Friday, May 12, 2006

ONDCP's counterproductive anti-marijuana advertising

The latest issue of the Journal of Addictive Behavior reports on a study of 219 18 and 19 year olds who were exposed to the White House Office of National Drug Control - organized anti-marijuana advertising and anti-tobacco PSAs. The researchers found that after watching the ONDCP sponsored ads, the young people had more favorable attitudes toward marijuana. The students who saw the anti-tobacco PSAs had stronger anti-tobacco attitudes, i.e. the PSAs accomplished their goal.

Other reviews of the ONDCP ads have also shown they are ineffective.

But ineffectiveness of our anti-drug policy doesn't matter to policy makers. Why?

If we stop doing ineffective things we will send the wrong message: we have been wrong.

Drug policy is subject to zero tolerance for admitting failure in the face of failure.

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