Voter's Voice: Those Anti-Drug Ads
We received a flurry of e-mail about President Bill Clinton's announcement of a new ad blitz targeting the dangers of illegal drugs.
Here's a sample of what AllPolitics readers are saying,
and if you'd like to comment on that or anything else, drop us
an e-mail note. Please
include your name and hometown.
'Some Positive Impact'
It may have some positive impact if played on heavily watched channels
by the "young," over a long and sustained period of time. Much like the
alleged negative impact advertising has re: smoking/alcohol, and
movies/TV with violence/sex, etc.
-- Frank Martinez, July 10
'Just Say No'
Why spend millions of dollars on ads, which are not new by the way? They
have been done before. Why not try the free method as did Nancy Reagan
and "Just Say No"?
-- Jason Sonnier, Chattanooga, Tenn., July 10
'Next Sorry Chapter'
The anti-drug campaign announced by President Clinton is the next sorry chapter in an effort that is doomed to failure.
Like alcohol prohibition, people who want drugs will find ways to
buy them. For the rest of us this means violence, political and police
and gross violations of our civil rights as well as massive unnecessary
on prisons. If drugs were legal, drug users would primarily hurt
should only be their concern. Laws against driving under the influence
and alcohol should be strictly enforced.
The only realistic solution is to legalize all major drugs, tax them
heavily and strongly discourage them through education. All advertising
alcohol, tobacco and recreational drugs should be banned. These taxes
be used for drug education and treatment. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco
to be illegal for minors.
Unfortunately, it is political suicide to be labeled "soft on drugs,"
just as it was political suicide to be labeled "soft on crime" or "soft
It's time that a political leader really leads on the drug issue instead
of repackaging the same old failed "war on drugs." To be successful, any
such initiative will have
to come from a prominent leader of the Republican right.
-- Michael Winkler, Arcata, Calif., July 10
It is dishonest and unethical for anti-drug messages to children, teens and their parents not to also address tobacco and alcohol use as well.
-- Rick Kropp, Santa Rosa, Calif., July 9
'Quick Fix Culture'
Slick one-minute TV ad campaigns will not have a significant effect on
drug use among our young people. The socio-economic conditions,
stresses and "quick fix" culture we live under are the main
determinants and influences. In truth, we live in a society which spends
billions each year promoting questionable and often dangerous drug
remedies for every physical and psychological problem under the sun.
I can see it now: A brutally graphic anti-drug ad depicting starving
heroin addicts shooting up in a rat-infested alley -- followed on the
same network by an equally slick drug ad promoting the benefits of
Viagra or some other new "wonder" drug which is eventually taken off the
market because it kills too many people. And if that isn't enough for
you, just read over the incredibly shocking AMA study released earlier
this year which found that as many as 100,000 Americans may be dying
each year from the overuse, misuse, or medical mis-prescribing of drugs
which are 100 percent legal!
-- Michael Castellano, Brooklyn, N.Y., July 9
They will help if they are targeted toward elementary school
-- Glenn Reid Thomas, July 9
'If Parents Take The Responsibility'
I believe the ads will have an impact on the children. However, this
will only be effective if parents take the responsibility of teaching
their children about drugs, even going beyond "just say no." They need
to explain the effects of drugs on the human body and the effects on
their future. After all, nobody wants to be a drug addict forever, not
even drug addicts.
-- Zack Hudgens, Fayetteville, Ark., July 9
'Garbage On The Air Waves'
Until we clean up the violence on TV and in the movies, this is just
one of those "feel-good" movements. If TV, movies, and rap records do
not have an impact on one's mind, why do corporations spend millions
telling you how great their product is on TV, knowing that image will
stick with a lot of people? Many of our young people do not have a
father in the home, and certainly this is a contributing factor but we
must stop this garbage on the air waves and movies and insist the
sponsors of these programs get the message that America is fed up with
the filth and tripe you've been feeding our young people far too long.
-- Bud Rayburn, July 9
'Good Definition Of Insanity'
A good definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over in hopes it will work this time.
It's time to end the insane war on drugs, and decriminalize, regulate, and tax, as we do with alcohol and tobacco.
-- Ronald J. Thompson, Madison, Wis., July 9
'Stopping The Drugs'
The money spent on drug ads would be better spent on stopping the drugs from
getting here in the first place. Further, mandatory jail time that could not be
suspended or served concurrently would also help.
-- Dennis J. Stewart, July 9
'A Waste Of Money'
What a waste of money. There is no indication that it has worked in the
past. Why would it be a good idea?
As my 19-year-old-son says, in the time that the DARE program has been
at every level
of the public schools, drug use has soared, and that ought to tell us
something! The kids
call it Drugs Are Really Expensive, and use the bumper stickers to
advertise that they do
What would help? Having a social environment where parents could spend
with their children: mothers at home if they wanted to be, fathers able
to coach Little
League. Children alone fill the empty spaces, and they believe they are
-- Ann McCann, July 9
First a war, now a blitz. Both would be laughable if the results were
not so tragic.
After billions upon billions spent, drugs are as cheap and readily
available as they ever were. The beneficiaries are the international
drug dealers and corrupt government officials, from the local police to
the highest levels. The losers those who have their liberty and
property taken for doing something that should be their own business,
not that of a moralistic nanny state.
Minimize the harm. Repeal the war on drugs. Put them back into the
drug stores where they belong. We will immediately be rid of the
criminal elements on both sides of the war. Doesn't anyone remember the
similar tragic results of alcohol prohibition?
-- Jeanne Bojarski, Kansas City, July 9
Yes, I think the anti-drug campaign is excellent. There are those who say "It won't do any good," but we can't afford to take that attitude. We
should fight drugs any way we can and I'm pleased with President Clinton's stance.
-- Mary Stringer, July 9