Movies

New ONDCP Message: Don't Smoke Pot Too Much

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The Office of National Drug Control Policy has a new, mildly amusing anti-pot website featuring a faux documentary called Stoners in the Mist (parts of which, I assume, will also be featured in anti-drug PSAs). Although the jokes are mostly ripped off from Cheech & Chong and such pothead-depicting movies as Fast Times at Ridgemont High, I suppose I prefer this soft-sell approach to the ads accusing pot smokers of funding terrorism or initimating that it's only a matter of time before they accidentally run over a little girl or blow a friend's head off. Then again, people might be more receptive to subtler lies in an entertaining package, in which case the better propaganda is actually worse.

The mockumentary and the material accompanying it include many misrepresentations (see if you can spot them all!), but the most fundamental one is the conflation of pot smokers with stoners, which is rather like treating all drinkers as drunks. No doubt people who spend most of their lives stoned do have difficulty accomplishing things, relating to others, carrying on conversations, and catching basketballs. This is the grain of truth at the center of the pothead humor from which Stoners in the Mist borrows so shamelessly. But the traditional portrayals are usually gentle, even affectionate, and are especially popular among people who like to smoke pot, who recognize both the realistic aspects and the comic exaggeration. I doubt there are many people who decide to stop smoking weed (or never to try it) after watching Dude, Where's My Car? or Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle. By contrast, although Stoners in the Mist resembles a sketch from a weak episode of Chapelle's Show, the ONDCP's intended message is that all pot smokers are losers. In a country where about half the population admits to trying marijuana before graduating high school, and a substantial majority surely knows at least a few pot smokers pretty well by then, who is going to believe this message? Probably only the teenagers who were not inclined to smoke pot in the first place.

NEXT: Ha!

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  1. Dave’s not here, man.

  2. No man, I’m Dave.

  3. Why don’t they ever do a PSA about the real danger of heavy marijuana use?

    Jam Bands

  4. Dave’s not here, man.

  5. New ONDCP Message: Don’t Smoke Pot Too Much

    No, you should smoke just enough.

    I don’t think being anti-stoner is any worse than being anti-drunk; it’s common sense that overindulgence in anything tends to have consequences.

    I think having commercial marijuana producers doing “Smoke Responsibly” ads a la the beer companies would be a much more sensible and effective message.

  6. New ONDCP Message: Don’t Smoke Pot Too Much

    Like the MTV “Rock Against Drugs” ads when I was a lad:

    Shot of Jon Bon Jovi backstage at a concert. “Look around, you don’t see any drugs. Drugs are not everyday fun.”

    Ummm…ok. So, Catholic holidays, or what?

  7. Stop with your suggestions please, if we create ads that actually reduce pot smoking then where would I get my new crop of workers for my expaning prison labor programs? Also what would happen to drug prices if we really reduced drug use in the country? prices would crash!

    This would be horrible for the funding mechanisms of many critically important CIA operations. If you are in favor of the great American project of freedom spreading then you will stop being so unpatriotic towards our drug war policies.

  8. At some point, they have to throw in the towel. When they start citing ‘lack of ambition’ as a reason to keep a drug illegal, the game is up.

  9. If someone would just sneak some pot brownies into the ONDCP’s offices, this could all be over once they are laughing uncontrollably and remarking on how big their hands are.

  10. Pot-smoking is for gay men… Not that there’s anything wrong with that!!

    Now where did I put my bong…??

  11. So, in the great debate over marijuana, the ONDCP has been reduced to ad hominem.

    Prediction: The next ONDCP ad campaign compares pot smokers to Hitler.

  12. In a country where about half the population admits to trying marijuana before graduating high school, and a substantial majority surely knows at least a few pot smokers pretty well by then, who is going to believe this message? Probably only the teenagers who were not inclined to smoke pot in the first place.

    Well observed, Mr. Sullum

    At some point, they have to throw in the towel. When they start citing ‘lack of ambition’ as a reason to keep a drug illegal, the game is up.

    I thought the game was up when they started teaching that it was a “gateway” drug. It’s basically admitting that there’s nothing actually wrong with smoking a doobie except for that they think it’ll make you more likely to do harder drugs.

  13. At some point, they have to throw in the towel. When they start citing ‘lack of ambition’ as a reason to keep a drug illegal, the game is up.

    How I wish I could believe that. What it’s going to take, is a legal market anywhere in the free world. Not decriminalized, legal, where contracts can be enforced. One hamlet anywhere in Europe or North America does that, and the game is up.

  14. who is going to believe this message? Probably only the teenagers who were not inclined to smoke pot in the first place.

    Due to my somewhat fruitless attempts to keep tabs on the younger familial generation, I have a strange collection of high school age myspace friends. Some of them are very adamantly against drugs, and sound like ONDCP propaganda on the pages. I don’t know all of them personally, so some of them may be yanking my chain. However, some appear to be serious. I conclude the agitprop is working on some of them.

  15. Shot of Jon Bon Jovi backstage at a concert. “Look around, you don’t see any drugs. Drugs are not everyday fun.”

    Ummm…ok. So, Catholic holidays, or what?

    Holy days of obligation, if you include Sundays, works for me.

  16. I was under the impression that pot was legal in both holland and sweden.

  17. the ONDCP’s intended message is that all pot smokers are losers. In a country where about half the population admits to trying marijuana before graduating high school, and a substantial majority surely knows at least a few pot smokers pretty well by then, who is going to believe this message?

    I believe it. Now, why would anyone believe being a “loser” is a bad thing? O, yeah, spend all your time working so you can buy crap instead of dope

  18. Why does every ONDCP ad depicting “stoners” always include a guy with a knitted cap?

  19. which is rather like treating all drinkers as drunks.

    ARE YOU IMPLYING THAT THEY ARE NOT? ALL WHO WORSHIP AT THE ALTAR OF ALCOHOL ARE DEGENERATES WHO MUST BE STRIPPED OF ALL FORMS OF TRANSPORTATION.

  20. Taktix?,

    That’s the one part of the ad I don’t actually have a problem with. It’s really quite accurate.

  21. Up there with the most ridiculous attempt to justify the most ridiculous law ever.

  22. @ pinette
    No, it is illegal in both places. IIRC, it is not really enforced in the Netherlands, Spain and Denmark, but Sweden in fact is just as anti-pot (perhaps more so) as the U.S. and France.

  23. The only way I’d be willing to legalize drugs is if we can get a global water/salt or CO2 tax put in place. Until then I will continue to make sure that all the CFR candidates we allow in the game will be firmly against drug legalization.

    There is no better way for me to gain control over my peasants and your stupid children than the current drug war.

    You silly little people with your appeals to logic and justice. Just make sure you vote for one of the two wonderful candidates I give you, it is your duty….aaaahhhhhhaaaaahhhaa

  24. With the corporations government bootlicker’s who require peeing for a job, what’s the problem?

  25. Why does every ONDCP ad depicting “stoners” always include a guy with a knitted cap?

    Is it a cunning cap?

  26. Some of them are very adamantly against drugs, and sound like ONDCP propaganda on the pages. I don’t know all of them personally, so some of them may be yanking my chain. However, some appear to be serious. I conclude the agitprop is working on some of them.

    I think a lot of people just get really put off by what they see in people who drink and smoke pot heavily. I don’t drink or smoke pot largely because I hate the way I’ve seen my parents and friends act when they’ve been intoxicated.

  27. I think a lot of people just get really put off by what they see in people who drink and smoke pot heavily. I don’t drink or smoke pot largely because I hate the way I’ve seen my parents and friends act when they’ve been intoxicated.

    Yeah, I try to do my part to keep the kids off drugs by being a horrible example. It seems to be working on my niece who lives with us. However, some of these kids come from conservative bible thumpin’ homes, so I don’t know that they’ve seen a lot of alcohol/drug use.

  28. I wana get high sooo high.

  29. Nothing wrong with pointing out that “stoners” and “drunks” are losers. FWIW, the gateway drug thing, is true enough. I don’t know anyone who started with heroin…or PCP.

    They are.

    That doesn’t justify the WOD, by any means, however.

    Neu Mejican*

    *former professional dope smoker…I got over it.

  30. They (stoners & Drunks) are losers, for the most part, that is…

    Just to stir the pot around here… those losers should be provided treatment for their addiction rather than jail time, if’n they want it, that is…

  31. The two stoners in the videos are totally bombed, yet their eyes are not bloodshot. I smell a rat!

    And one more observation: the bit about throwing stuff at stoners who can’t catch is flat out wrong. Smoking up can give one miraculous powers to catch objects. Seriously. Perhaps because pot makes coherent thinking so difficult, the stoner can make catches that are impossible for the sober man. I have observed this phenomenon over and over, because the stoned person is usually so bad at throwing the object. Like a frog catching a fly, I’ve seen keys hurled through the air snatched up while the stoner never broke eye contact with the thrower. While reaction time is certainly impaired in most instances, improbable catches are actually increased. Anybody else notice this?

  32. “While reaction time is certainly impaired in most instances, improbable catches are actually increased. Anybody else notice this?”

    Yes.

    “Why does every ONDCP ad depicting “stoners” always include a guy with a knitted cap?”

    *slides knitted cap under chair*

  33. That has got to be one the goddam stupidest pieces of shit I have ever seen. It has all the wit and wisdom of a christian comedian. You can smell the flop sweat oozing from the screen.

    When Lord? When will this madness end? Free us from the grip of these idiots!

  34. Why have I never met anyone vehemently anti pot? Sure I get a few who are somewhat against doing it. They break so easily after 5 minutes of facts
    (not to do it just to legalize it) Do anti pot people ever leave their house?

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