marijuana prohibition.

    ======================================================================

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MARCH 8, 2003

    MPP Challenges Drug Czar on New Anti-Marijuana Ads

    Will Run Contrasting Newspaper Ad;
    Satellite News Feed Available March 10

    WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) is aggressively
    challenging a new newspaper ad being run by the office of White House
    "Drug Czar" John Walters in 300 U.S. newspapers March 10. MPP will run
    a contrasting ad in selected papers and is also making available a
    video news release in which MPP Executive Director Robert Kampia
    discusses the misleading and dishonest nature of Walters' anti-
    marijuana advertising blitz.

    "The drug czar's ads aren't about educating teens; they're about
    frightening parents into keeping marijuana illegal and avoiding the
    real issue. The real issue is that marijuana is bad for kids, but
    marijuana prohibition is worse," Kampia said.

    "John Walters pours millions of dollars of taxpayer money --
    $150 million in the new fiscal year -- into deceptive anti-marijuana
    ads that we know aren't working and may actually be doing harm." The
    government-funded independent evaluation of the campaign, conducted by
    the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication,
    found "there is no evidence yet consistent with a desirable effect of
    the Campaign on youth." More disturbing, the long-term evaluation of
    the teens who most frequently saw the early ads found that they had
    more "pro-drug" beliefs than teens who saw the commercials less often.

    "It doesn't surprise anyone that the drug czar's ads aren't
    working," Kampia continued. "Kids are laughing at these ads -- they
    know when they're being lied to. A campaign of obvious lies and
    distortions doesn't discourage kids from trying marijuana and
    sabotages efforts to educate them about the life-threatening risks of
    speed or crack.

    "The drug czar's latest ad takes scary-sounding information out of
    context, ignores conflicting data, and blurs the lines between common
    marijuana effects and extremely rare ones. This ad is a disservice to
    parents, who need complete, honest information."

    For MPP's response ad, please see http://www.mpp.org/ad.html . A
    satellite feed featuring sound bites from Robert Kampia and marijuana
    arrest B-roll footage will be available Monday, March 10, from 2:30 -
    2:45 p.m. Eastern and again from 3:15 - 3:30 p.m. Eastern. Satellite
    coordinates are KU Analog: SBS 6, Transponder 5, downlink frequency
    11823 Horizontal. Audio is on 6.2 and 6.8. For technical assistance,
    call The Washington Bureau at 202-347-6396.

    The independent evaluation of the drug czar's ads is available at
    http://www.nida.nih.gov/DESPR/Westat/Westat2003/ExecSum.PDF .

    With 11,000 members nationwide, the Marijuana Policy Project works
    to minimize the harm associated with marijuana -- both the consumption
    of marijuana and the laws that are intended to prohibit such use. MPP
    believes that the greatest harm associated with marijuana is
    imprisonment. To this end, MPP focuses on removing criminal penalties
    for marijuana use, with a particular emphasis on making marijuana
    medically available to seriously ill people who have the approval of
    their doctors.
     
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