NORML E-Zine 2/13/03

Discussion in 'Marijuana News from The USA' started by RMJL, Feb 17, 2003.

  1. NORML E-Zine
    Volume 6
    Issue 7
    February 13, 2003

    The NORML E-Zine is a free weekly compilation of major news items
    regarding marijuana policy. Text of archived stories is available on
    NORML's website at:
    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3442

    You can join, donate or purchase a NORML-related product online at:
    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3454

    ####################
    TOP STORIES

    * White House Anti-Drug Ads Foster “Pro-Drug” Beliefs In Teens,
    Federal Review Finds
    * Smoke And Mirrors Cloud 2003 White House Anti-Drug Budget
    * This Saturday Kicks Off First Ever National Medical Marijuana Week

    ______________________________________________________________________
    White House Anti-Drug Ads Foster “Pro-Drug” Beliefs In Teens, Federal
    Review Finds
    “Little Evidence” That Post-September 11 Ads Linking Drug Use To Terrorism
    Are Having Any Favorable Impact On Youth
    Washington, DC: Federal anti-drug ads released after September 11,
    2001 alleging that recreational drug use aids terrorism fail to discourage
    viewers from trying marijuana and other drugs, and may actually increase
    use among teens, according to an evaluation released last month by Westat
    Inc. and the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of
    Pennsylvania for the US National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
    The review found "little evidence" that the White House's Youth
    Anti-Drug Media Campaign, which recently spent more than than $4 million
    dollars to air a pair of anti-drug public service announcements (PSAs)
    during January's Super Bowl broadcast, is having any favorable effects on
    youth's attitudes toward marijuana or other drugs.
    “There is no statistically significant decline in marijuana use to
    date, and some evidence for an increase in use from 2000 to 2001,” authors
    determined. “Nor are there improvements in beliefs and attitudes about
    marijuana use between 2000 and the first half of 2002. Contrarily, there
    are some unfavorable trends in youth anti-marijuana beliefs.”
    For example, authors noted, “Those who were more exposed to the
    Campaign (from November 1999 to January 2001) tended to move more markedly
    in a 'pro-drug' direction as they aged than those who were exposed less.”
    The Westat and Annenberg review is their second straight evaluation
    criticizing the White House ad campaign. A previous review released last
    spring reported similar results, which prompted Drug Czar John Walters to
    modify the ad campaign to focus primarily on marijuana and the alleged
    link between illicit drugs and terrorism. Last June, Walters promised
    members of the US Senate that he could turn the ad campaign around by the
    fall of 2002. “I'm willing to live by the results [of the] fall (2002)
    and spring (2003),” he said.
    NORML Executive Director Keith Stroup said that despite Walters'
    promises, the White House ad campaign continues to have the opposite
    effect on teens than the one lawmakers intended. “This is a colossal
    waste of taxpayer's dollars,” Stroup said, noting that the ad campaign
    costs an estimated $195 million per year. “The more often teens see these
    ads, the less likely they are to say no to marijuana and other drugs.
    Clearly, teens are dismissing these ads and their message as nothing more
    than government propaganda.”
    He added, “NORML believes there is nothing to be gained by
    exaggerating marijuana's harmfulness. On the contrary, by overstating
    marijuana's potential harm, our policy-makers undermine their credibility,
    and their ability to effectively educate the public of the legitimate
    harms associated with more dangerous drugs.”
    For more information, please contact either Keith Stroup or Paul
    Armentano of NORML at (202) 483-5500. The Westat and Annenberg report,
    "Evaluation of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign: Fifth
    Semi-Annual Report of Findings," is available online at:
    http://www.nida.nih.gov/despr/westat/

    _________________________________________________
    Smoke And Mirrors Cloud 2003 White House Anti-Drug Budget
    Washington, DC: Revised budget numbers released this week for the
    Bush Administration's 2003 “National Drug Control Strategy” are not what
    they seem, according to an analysis by Common Sense for Drug Policy and
    the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA). Both groups note that this year's budget
    deliberately conceals billions of dollars in law enforcement spending,
    while inflating expenditures on treatment services.
    In 2002, the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy
    (ONDCP) announced, “The Administration will develop a new methodology for
    reporting the drug budget.” As a result of this restructuring, this
    year's reported total budgetary expenditures total less than $12 billion
    dollars – far less than last year's record $19.2 billion budget.
    Nevertheless, ONDCP annual spending and priorities are little different
    than in years past.
    “An analysis of the new budget numbers revealed that by hiding the
    costs of incarceration, military activities and other known costs of the
    drug war, the Office of National Drug Policy Control was able to bring
    their enforcement to treatment levels more into line with public
    sentiment,” the DPA. The DPA further found that the ONDCP is inflating
    their spending on drug treatment programs by including funding for alcohol
    treatment, “which by law is specifically excluded from their scope of
    responsibilities.”
    Among drug-war related costs dropped from this year's budget is
    approximately $3 billion in funding associated with the incarceration of
    federal drug prisoners. The ONDCP claims that these costs have been
    excluded from the budget “based on the criterion that they are associated
    with the secondary consequences of the government's primary drug law
    enforcement and investigative activities.”
    NORML Foundation Executive Director Allen St. Pierre accused the White
    House of “hiding the ball” when it came to estimating the true cost of the
    government's war on drugs. “The ONDCP recognizes that they no longer
    enjoy the public's trust and are incapable of crafting a functional drug
    policy that Americans support,” he said. “As a result, they are now
    trying to conceal from taxpayers the true financial burden of their failed
    policies.”
    For more information, please contact Allen St. Pierre or Paul
    Armentano of The NORML Foundation at (202) 483-8751. An analysis of the
    ONDCP budget by Commons Sense for Drug Policy is available online at:
    http://www.csdp.org

    _________________________________________________________
    This Saturday Kicks Off First Ever National Medical Marijuana Week
    Oakland, CA: Drug law reformers across the nation will hold a
    “National Day of Action” in support of medical marijuana law reform on
    Saturday, February 15. Educational and direct action events to raise
    awareness of the use of marijuana as a medicine will continue all week,
    including nationwide protests on Tuesday, February 18, at regional Drug
    Enforcement Administration (DEA) offices.
    For more information on "Medical Marijuana Week" and events, please
    visit the Americans for Safe Access (ASA) website at:
    http://www.safeaccessnow.org


    ####################
    NORML Media Watch
    NORML was featured prominently in several media outlets this week,
    including The Birmingham News, SignOnSanDiego.com, and the Southwest
    Times-Record. To read these articles or about other NORML media
    appearances, check out "NORML in the Media" at:
    http://www.www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=5481

    Donate to NORML's "Marijuana Truth Campaign"
    If you have not already done so, please consider making a donation to
    NORML's "Marijuana Truth" Campaign. To learn more about this campaign or
    to read NORML's new report, "Your Government Is Lying to You (Again) About
    Marijuana: A Refutation of the Drug Czar's 'Open Letter to America's
    Prosecutors,'" please visit: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=5513

    Please support NORML/NORML Foundation's efforts to change marijuana policy
    and educate the public to alternatives to marijuana prohibition. You can
    join, donate or purchase a NORML-related product online at:
    http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=3454
    ####################

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