Marijuana

The Head of the Group That Gave Us 'This Is Your Brain on Drugs' Thinks Legalized Marijuana Is 'Happening in America'

He doesn't plan to push back against legal pot in Colorado and Washington.

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Here's one for everyone who grew up watching the Partnership for a Drug-Free America's over-the-top anti-drug ads: Pot legalization is "happening in America." That's not me talking; it's the head of the Partnership at Drugfree.org, as the organization is now known. And no, he isn't saying it to rally the troops against legalization. He's telling Advertising Age that he wants to focus on convincing people not to use marijuana, not convincing people to ban it:

And don't get them started on pancakes.

Ever since Colorado and Washington state voters legalized recreational marijuana use, Partnership at Drugfree.org has been lobbied to run ads criticizing the decision. But that's the last thing the group wants to do. "A public-service ad that says: 'By the way, voters of Colorado, you don't know what you are doing.' Come on," said Steve Pasierb, the partnership's CEO. Pot legalization is "happening in America," he added.

The Partnership is taking a practical approach in Colorado and Washington with an educational PR effort. In July the group hosted a panel discussion in Denver to discuss what pot legalization will mean for kids. Parents have a "critical role to play to ensure that the readily available marijuana in these states do not result in higher levels of use by…their children and young teens," the group said in August.

The Partnership doesn't support legalization. But it seems to have concluded that in Colorado and Washington—maybe everywhere, depending on how you take the phrase "in America"—it's futile to try to reverse the tide. Anytime a crusader opts for persuasion over coercion, that's a reason to be happy.

As for the quality of that persuasion…well, I wouldn't say the Partnership has a great track record. But for nostalgia's sake, here's a compilation of the group's early PSAs:

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  1. What kind of advocacy group doesn’t want to ban things? None that I’m going to listen to, that’s for damn sure. They just ain’t serious.

  2. I learned it by watching you!

    1. “Well, you’re doing it wrong! This is how you roll it right!”

  3. I remember those from when I still watched TV. They were great humor. We couldn’t help but mock them mercilessly whenever they came on. I doubt the Partnership will attain their goals, but so long as they keep making riffable content, I can’t hate them completely.

  4. In July the group hosted a panel discussion in Denver to discuss what pot legalization will mean for kids. Parents have a “critical role to play to ensure that the readily available marijuana in these states do not result in higher levels of use by…their children and young teens,” the group said in August.

    That law makes marijuana mandatory for children over the age of six months, right?

    1. because drug dealers are the most scrupulous business men and would never sell illicit substances to minors… that’s why we would work our asses off to find a guy to buy us beer in highschool, but illegal substances… nah no one would be able to get em, they’re illegal duh

  5. These were the assholes who tried to convince me no one wanted to be a junkie, weren’t they? Fucking liars.

    1. “Bill? I’m sorry, but you’re just not cut out to be a junkie. Maybe you can find something else to be addicted to. Anyway, it was good shooting up with you, please leave your works with Stacy in HR.”

  6. This is yer brain on drugs

    That’s not a brain that’s breakfast! *munchies*

    1. In the infamous “This is your brainwaves on pot” PSA they actually used the brainwaves of a coma victim, and then pulled the spot once researchers “busted” them on it.

      I think their response when pressed was something along the lines of “This is a war, and so anything goes” or some such claptrap.

      Disingenuous fucktards all of em.

    2. They forgot the toast.

  7. Maybe he meant “happening” like “awesome”.

    “Baby, those are some happening boobs.”

    Something like that.

  8. Dear drugfree.org,

    Just because something is legal, doesn’t mean you can’t still advise against it’s use.

    I’m sure the debate over the merits and demerits of marijuana use will continue long after it is fully legalized. Which is going to happen, so get used to it.

    I’m sure in 10 years time, nobody will have a problem with you running ads telling kids that marijuana is bad for them. Just as notobody has a problem with ads telling people that tobacco and alcohol is bad for them.

    1. I just hope we don’t go full retard fuck-the-Constitution and ban any ads for marijuana like we did for tobacco.

    2. I dont think Hazel read the article. That is exactly what drugfree is doing.

      Welcome to being on the same page.

      1. I know that’s what drugfree is advocating, I’m just hoping the people who worked so hard to get prohibition started on its long-overdue collapse don’t roll over with ‘well of course we shouldn’t allow advertising, it’s for the children.”

    3. No, I believe that by the time pot’s legal nearly everywhere, the Partnership will lose all its funding for any anti-pot messages. The only reasons the sponsors were saying they were against drug X was that drug X was illegal, so they (the sponsors) thought they’d score points with the public by sponsoring such a message. It was like saying they were for Mom & apple pie.

  9. Are they affiliated with those shadowy Ad Council assholes?

  10. “In July the group hosted a panel discussion in Denver to discuss what pot legalization will mean for kids. Parents have a “critical role to play to ensure that the readily available marijuana in these states do not result in higher levels of use by…their children and young teens,”

    Underlying the argument of all prohibitionists is the premise that legalization will make drugs easier to obtain,i.e. the current drug war is working. This is complete bullshit. I had a 14 year old kid tell me once he could get pot inside half an hour anytime he wanted it and got it cheaper and easier than he could get beer.

    It is almost as if getting rid of drugs is not their real agenda.

    1. Kid wasn’t joking. When I was in high school, I had a half a dozen dealers to call up and zero reliable alcohol connections. It was easier to get pot than cigarettes even.

      1. the illegal nature of the substances makes them easily obtainable for far cheaper black market prices, same thing with firearms… these fucking idiots keep creating crime and patting themselves on the back for it. the lot of em should be dragged out of their homes tarred and feathered then set ablaze

  11. Didn’t watch the compilation vid., but just in case it’s not in there: Here’s Rachel Leigh Cook’s PSA. You’re welcome.

    1. I think she’s on drugs. Probably PCP.

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