Fun with Propaganda

Of course, throughout history, our government has coopted all kinds of cultural icons to help promote its destructive war on drugs (and I’m sure some participated in good faith because they themselves had been blinded by the years of propaganda). I was reminded this morning of this:

Captain America Goes To War Against Drugs

It was 1990, and it was a free issue “Produced in Cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation”

Back in 2011 Cracked had an article that described the completely inane attempt at using Captain America this way: 6 Comics That Covered Serious Issues and Failed Hilariously

Captain America seems like a perfect “Don’t do drugs” spokesman until you remember that it was getting shot up with a “super soldier serum” that let him gain muscles the size of basketballs and become a superhero. So that makes him pretty much the Barry Bonds of superheroes and the second-worst person to star in a PSA comic about substance abuse after Pablo Escobar.

The “Captain America Goes to War Against Drugs” story is so epic it spans two comics, and it’s so offensively stupid that the DEA might as well have tattooed DRUGS on their knuckles and punched all the kids who read this comic in the face instead.

It goes on in detail to describe the bizarre story in this comic.

And, of course, there were others. Check out The American Soft Drink Industry presents DC Comics’ The New Teen Titans in cooperation with The President’s Drug Awareness Campaign, complete with a letter from Nancy Reagan.


Speaking of propaganda, remember the old “This is your brain on drugs”?


It’s been rightly ridiculed over the years, but now there’s a new version that’s a lot more interesting.

The tagline of the most famous anti-drug campaign of the late 80s is now the title of a series of beautiful posters created by Duke University senior Meaghan Li. Li majors in public policy and minors in graphic design. This project was created for a psychology class that delved into different aspects of substance use and abuse.

This is your brain on drugs.


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44 Responses to Fun with Propaganda

  1. DonDig says:

    Well, you’ve got to give them credit …
    If at first you don’t succeed, try try again …
    and Fail. And keep failing.
    The definition of insanity.

  2. Servetus says:

    Really nice artwork by Meaghan Lee. As the drugs are each legalized, she’s going to be the go-to girl for drug company logos.

  3. N.T. Greene says:

    I would totally order prints of those.

  4. Duncan20903 says:


    Gosh I love fried eggs. Breakfast, lunch, supper, dinner, midnight snack or just about any time of the day or night. With spam or without, what other food can lay claim to costing less than a dollar for a full meal? I’ve got one of those little Egg Eaters Anonymous frying pans. You know, the ones that fry one egg at a time?

    This is your brain: {{{}}}

    This is your brain on propaganda: {null}

    Any questions?

    • Windy says:

      I also like fried eggs, and deviled eggs (after Easter it’s a good way to use some of those Easter eggs, best recipe I’ve discovered for deviled eggs is simple and so very good: mashed egg yolks, Miracle Whip dressing, Wasabi mustard, a pinch of onion and garlic powders, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together and put back in the whites, serve chilled).

  5. DdC says:

    OTish Although there are many Salvia’s, mostly types of sage. Salvia divinorum is a bitter herb drug worriers have tried banning. The grow kits for kids are Salvia coccinea, commonly called scarlet sage. The sage used most often for soup making is Salvia Officionalis.

    From FB: Ok everyone LOOK AT THIS!!!!! SALVIA KIT BY CRAYOLA!
    My granddaughter was given this as a gift, from an unsuspecting great grandparent who was unaware of what she was buying. It is made by Crayola, and the label recommends for ages 4+

    3 left at Amazon $10.14
    Crayola I Can Grow Kit, Salvia, allows you to spend quality time with your children while teaching them something new with this do-it-yourself project. A fun way to teach children how to take care of living things while getting their hands dirty!

    It does seem odd for a grow kit for kids. Is it like fake beer or candy cigarettes, except Salvia was always a fringe or cultural use more than recreational. Seems more like saying crap and selling crap. Not a first blunder for Crayola. Maybe someone should tell them.

    Candy Cigarettes at Amazon $8.59
    Old-Fashioned Bubblegum Cigars
    Milk Chocolate Cigars

    11 Non-Alcoholic Beers, Taste Tested

    That got me wondering about all these exemptions and they still cage sick people for Ganja? “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”– George Bernard Shaw

    Do you want that mouthwash straight up or on the rocks?
    “Drinking mouthwash is a common teen problem.”

    Why Don’t You Buy Vanilla Extract in a Liquor Store?
    Poison centers and emergency rooms around the country regularly report patients who have to be hospitalized because they downed mouthwash, cough syrup, or alcohol-based flavorings in their attempts to get loaded.

    Does America consider it legal for a minor under 21 to take communion. If so, how… because they are drinking alcohol? Just curious.

    it is legal due to religious usage and small volumes.

    Win with Dick

    • NorCalNative says:

      I had a physician recommend Salvia to me a few years ago.
      Like a good patient I made sure I followed doctor’s orders.

  6. DdC says:

    Comix and Cannabis

    Mighty Mouse was banned for sniffing flowers
    The Cocaine Adventures of Mighty Mouse

    Popeye smoking spinach in a hookah.

    Popeye the Pothead

    The head of the Office of National Drug Control Policy is under fire for manipulating data in a report to Congress to cover shortcomings in his federal antidrug program.

    Now McCaffreys office is in more hot water. Insight has discovered that ONDCP manipulated data in a formal report to deceive Congress, a likely violation of federal law. The move concealed from congressional budget makers the shortcomings of ONDCPs $195 million per year media campaign to promote antidrug awareness. The campaign is the only program ONDCP directly manages.

  7. Mr_Alex says:

    Propaganda against cannabis can be damaging if done correctly

  8. thelbert says:

    here’s some news from WA. even with a high priced policy expert to help make legal pot available to joe six-pack, the state legislature has to fix some things:

    • Windy says:


      “Voters deserve to trust that their decisions count,” Rep. David Sawyer, D-Lakewood, said in a statement. “Despite a resounding decision from the people they represent, members of the Pierce County Council and Lakewood City Council chose to circumvent their voters and ban marijuana stores in their jurisdictions.”

      Too bad they don’t feel the same way about the 1998 voters’ decision to grant sick people medicinal cannabis and are now making it more difficult for those patients.

  9. jean valjean says:

    “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public” H.L. Mencken

    Same goes for the British public. The propagandists have convinced them that this coming election is all about immigration and how the country has been “swamped” by foreigners. Needless to say, the regions where this view is most widely held are those with the lowest percentage of immigrants. Reminds me of Nixon convincing voters that “….public enemy number one in the United States is drug abuse. In order to fight and defeat this enemy, it is necessary to wage a new, all-out offensive.”
    The only British politician brave enough to raise ending the drug war as an election topic was Nick Clegg….he was instantly shot down by the other parties and the tabloid press, who then replaced a real policy problem with the Big Scare of “immigrants taking our jobs.” Seems like drug reform is still a third rail in British politics.

    • Duncan20903 says:

      Just a minor sniggle…that’s actually the bastardized version of H.L. Mencken’s quote.

      “No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.”

      ~~ H.L. Mencken from ‘Notes On Journalism’ in the Chicago Tribune (19 September 1926)

      Hey it looks like this Mencken fellow was a prophet:

      The American of today, in fact, probably enjoys less personal liberty than any other man of Christendom, and even his political liberty is fast succumbing to the new dogma that certain theories of government are virtuous and lawful, and others abhorrent and felonious. Laws limiting the radius of his free activity multiply year by year: It is now practically impossible for him to exhibit anything describable as genuine individuality, either in action or in thought, without running afoul of some harsh and unintelligible penalty. It would surprise no impartial observer if the motto “In God we trust” were one day expunged from the coins of the republic by the Junkers at Washington, and the far more appropriate word, “verboten,” substituted. Nor would it astound any save the most romantic if, at the same time, the goddess of liberty were taken off the silver dollars to make room for a bas-relief of a policeman in a spiked helmet.Moreover, this gradual (and, of late, rapidly progressive) decay of freedom goes almost without challenge; the American has grown so accustomed to the denial of his constitutional rights and to the minute regulation of his conduct by swarms of spies, letter-openers, informers and agents provocateurs that he no longer makes any serious protest.

      H.L. Mencken from The American Credo: A Contribution toward the Interpretation of the National Mind (1920)

  10. Frank W. says:

    Yahoo’s clickbait story (which had 26 blocked ads) of the day was “This New Study Is Bad News if You’re a Marijuana Supporter”. Apparently the bad news is that pot impairs adolescents’ memories because of Science. Funded by NIMH. I don’t know science but I know this churnalism didn’t get “placed” on Yahoo for no reason.

    • Duncan20903 says:


      What the heck would you expect from Those clowns have been teaching people how to lose money in the stock market since the mid-1990s. That particular Fool has had a hard on for the cannabis industry for at least a couple of years. He’s a very passive aggressive critic and a total dolt. It really has been a personal annoyance that after a hiatus of about a decade of being Wall Street free that when I look again that both The Motley Fools and Jim Cramer are there ready to annoy the heck out of me. If you’re not familiar with Mr. Cramer, it’s not inaccurate to say that he’s the Nancy Grace of high finance. Back in the day he ran a hedge fund and was the go to guy for interviews when CNBC felt a need to interview a loud mouthed buffoon. He’s the kind of trader that recommends people buy what he’s selling and sell what he’s buying. Not that it’s hard to find traders like that but he does it with true gusto. Like Nancy Grace he decided that he liked being on TV so he closed his hedge fund in favor of being a professional loud mouthed buffoon. The amusing thing was after he quit trading no one wanted to hear him talk. Jim Cramer excepted of course. The man is in love with the sound of his voice.

      But christ on a crutch, if we want to talk about people with memory problems has anyone figured out why the prohibitionists don’t seem able to recall all of their proven wrong predictions of highway mayhem, societal sloth, underage use increasing and blah blah blah blah blah? So memory free that they even re-issue predictions that were proven wrong in the past albeit with the added qualification that “it’s different this time!”

  11. Mr_Alex says:

    Not a surprise that many anti cannabis groups have ties to Partnership for a Drug Free America aka Straight Inc run by Betty and Melvin Sembler, I questioned a small portion of them on Facebook during the weekend, all they will do is block and no rebuttal, once you question the 50,000 or more children that were forced against their will to rehab and some of the victims did commit suicide, the Prohibitionists run off very fast and groups like Marijuana Makes You Violent run by Pete Miller, Josh Freeman and Kyle Stevens are now blocking people for asking their connection to Betty and Melvin Sembler and here is a clue I will give to people who want to see through the Satire operation, one of their relatives who is part of the Marijuana Makes You Violent leadership is connected to Betty and Melvin Sembler and Calvina Fay

      • DdC says:

        the$traights dot com

        But it all was kinda brilliant in a mad hatter criminal genius kind of way: Non-Licensed Adults weren’t abusing the kids in Straight, Inc.; KIDS were! Tell me that’s not a certain kind of mad criminal brilliance to escape criminal charges and imprisonment.

        Sheldon Addlebrain

        Not Quite Straight: Mel Sembler Donates $100K to Stop Medical Marijuana

        Mel Sembler founded Straight, Inc – a now-defunct institution where parents could ship their kids off to get ‘fixed’ – at its height of the “Say No to Drugs” era in the 80’s. With the model being a bastardized version of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, the propaganda claimed that kids helping kids was the way to go. Entire books and articles have been written (some by me), cited, and studied over how Straight Inc’s model for ‘drug recovery’ destroyed minds, shattered lives, took lives, and even contributed to psychosis and familial disintegration. I’ll offer some links as I go on regarding that.

        Shame on the Drug Worrier Profiteers
        ☛ Nonsensical Harbingers of Idiocracy
        ☛ Misinformation S.A.M.
        ☛ Belville to Sabet to Chapman 1.29.13
        ☛ If the Roots are Poison, So be the Fruit.
        ☛ Mooching Off Medicaid
        ☛ More DEA and UN Overreaching Arguments Against Legalization
        ☛ Won’t say why?
        ☛ The U.N.’s complicity in international human rights abuses
        ☛ The Many Different Faces Of Cannabis In America
        ☛ Lobbyists Are Getting Rich Off of WoD
        ☛ DEA Bans Dispensary Security and Armored Cars From Picking up Cash
        ☛ Their father’s are rolling over in their Martini glasses…
        ☛ Project SCAM Forcing Pot Smokers Into “Prehab”
        ☛ Heard in Congress… Thud.
        ☛ Guess Who’s Profiting From Pot Prohibition?
        ☛ Getting High Would Be Legal If It Weren’t For THIS
        ☛ Leading Anti-Marijuana Academics Are Paid by Painkiller Drug Companies
        ☛ Pisstasting is UnAmerican

        Calvina Fay Prohibition Inc.
        ☛ GOP Mogul Behind Drug Rehab ‘Torture’ Centers
        ☛ Drug Worrier Kevin Sabet Gets Punk’d
        ☛ Conflicts between State and Federal Marijuana Laws
        ☛ Tweets from Senate Hearing on Cannabis
        ☛ Dung Worriers Blocking Proponents From Attending
        ☛ Woman’s Christian Temperance Union

        Who’s Funding Calvina Fay of Drug Free America Foundation?
        $1.2 million in receipts for 2003,
        of which about $900k was government grants.

        Betty Sembler elected to Florida Women’s Hall of Shame, uh Fame

  12. Duncan20903 says:


    Take that supporters of intelligent design! Hillary has “evolved”

    Hillary Clinton has announced her candidacy for President.

    On many policy issues Clinton has evolved, although her opponents like to accuse her of merely oscillating with the political winds. Here are the Secretary’s stances on five key issues that appeal to young voters: education, marijuana, immigration, climate change and LGBT rights.

    Doood, where’s my defibrillator?

    • Windy says:

      Evolved my ass! That harpy has always been a harpy and will ALWAYS be a harpy, she is nothing close to presidential material and I hope she gets her ass handed to her on a platter.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        Is your snark detector still in the shop? 😀

        But still, one of my major pet peeves is when people on the other side of the table dismiss this issue as being unimportant. Oh well heck, if it ain’t important they have no problem with repeal, right?

        I don’t recall if I linked it here but within the last couple of weeks I read an “opinion” piece where the writer started out with the “it’s unimportant” excuse, moved on to the “we just can’t tell if it’s dangerous because there’s no reliable research (with the results they want there isn’t) and segued directly into “we have to warn ‘the childrens’ of the danger!!”

        So now don’t you go and worry your pretty little head, I’m not promoting Hilary for POTUS. But to the best of my recollection this is the first time any so called “major” candidate acknowledged the issue as important. Even Dick Nixon and Ronald Reagan were just using the issue because they didn’t like the hippies. Don’t forget that Mr. Reagan was the Governor of California “during the height of the hippie movement, described a hippie as a person who ‘dresses like Tarzan, has hair like Jane, and smells like Cheeta.'” In 1969 he sent the National Guard in to occupy Berkeley for two weeks because all of those darn hippies who were planting non-cannabinoid producing flowers without permission. The point is that Messrs. Nixon and Reagan were only using cannabis as a means to an end.

        Gosh, did you see the video of Mr. Obama having a conversation with a Rastafarian in Jamaica very recently? What other stripe of religionist would he be willing to dismiss as if that particular dogma was too meaningless to matter? Anyway, that’s my story and I’m stuck with it.

        I also noticed that she only said the issue was important, not that she was supporting regulated re-legalization.

        • Crut says:

          Whap whap. Damn, I forgot to turn mine on this morning.

          They won’t be able to avoid the subject for long. The freight train is a-coming.

    • Crut says:

      She hasn’t yet evolved. She avoiding the issue by saying “needs more research”.

      There is going to be a tidal wave of research in the coming year or two. My guess is that there will be very little for the remaining prohibs to cling to.

      • Duncan20903 says:


        I’ve got to apologize because I completely misread the part I cut& pasted in my OP. Like Emily Litella would say, never mind.

    • Servetus says:

      No doubt Hillary’s drug credentials suck. However, her election as president might just presage a breakthrough for Americans with respect to international law.

      Just before husband Bill left the Whitehouse, he signed onto The Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC). When George W. Bush was elected, he quickly ‘unsigned’ from the ICC, and then issued a presidential order that declared military action would be taken to retrieve any American held for trial at the Hague. Bush & Co. apparently understood it was about to break all kinds of international laws by starting a war in Iraq, well before 9-11 and phantom weapons of mass destruction provided convenient excuses.

      If President Hillary were to sign on to the ICC again, Americans would finally have access to an international legal tribunal with which to appeal their cases when US laws and court proceedings obstruct justice. In theory, it would be possible to pursue litigation against US drug war policies as well as its promoters and profiteers as they continue to bring about massive human rights violations in contravention of Article 7(1,h) of the Rome Statute:

      Persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity on political, racial, national, ethnic, cultural, religious, gender as defined in paragraph 3, or other grounds that are universally recognized as impermissible under international law, in connection with any act referred to in this paragraph or any crime within the jurisdiction of the Court;

      Other than that, we probably shouldn’t have a president in the Whitehouse who’s never smoked marijuana. It would violate recent tradition.

      • darkcycle says:

        Servetus, what evidence do you have that Hil would do that? Everything I know about her says it will never happen. Has she said that? Where?

    • Justin Auldphart says:

      Judging from all the hoopla yesterday about Mrs. Clinton, I have a feeling that we, as a nation, are being gamed…that woman could tell me my name and I would have to check my license just to make sure it was true….

  13. cy klebs says:

    I remember that comic book, it is a collectors item. THX for a laugh!

    • Cliff says:

      I still have the complete “Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers” comics from the height of the War on (some) Drugs. I peruse them every now and again. I wonder what they would be worth if I wanted to sell them.

  14. Servetus says:


    The federal government shows no sign of backing off from its practice of using deceptive research conclusions to misconstrue marijuana’s use and effects. The latest to do so is the Center for Drug Use and HIV Research, (CDUHR). The CDUHR has the usual research disclaimer:

    “Declaration of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest.”

    And yet, when examined closely, we find this:

    “CDUHR is a Core Center of Excellence funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (Grant #P30 DA011041).”

    There is probably no greater conflict of interest than being funded by the NIDA. The NIDA’s goal is to appear scientific in a hopeless quest to create a drug free society, one propped up by sophomoric interpretations of NIDA’s s own bad research.

    In the latest bamboozle, the government researchers attempt to distinguish the use of marijuana (0.5-5% THC) with the evil perils of hashish (2-20% [THC] with some estimates as high as 50%).

    13-APR-2015 — “Another key finding was that other drug use was a robust risk factor for hashish use,” said Dr. Palamar. “Other illicit drug use, regular cigarette smoking, and frequent alcohol use each increased the risk for hashish use; however, a main finding was that as frequency of other marijuana use increased, so too did risk for recent hashish use.”[…]

    “Interestingly, our research found that students using marijuana because they identified as being “hooked” on it nearly doubled the odds for hashish use,” said Dr. Palamar. “Since it is the more frequent marijuana users and those who feel they are hooked who are more likely to use hashish, in some instances hashish use can be used as an indicator of severity of marijuana use.”

    These findings can inform prevention and harm reduction in a time of increasing popularity of marijuana use and increasing rates of use of hashish products.*

    Pharmacists these people are not. Note the effort to conflate ‘prevention’ with ‘harm reduction’. The NIDA’s goal is to produce uninformed people who view cannabinoids as being equivalent to alcohol with respect to differing concentrations of chemical purity. The problem, of course, is that cannabinoids are not alcohol. A person doesn’t suffer anything serious by ingesting too much marijuana, or hashish. With alcohol, it’s possible to die.


    *Public news release here.

    CDUHR Publication here.

  15. DdC says:

    Marijuana Plant Material Available from the NIDA Drug Supply Program

    Here is one of Hillary Clinton’s Stances on 5 Major Issues You Care About

    History of Marijuana in 4 Minutes and 20 Seconds #wukar #wukarvideos

    Will Big Cig become Big Marijuana?

    Why? When we have it better than it has ever been as it is now.
    ☛ Flowers ☛ Edibles ☛ Hash
    ☛ Paraphernalia ☛ Prerolled
    ☛ Tincture ☛ Topical

    ☛ Lab-Tested ☛ Delivery ☛ Security Guard
    ☛ Takes CC ☛ Weedmaps Photos
    ☛ Videos ☛ Accessible ☛ Recreational

  16. Where Do Presidential Candidates Stand on Marijuana?

    Tom Angell is on top of the info.

    John Legend Launches Campaign To End Mass Incarceration

    Glenn Greenwald: “Let this be the first election that forces the candidates to treat mass incarceration as the heinous injustice it is”

    Some interesting stats:

  17. strayan says:


    Things are looking good for methamphetamine as a neuroprotective agent:

  18. Duncan20903 says:


    Well here’s another surprising piece of news: New Mexico has cracked down of civil forfeiture:.

    The new law only allows seizures under the following circumstances:

    (1) the person was arrested for an offense to which forfeiture applies;
    (2) the person is convicted by a criminal court of the offense; and
    (3) the state establishes by clear and convincing evidence that the property is subject to forfeiture

    As if all that wasn’t enough good news the new law also says,

    “The law enforcement agency shall not transfer property to the federal government if the transfer would circumvent the protections of the Forfeiture Act that would otherwise be available to a putative interest holder in the property.”

    Hey Mr. prohibitionist parasite, Read ’em and weep

  19. Trish says:

    The art is beautiful!

    I also remember a piece of art from the time, that while not at beautiful, was a fun response:

    This is your brain with a side of bacon.

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