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