The ONDCP’s public service

Well, the delightful new ONDCP Burrito Taster / Couch Security Guard / TV Remote Control Operator ads I talked about have been ridiculed far and wide. Criminal justice and drug policy blogs around the country and overseas have laughed their heads off and it’s reached into mainstream political blogs as well.
It’s pretty much unanimous that these are unlikely to have any impact other than providing free decoration for dorm rooms.
I took some copies to a hempfest in a neighboring state and everyone wanted one. The owner of a head shop there took one of each to put on the wall and said “this looks like what we’d come up with.”
The only actual supposedly anti-drug message on the ads — “Hey, not trying to be your mom, but there aren’t many jobs out there for potheads.” — generated even more ridicule, with sites all over the web generating lists of people in the top jobs in the world who smoked pot (video and list).
To give you an idea of the degree of delusional thinking emanating from the folks at the White House Office of National Drug Policy, check out this pat on the back they give themselves…

Here’s another print ad from the campaign that follows up on the much talked about “Burrito Taster” ad we posted on the blog last week. [emphasis added]

Yeah, it’s much talked about in the same way that the guy who stepped on a rake and hit himself in the balls on America’s Funniest Home Videos is much talked about.
Now, I figure they probably are thinking that the idea is to create a “culturally cool” ad that will attract the interest of stoners while giving them a subtle message that will reach them even as they enjoy the humor of the ad.
The problem with that is that they have no message. There is nothing they can say in an ad to convince people to not use marijuana because people aren’t that stupid. They already know the actual risks and benefits of using pot and will make their own decision. There is no big downside (other than the legal status) and they know it.
So it doesn’t matter what the ONDCP does in terms of advertising. The have no message. All that can actually happen with any ad they come up with is to bring up the subject of marijuana.
Because the ONDCP can’t outlaw reality, the taxpayers are, in fact, paying millions of dollars to remind people to smoke pot.

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