Drug Policy

Drug Propaganda Thursday


Pee Wee Herman walks into a darkened theater, holds out his hand….and talks about crack.

NEXT: Robert Anton Wilson, RIP

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  1. That’s as intellectually sophisticated as the drug war ever gets.

    Need we ask what Pee-wee’s anti-drug is?

  2. Notice that you can’t see what he’s doing with his other hand.

    I have no sound card here at work.

  4. “Yeah, I’m all alone. I’m rolling a big donut, and a snake wearing vest?”

  5. Shh, I’m listening to REASON.

  6. No one volunteers to do these PSAs. Look how “happy” he is to begin this diatribe…

    heh heh, anyone want a hamburger!

    Everytime I see an anti drug PSA I wonder what the speaker did (crime/pushnishment) to be forced to do a dumb ass PSA.

    heh heh

    I thought he got busted for being a ‘yankee’ in an adult movie theater?

  7. I’m sorry, so sorry…. I’m not sorry!

    It should be alomst assumed that anyone doing a PSA is being forced to. you might think that would send a message to society at large

  8. Didn’t I see Paul Rubens do cocaine with Tommy Chong under a table in a Cheech and Chong movie? I would ask if anyone remembers the name of the movie, but it really doesn’t matter in this case.

  9. A actor friend of mine did an anti-drug PSA when he was in high school, not because he was forced to, but because it paid. He had to sit in front of a big plate of cocaine with a look on his face saying, “Gee, should I snort this big plate of cocaine?” We thought it was hilarious.

  10. Surely I can’t be the only person who has the image in my head of Pee Wee wailing away in that theater, singing the “Connect The Dots” song…

  11. Taktix,

    Was that in Cheech & Chong’s Next Movie or Nice Dreams? I swear I remember it being in Things Are Tough All Over, but according to IMDB, Pee Wee wasn’t in that one.

    What is it about Cheech & Chong movies? Something just makes my memory kind of really hazy about some things. On the other hand, some scenes are so vivid in my memory that I feel like I watched them yesterday.

    What’s that?

    Oh, yes, the drugs.

  12. Does it occur to anyone thatnobody in the ad’s target audience has any idea who Pee Wee Herman is?

  13. TWC

    I don’t think it matters.

    If they knew who he was, they’d be rolling on the floor laughing out loud.

    If they didn’t know, they’d be….

  14. I think it’s Nice Dreams. (That’s what I immediately thought of, too.)

  15. Paul Rubens also played a hair stylist/drug dealer in “Blow.”

  16. When this PSA was made I’m sure MOST people between the ages of 3 and 93 knew who Pee Wee Herman was. In fact his show was notorious for a young adult stoner following.

    I doubt I know anyone NOW who doesnt know who Pee Wee is.

    Who is this unknown target audience?

    What I remember from CHeech and CHong was Paul Reubens saying “Hammmmburgerrrr” over and over.

  17. Oops. I guess it just occured to me the inteneded audience was inner city “black people” because you know, only black people used crack and surely no black kids ever watched Pee Wee or even Saturday morning cartoons because they were too busy helping their parents cook crack,etc. So that’s why the target audience would not know Pee Wee? Or am I off?

  18. I’m confused. That’s because I’m still new to libertarianism. I read and enjoy H&R because I’m attracted to the principle of radically reducing or eliminating most government functions. (Also because I find many of the comments weapons-grade funny.) But I thought the libertarian objection to the “drug war” concerned legal prohibition, rather than libertarians endorsing the ingesting of, say, crack-cocaine by anyone, let alone teenagers or children.

    Have I been falsely led to believe that crack-cocaine is a bad substance to ingest? That criminalizing it is counter-productive and/or unethical only because it foments crime by restricting desperate people’s access, and because only choosing to renounce bad choices gives that abstinance the ethical value of dignity?

    I’ve read opposing views here about the harm-index of recreational marijuana, with an occasional contributor saying both a) it shouldn’t be illegal and b) it’s not a good thing to ingest; similarly, but with lower stakes, in the case of trans-fats, tobacco, and some other pleasures-with-downsides.

    Is the opposition to the spot only to its government funding, if it is government funded? The impression I’ve gotten from the comments thus far would seem to indicate that it’s wrong to discourage teenagers from taking crack, rather than that the discouragement should be more skillful.

    I hope I’m making my question clear, and am not mistaken to be writing disingenuously, a la trolls. Apologies for the sonorous tone; I didn’t know how to ask in a perkier fashion. Perhaps someone can explain. It’s an honest question. Thanks.

  19. What I remember from CHeech and CHong was Paul Reubens saying “Hammmmburgerrrr” over and over.

    That was from Next Movie – the Hamburger Dude!

    acshun jackson3,

    I think you’ve got it. When I was growing up, I recall that we turned Pee Wee off whenever our black friends came into the room. We didn’t think they would get it. You know, crazy fantasy world where everything works out all right in the end, come on, what black kid could enjoy that kind of escapism? That is strictly the realm of white kids, maybe a few asians, but definitely no blacks, latinos, or injuns.
    Hehehe, I laugh to myself considering it.

  20. M, while it is not like I speak on behalf of libertarians everywhere (or anywhere for that matter) let me try to anwser your question from a libertarian perspective.

    I think the overall response would be to say that all drugs have some sort of risked involved, and no matter what the risk the government shouldn’t be running adds at all. However, a privately owned tv station could run adds if they wanted, whether they were paid or just did because they wanted to. It is not the governments place do run adds, no matter how effective or (like most of the time) inffective they are

    I don’t think people are on saying that the adds should be better, they are just making fun of them. Nor do I think they are saying “well if you have to run adds you should do it in a more effective way”. I think this anwsered your question M, it is a bit late, and I am a bit sleeply, so if I did a crappy job of anwsering your question, my bad

  21. M,
    Prohibitionism has overstated the dangers of all drugs, including crack. The only important practical difference between crack and coffee is potency. Exaggerated warnings make it easier to rationalize the expensive, intrusive, counterproductive drug war. For more on this, read Saying Yes: In Defense of Drug Use by Reason‘s own Jacob Sullum.

  22. I checked the link to Jacob Sullum’s Say Yes, and it led to Error 404, File Not Found. But thanks.

    So far, and thank you both for responding, it seems to be about gov’s drug war, about which as I said above, I get it.

    My understanding is that the Ad Council is not gov money; it’s pro-bono work by ad agencies. So if a private enterprise – such as a parent, a teacher, a youth group, a church, an independent school, a mental-health professional – discourages drug use, is that a bad thing, a good thing, or an indifferent thing? I know some of you are parents.

    Thank you for taking my question seriously.

  23. M,

    I’ll go so far as to say that using crack IS NOT a bad thing. You can certainly hurt yourself badly by using it poorly and it is probably not the best way to administer the active ingredients, unless you really are looking for the combination of extreme escapism and self-mutilation that large dosages produce.

    The active ingredients in crack are used therapeutically and benignly recreationally, probably by a much larger number of people than those who are actively hurting themselves with it.

    My disdain for this commercial is that it is deliberately misleading in a way that is so unfortunately obvious to anyone who is regularly exposed to crack usage that it undermines any legitimate words of caution about drug use. The children and teenagers to whom this commercial is directed notice how many dozens of people they know have used crack dozens of times and not one of them randomly died other than from deliberate overusage that they disregard all words of caution or recommendations of moderation or abstinence.

    My objection is that the message of this commercial is a lie and that while it is a well-intended lie, there are unintended consequences that cause real harm.

  24. M,

    Jacob Sullum references can be found on Amazon or the Wikipedia.

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