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    Anti-drug commercials encourage drug use according to the L.P.
    Posted under Drugs by tom on Wednesday May 29 2002 @ 08:42PM PDT

    =============================== NEWS FROM THE LIBERTARIAN PARTY 2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100 Washington DC 20037 World Wide Web: =============================== For release: May 29, 2002 =============================== For additional information: George Getz, Press Secretary Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222 E-Mail: ===============================

    Failure of drug czar's TV ad campaign shows that agency should be abolished, Libertarians say

    WASHINGTON, DC -- A $1 billion anti-drug ad campaign that may have actually increased teen drug use shows that the Office of National Drug Control Policy is incompetent and should be abolished, say Libertarians.

    "This is your government's brain - on drugs," said Ron Crickenberger, Libertarian Party political director. "The television ads financed by this bumbling federal agency could be luring your child into using drugs. It's time to recognize the danger posed by cash-snorting bureaucrats who are addicted to your money, and abolish the drug czar's office."

    Drug czar John P. Walters was forced to admit that the five-year, $929 million ad campaign developed by the Partnership for a Drug Free America "isn't reducing drug use" after a devastating study released recently by the Westat research firm and the University of Pennsylvania. After showing the ads to a group of 12- to 18-year-olds, researchers found no decline in the number who said they intend to try drugs in the next year.

    More shocking: some kids who saw the TV ads, particularly girls aged 12 to 13 who did not already use drugs, said they were slightly more likely to smoke marijuana after seeing the ads - prompting Walters to admit that some of the ads may "incite (kids') curiosity."

    "If Walters is correct, this failed ad campaign has turned the government into a de facto drug pusher," Crickenberger said. "The fact that politicians are increasing drug use accidentally doesn't really matter. Whether your child is lured into using drugs intentionally by a slimy street-corner pusher, or accidentally by a slick government TV ad, the result is the same."

    Adding insult to injury is the fact that parents are actually paying for the TV ads that are enticing their kids to smoke marijuana, Crickenberger added.

    "If you're a parent who has trusted the government to keep your child from drugs, you have a right to be angry," Crickenberger said. "Politicians have squandered your money and left your children in more danger than before.

    "We may never know how many children are enticed into using drugs as a direct result of these ads, but isn't one child one too many? This ad campaign should be ended immediately, before it does any more damage to American children."

    But instead of canceling the ads, Walters has asked Congress for an additional $180 million to create a new, "more effective" advertising campaign next year, Crickenberger noted.

    "Walters has responded to his agency's failures like any other addict, by promising to change, to reform, to 'do better next time' if only taxpayers will give him another chance - and more money," Crickenberger said. "But the truth is that Walters and his cohorts waging the drug war are hopelessly addicted to your tax money, and by funding them Congress is acting as an enabler.

    "The only solution is to cut off the tax money that is funding this failed ad campaign and force the drug warriors to quit cold turkey.

    "Then abolish the Office of National Drug Control Policy, before these incompetent bureaucrats entice more American kids to use drugs."

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