'They're Getting High for Free'


During the Super Bowl, as is its wont, the Office of National Drug Control Policy unveiled a new anti-drug PSA, featuring a curiously chatty drug dealer who complains that his business is down because all the kids are getting high off the pills they find in their parents' medicine cabinets. Presumably intended as a warning to parents, the ad also functions (like so much anti-drug propaganda) as a tip for kids. The drug dealer and the ONDCP may be equally imprudent in calling attention to the free highs available in the bathroom, but only one of them actually exists.

At Best Week Ever, Dan Hopper uses the new spot as an excuse to collect "The 10 Funniest Anti-Drug Commercials in Advertising History." Some of his choices, including the one featuring the fried egg representing your brain on drugs, the one showing a girl diving into a dry swimming pool, and the one in which Pee-Wee Herman warns kids that crack is both instantly addictive and instantly deadly, are justly recognized as classics. But a few of them I'd never seen before, including Hopper's top pick, in which the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles teach a classroom of schoolchildren how to respond when confronted by a fellow pipsqueak with a handful of joints. Michaelangelo, who suggests ordering a pizza, is clearly confused: That's what you do after smoking the pot.

Personally, I'm partial to the spot in which a heroin-chic Rachel Leigh Cook trashes a kitchen to demonstrate what happens after you snort a certain white powder, which merits only an "honorable mention" from Hopper. Here the creative geniuses at the Partnership for a Drug-Free America have managed to take the fried-egg ad, which was so hyperbolic it was legendary, the object of universal derision and satire (except at the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, where it is still recalled with pride), and make it even more over the top. Plus she looks kinda hot swinging that frying pan.