In light of the current fiscal situation, the Office of National Drug Control Policy has decided to make some cutbacks. But instead of reducing ineffective spending, it is eliminating the research that shows its spending is ineffective. DRCNet notes that the ONDCP has decided to discontinue outside evaluations of its anti-drug ad campaign:
Those studies have found that the drug czar's ads were not working and may even be counterproductive. The most recent study, produced by the research firm Westat and the Annenberg School for Communication, noted that "there is little evidence of direct favorable campaign effects on youth," but there is evidence "for an unfavorable delayed effect… on subsequent intentions to use marijuana, and these are found for the entire youth sample." In other words, kids who watch the drug-terror ads may be more likely to later use marijuana than those who don't.
Meanwhile, as Tim noted the other day, the government is ditching its drug-users-support-terrorism ads. ONDCP officials insist the decision does not reflect a judgment about the ads' effectiveness. I believe them.