The Marijuana Policy Project has just released a TV spot that parodies the government's "Nick and Norm" ads linking drug use to violence. It's pretty funny, but I wonder if it's necessary. Judging from the defensive tone of the ads, which start from the premise that the public is skeptical of the government's argument, not many Americans take the official propaganda seriously.
Yesterday evening I was at the Fox News Channel studios in D.C., waiting to tape an appearance on The O'Reilly Factor, when the latest "Nick and Norm" spot came on the TV in the waiting room, driving home the point that pot smokers' money goes to dealers who may be violent. I remarked to a woman sitting across from me, "So I guess the message is that you should grow your own." She laughed and said, "Or drink booze."
Later I realized she was Mona Charen, the syndicated columnist and author of the best-selling Useful Idiots: How Liberals Got It Wrong in the Cold War and Still Blame America First. If prominent conservatives think these ads are silly, who exactly are they reaching?
Then again, maybe she was just being polite.