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Can We Please Rethink Our Anti-Drug Comercials?


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PALESTINE - Have you ever seen that Above The Influence commercial where a young Hispanic girl is talking on the phone to her friend? Basically, she comes out of her house and says the following: "Hey girl, que pasa? Last night was crazy, from what I can remember. Hold on, slow down chica. A picture of me? You have to send it to me right now." At this point she takes the phone away from her ear and looks at what we're supposed to assume is a revealing or embarrassing picture of her. She puts the phone back up to her ear and says, "This must be from Saturday night. I was so high." Kids gathered around her look at their cell phones and at the girl, while a presumably cool dude in a white tank top stares at her like he's disappointed.

What about the one where another girl is milling about in her kitchen. Her dog jumps up on the counter and begins speaking to her. "Hey ( insert girl's name here ), I really wish you wouldn't smoke pot. You're not the same when you smoke, and I miss my friend. I'll be outside." The dog jumps down and runs to the door while the bewildered girl just stares into space.

Then there's the one where we see a boy pushing a full-length mirror through his neighborhood, eventually to his school, down the hallway, and into the lunchroom where he wheels it until it's directly in front of one of his friends. The voiceover then says, "Sometimes your friends can't see what drugs do to them." The friend looks up and sees himself in the mirror and just like that a revelation has come upon him. He looks upset and embarrassed, and we all know that he's going to change his ways very soon.

Are you laughing yet? You should be.

Not at the message of these commercials or what they're trying to accomplish, that's not humorous, but at the way they're done. The war on drugs, in particular the war to keep kids from using marijuana, has been a very difficult struggle, and all kinds of advertisements have been dreamt up and plastered on our television screens. But has it worked? I doubt it. In fact, it's probably encouraged kids to start smoking pot because they don't want to be like the ridiculous kids on the screen. Okay, maybe that's a stretch, but let's take a look at those commercials.

First, the Hispanic girl. I don't think we need to go into how that ad is inherently a little racially wrong. I mean, just because she's Hispanic doesn't mean she'll be saying 'que pasa' and 'chica'. Give me a break. Secondly, I don't know why, but when she says her "This must be from Saturday night. I was so high" line, I just want to start laughing. It's so ridiculous and I'll bet quite a bit of money that's it not deterring any kids from smoking pot. Next up, the dog commercial. That one's just weird, and I'm not really sure what to think of it. Lastly, the mirror. Another ridiculous situation made even more ridiculous by the friend's reaction when he looks up and sees himself in the mirror. I mean, since the one kid went to such drastic measures as pushing a mirror into school, we're assuming that just talking about the friend's problem hasn't worked, which makes it absurd that by looking into a mirror, all of a sudden he sees the errors of his ways and decides to change them. Please.

I feel I need to emphasize that I'm not advocating marijuana usage before I get an angry e-mail telling me that pot is a true musician and writes its own lyrics ( man, I just can't let that one go ). However, what I am saying is that the way we're going about it now isn't doing a bit of good. You want to stop kids from using pot? Stop their access to it. Don't make stupid commercials telling them it's wrong, go after the dealers and make it harder for them to get their hands on the drug. Marijuana isn't addicting, and I bet that if it becomes a hassle for them to get the drug, then eventually they just won't worry about it because they'll realize it isn't worth it. If you want to fix a problem, go after the cause, not the effect.

I do want to make special mention of one commercial that I do feel is effective. In this particular ad, a young boy talks about smoking pot at his friend's house and then says "And you know what happened? Nothing. We just sat on the couch for five hours." Now, that's a good ad. It doesn't go the whole "Drugs are super duper bad don't do them" route and just says look, if you use it, it more than likely won't kill you, but it's not going to be anything special for you either, so why do it. Ads like this, coupled with cracking down on dealers, is what needs to happen.

I hope everyone has a safe and fantastic Christmas. Take care.

Source: Palestine Herald Press (TX)
Copyright: 2007 The Palestine Herald Press
Contact: editor@palestineherald.com
Website: The Palestine Herald, Palestine, Texas - Homepage


Well-Known Member
That is absolutely wrong. you will never get all the dealers as long as it is illegal. The only thing that will stop illegal drug dealing is to take away the market by legalizing, regulating and taxing.

If it's legal to buy at the store, and legal to grow, and legal to consume, there is no market for drug cartels. no more across the border running, no more gang drugs. They will have to go legit, get a license to distribute to stores, or try to sell it illegally (which will do nothing for them because people can get it cheaper at the store).

Legalize, regulate and taxation.


New Member
dude that is a fantastic prospect.lol seriously i was talkign abotu how cool it would be to go the the produce section and pipck some fresh pick buds., then hits the garden section to buy a clone.lol thats be pretty awesome.lol


New Member
It appears that our beloved ad council has begun targeting the insecurity of young teens in high school and middle school, kids that are very self-conscious and might start smoking pot to fit in.

These ads play off the fact that these kids are insecure and give them a reason, or worst case scenario, why smoking weed would actually help them not fit in and give them a bad reputation (such as the Hispanic girl commercial)

And I think it works. The kids that would try pot at that age are usually scared their friends won't like them for some reason and are obsessed with being liked by that 'girl' or 'boy' and being liked by everyone. The social scene is HUGE. I think the ONDCP has finally struck on something that will stick with teens, and that fact is smoking will probably not make you cool, it will change you as a person, and you might do some things you will regret later.
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