Drug Policy

Drug Propaganda Thursday

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The latest TV ad from ONDCP almost makes one wonder what the people in the drug czar's office have been smoking. It's actually a pretty funny commercial, shot in mockumentary style. I just don't understand the point. I actually first thought it was a parody of an ONDCP ad.

The message seems to be something along the lines of, "smoking marijuana because everyone else is doing it is as dumb as sticking leeches on yourself because everyone else is doing it."

Except of course that marijuana is a dried plant that gets you high and makes you feel good. Leeches, on the other hand, are carnivorous annelids that use mucus and suction to attach to a host, at which point they secrete an anti-clotting enzyme that enables them to gorge on the host's plasma until full.  They then fall off to digest the hemoglobin-y goodness they've just snorted into their bellies.

So yeah. Totally the same.

Of course, there are some similarities. For example, while many people find leeches icky and undesirable, they're basically harmless . Kinda' like marijuana. What's more, despite their bad reputation, leeches also have some medical benefit. Again, kinda' like marijuana.

I guess the one big difference is that absurd as SLOMming would be were anyone to actually try it, it would still be perfectly legal (unless there were some evidence that it gets you high, at which point I'm sure legislators would rush to ban it). The only real harm associated with marijuana is generally what the government will do to you if they catch you using it.

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  1. Let’s start small. First, let’s ban SLOMing in public places. If it goes straight to Schedule A, the SLOMmers will find a way to whatever the black market demands.

  2. I wrote about this last month and was floored by one of the comments. A person actually said that she knows people who SLOM. Her comments here:

    http://ladyliberty.wordpress.com/2006/12/27/lets-slom-baby/

  3. This is your government on drug prohibition.

  4. Would I get arested for selling leeches on the streetcorner?

  5. Obviously they intended this for a high school audience that doesn’t know any better yet. When they turn 21 they can find out that there’s more to alcohol than the hangover, though it’s best not to mention sex until after mariage. If all goes as planned they will never discover the difference between marijuana and leaches.

  6. Everybody knows that leeches are a gateway to licking hallucinogenic toads.

    Kevin

  7. I think the slomming commercials are the best they’ve done yet. A lot better than those TRUTH ads against smoking, as far as propaganda goes.

    I got a good chuckle out of that.

    The animated ones with the pot head talking to a dog are pretty funny to.

    They make me want to get high. 🙂

  8. Would I get arested for selling leeches on the streetcorner?

    Yes, and there would be raids of baitshops too.

  9. “SLOMming? Really? We can say ANYTHING and these morons keep paying us! Ha ha ha.., um, oh, hello Representative Souder, good to see you..”

  10. Except of course that marijuana is a dried plant that gets you high and makes you feel good.

    You could also probably get a wicked buzz from leeches, but you’d need to lose a lot of blood first.

  11. That was worse than the one calling pot smokers terrorist supporters for buying domestic marijuana.

  12. “I’m not not licking toads”

  13. Eh, I saw it a few days ago and just assumed that leeches were the ‘new heroin.’

  14. ENJOY THEM WHILE THEY LAST…there’s a new sheriff in town, and that sheriff is Dennis Kucinich.

  15. I used leeches but they didn’t inhale.

  16. A lot better than those TRUTH ads against smoking, as far as propaganda goes.

    Ugh, I am so goddamn sick of those. On the local NYC channels they play at least one anti-smoking ad during every single freakin’ break. The latest one shows lovely graphic photos of horrible facial disfigurements, cos of course that’s what happens to everyone who smokes.

  17. C’mon pal! Fugu me!

    Kevin

  18. Drugs shouldn’t be the scape goat for every goddamn thing. I know many people (including myself) who use recreational drugs to sit back and hang with friends. And they are not even close to addicts.

    I find the use of Visionary drugs like DMT, Salvia, 2C-I, Mescaline Cacti or different drugs like that to be very soothing to your mind, you get to explore your mind and yourself. To put it out there, the hallucinogenic drugs I listed above are better therapy for a sane individual than any pay-by-hour therapy. And by sane I mean someone who already isn’t seeing things with no help of drugs.

  19. Yeah, but have you seen that new ONDCP disinfoganda commercial…STONED???

  20. So, under the influence of marijuana, a 15 year-old girl or scolded boy will exhibit about the same level of curiosity toward leeches as an average, sober 11 year-old boy would. As boys and girls mature these days, it’s the girls, more than the boys, who are getting into the study of biology where their appreiciation of leeches will grow. Anyway, I’m still offended.

  21. As I noted on my blog a few days ago, the most pathetic thing about this commercial is that they make the mock school principal out to be the voice of sanity because he says he has been confiscating hundreds of leeches from the students. They are basically conceding that it is their business what other people do to their bodies, and if this “leeching” fad really took place, the right thing to do is respond by confiscating the property of others–just like with the drug war. There was absolutely no allegation in the commercial that leeches hurt anyone; it was a harmless albeit stupid fashion statement. ONDCP is coming right out and saying it is the government’s business if consenting adults want to stick leeches on themselves. Clearly they were only a few weeks away from making possession of leeches a felony in the fictional world of this commercial. Our prisons should be even more overcrowded with nonviolent leech users.

    If it were not our tax dollars and our freedom at stake here, it would be funny.

  22. Um, dude, unless the definition of a “consenting adult” has been changed to 15 years of age I don’t think your point is completely valid. Of course, I still agree with the gist of what you’re saying.

  23. Where in the Constitution does it say that 15 year olds have fewer rights than adults? I never understood that one.

  24. Where in the Constitution does it say that 15 year olds have fewer rights than adults? I never understood that one.

    The Constitution is a contract between the US Government and its people, it does not supersede Common Law or common sense. It does not spell out every law that should or should not be made. It makes just a few laws itself and specificically prohibits some laws from ever being made.

  25. Save us JEBUS!

  26. Smoking pot is like eating: you can overdo it. We should have a law against being so doped up that you belive you have some profound insight into the meaning of life. I would also support a law against being fat. Everything in moderation.

  27. There should be no law against spelling errors and typos.

  28. jkii

    I take it you have had little experience with fifteen-year-olds.

  29. These anti-drug ads are more entertaining than most of the other stuff on TV. Since they’re ineffective anyway, I don’t see a problem. So they’re tax-supported. So is the war in Iraq, and it’s not entertaining at all. With the state growing by leaps and bounds and getting into domestic spying and torture, shouldn’t libertarians get their priorities straight? Marijuana’s being demonized. Big deal.

  30. Where in the Constitution does it say that 15 year olds have fewer rights than adults? I never understood that one.

    I was married at 15 (got pregnant to do it) and have a very happy, successful (emotionally and materially) life. It was a bitch early on, but now the girls are 18 & 15.

    15yo people should be treated as adults IF they bear the responsibilities of adulthood.

  31. No, Edward, when people are not free to get high (forget the fact that they’re getting high in droves) and when the government makes up fairytales about the dangers of getting high to scare children (even though they don’t scare them), nobody is really free. Once everybody is high, no countries will be invavded, nobody will be tortured, and nobody will be spied on. The state will wither away (or seem to.)

  32. miche

    Should lemons should be treated as apples because somebody has put them in a waldorf salad? Fifteen-year-old brains just aren’t the same as adult brains. Well, some are probably better, but that’s another issue. You just can’t expect a fifteen-year-old to have the same emotional and intellectual development as an adult. It’s a physiology thing.

  33. Edward, is your argument that people are entitled to rights based on their level of emotional and intellectual development?

  34. Rock on Edward, I’ve always thought that our government should treat the young disabled and handicapped as second class citizens

  35. Peer pressure;
    That’s what cracks me up. The drug warriors think kids use drugs because kids think it’s cool. There’s never even the slightest acknowledgment that getting high feels good and makes fun funner. I think this line of “reasoning” reached it’s peak with the anti-drug campaign. The idea seemed to be, to use peer pressure to persuade kids from bowing to peer pressure.

  36. Edward, is your argument that people are entitled to rights based on their level of emotional and intellectual development?

    For Edward that would be a self-defeating argument.

  37. Edward,
    I said that if they bear adult responsibilities they should be treated as an adults. I know that some have recently said that brains aren’t fully developed until later than fifteen, but it seems odd to me that brains are regressing instead of evolving to something better. It is my opinion that fifteen year old brains can be quite mature if they haven’t been babied.

  38. I blame Wil Wheaton for this whole sorry mess.

  39. “I find the use of Visionary drugs like DMT, Salvia, 2C-I, Mescaline Cacti or different drugs like that to be very soothing to your mind, you get to explore your mind and yourself.”

    Ah, yes, there is nothing more soothing to the mind than pulling a few vapes of DMT . . . except for the unimaginable terror you feel when the Alien Clowns are probing your frontal lobes, its usually very relaxing.

  40. Leeches are one thing. Spiders are quite another.

  41. Miche, your opinions and your ancedotal evidence aren’t worth much.

  42. You can take my leach when you pull it from my cold, dead, blood-drained hand.

    and while I’m at it, might as well throw down with this one as well:

    When leaches are outlawed only outlaws will have hickeys all over their bodies.

  43. Edward,
    Coddle yours and I will continue treating mine like people. FWIW, my kiddos think this particular commercial is ridiculous and ask why our country spends so much on things of the like.

    Now my worthless opinions and I are off to Vegas. Later.

  44. Funny, my wife and I were watching this ad, I asked her “don’t they use leeches to promote blood flow into skin grafts?”
    “Yeah” she said “and they’re used for people with hemochromatosis to prevent high iron levels.”
    “So I guess they’ll be able to do medical slurming in California…”

  45. I think we should ban “Stand by Me” and “The African Queen” just in case this takes off.

  46. The government will treat your 15 year old, or younger, kid like an adult as soon as he commits a goes to trial as?…you guessed it, an adult.

  47. Opps. Meant to say
    “commits a crime and goes to trial”

  48. It is my opinion that fifteen year old brains can be quite mature if they haven’t been babied.

    With the assumption that the government, or any other entity, is unable to decide that a person is “responsible”, we are reduced to using age as a determining factor. Any rational alternatives to the age based system of rights and responsibilities, will, of course, be considered.

  49. Bobster, I agree with you on this issue. Either a person is an adult or he/she is not. A drinking age of 21, while all other adult privileges/responsibilities are granted/thrust upon an 18 year old, is just nonsensible.

  50. The various states do have statutory rules that send minors into adult court, or try them in juvenile court with adult penalties, usually for serious crimes, such as homicides. There are often pre-trial hearings to determine whether to waive the accused into adult court, or keep him in the juvie system. The mandatory waivers were a response to objections that some convicted juvenile criminals were being released at age 21 after committing crimes that would have kept them in stir for many more years, had they been a few months older when arrested. We seemed to have had the bad choice of over-punishing or under-punishing serious juvie crooks.

    Kevin

  51. Mad Scientist,
    That spider cracked me up!

  52. Something’s really strange when a Media Partnership for a Drug Free America ad is indistinguishable from Bloom County cartoons.

  53. This commercial would be funny, and might make a bit of sense — if you were high on weed.

  54. I agree that spider thing was really funny. For the first couple drugs it sounded like it was a real experiment, but then when the THC spider sitting in a hammock was mentioned, it started to become clear that it was a joke. From then on it was just plain funny.

  55. Back from Vegas- While I was there, my kids had more sense than their dad and I- I keep hearing, “Mom and Dad get on a plane. You just lost BMW x 2!!!!!”

    They were being selfish though-the little one got her permit last month and Ash wants to upgrade from the Corrolla.

    Sun—in Dallas—hmmmmmmmm, I just warmed up thinking of it. To be a spider sunning in a hammock…Easy Street until crack spider pops a cap in our asses.

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