Friday, June 15, 2007

If your school's drug resources look like this...

If your school's drug resources look like that, please sit down and have a long, heartfelt talk with whoever's in charge. Bring Safety First and harm reduction to the table. Use small words if necessary.

The image is a tad blurry because my scanner is MIA (which is to say it's in the office and I'm too lazy to carry it in here and plug it in just for one scan), but on the bright side, you get to see my ironic DARE shirt. The pictures are the best part anyway. Oh, and the pamphlet's from 1988. What a coincidence! Me too.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Well, it beats a mandatory minimum...

In Sacramento, a lady disciplined her glazed-over-red-eyed-asthmatic son in a creative way.

If only I'd seen this boy standing at the intersection holding a sign that reads "I'm Stupid. I smoke Weed. MARIJUANA." I would have tried to organize a massive crowd of diverse marijuana smokers to stand around the kid wearing shirts that say "I'm with Stupid." That way, the public could see how silly it is to crowd our prisons with such people.

Oh, I know. I'm full of great ideas. Ask me about the one where Colombian farmers wear Groucho glasses to convey their rage at U.S. aerial spraying and military involvement, and the one where heroin addicts sit on whoopie cushions to demand clean needle exchange clinics.

Hmm. Side note: I can't hear the word"stupid" without thinking of that Metalocalypse episode, "Go Forth and Die." Enjoy.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Let's play a game!

All right. So I wanted to take Daniel Petersen of the Office of National Drug Control Policy up on his offer to play games. I think sitting down with a deck of cards, a Scrabble board, maybe some Pictionary would be a good way to establish a friendly, diplomatic relationship (No strip poker). But he's a very busy man (I'm pleased to see that busy men read this blog), and something tells me he wouldn't take me seriously. He'd think it was a prank or something. My trusting idealist self would go into a corner and cry.

Plus, the ONDCP doesn't exactly have a history of taking things seriously. Some examples of things that the Office has brushed off as easily as they might dismiss a 19-year-old girl's offer to play Scrabble: The ineffectiveness of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign, the data resulting from interdiction and crop control efforts, results of medical research, et cetera et cetera, and, of course, FOIA requests.

So instead, let's provide some games for our faithful readers:
1. Go to Youtube. Search for "ondcpstaff." Laugh at the PSAs. Then search for "Office of National Drug Control Policy" or "ONDCP." You'll see the public's reaction to the anti-drug ads they posted.
2. Go to Google. Do an image search for "Office of National Drug Control Policy." Make up a scavenger hunt with the results. For example, find: Pinnochio, a bottle of Roundup weed killer, a podium that says "MeTh MaDnEsS", and Popeye the Sailor Man.
3. Actually, just go to the ONDCP website. Have someone read the content out loud. Everyone else in the room, yell "BULLSHIT!" as quickly and loudly as they can whenever it applies. Bonus points whenever somebody yells a hilarious synonym for "bullshit" such as "balderdash", "horsefeathers", or the endearingly English "Pish-posh." This would be a good drinking game, if you have the liver of a Norse god and you're of age. Otherwise, save yourself the alcohol poisoning and just yell. Actually. Maybe you shouldn't yell. Save your voice. Okay so it's a dumb game.
4. Do the action alert! Then, try these creative ways of passing it on:
  • Email and Myspace chain letters. Use the middle school approach: If you don't send this to x people, you'll never have your first kiss! The superstitious approach: An irate ghost will kill you in your sleep. Include a horror story. The sappy approach: This is just to say that I love you, and I found so many animated .gifs and photos of kittens to share with you, oh yes and this action alert.
  • Two words: Facebook. Wait, that's one word. How simple!
  • Spam your Livejournal/Deadjournal/xanga friends page.
  • Buddy list + copy and paste = link instantly sent to 50+ people.
  • Away message + link = link sent to you don't even want to know how many nosy and bored people.
  • Pass out mini-flyers or cards.
  • Getting your dad involved in the political process is a great Father's Day present!
  • DO NOT try: Standing outside with a sandwich board, powdered wig, and large bell; sexual or illegal favors; actual threats or violent behavior; soliciting or anything that will send flashing lights your way; anything stupid (see above... sorry).

Drugs Drugs Drugs!

Check out this early 90's pro-drug/anti-drug PSA which teaches kids that some drugs are good and some drugs are bad. Presumably the good ones are the ones their parents keep in the medicine cabinet and the bad ones are the ones their parents keep in the sock drawer (most likely in a discreet pouch they purchased at a Grateful Dead concert)...

I wonder if the lasting impact of this ad has anything to do with the drastic increase in prescription drug abuse we've seen over the last few years?

Now excuse me while I go take a Prozac, a couple Ritalin, and an Oxycontin, and dance around while singing about drugs.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

White House to spend 200 years considering FOIA request

Today I received a letter responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request appeal I recently filed with the Office of National Drug Control Policy:

I knew federal agencies usually take their sweet time processing FOIA requests, but did the ONDCP really just tell me that I can expect a response by June 22, 2207?!?!?!?!?

Perhaps this is just another embarrassing ONDCP typo. Otherwise, let's hope that by the time ONDCP is able to respond to my request, drug prohibition will have already been repealed. Or maybe, through a series of invasive new technologies - like bio scanners, drug-sniffing bees, and "good drugs" that inhibit the effects of "bad drugs" - the government will have achieved its goal of completely eliminating illegal drug use (yeah right!).

In any case, the FOIA request currently being considered is an effort to get our hands on copies of the government's anti-drug ads from a few years ago that linked using drugs to supporting terrorism. Why won't the White House just give me copies of ads that were produced and aired with taxpayer money? Maybe it's because they are so embarrassed about the content of their own ridiculous advertisements that they don't want anyone to see them anymore...

If you're tired of seeing your tax dollars wasted on absurd anti-drug propaganda, you can easily ask your legislators to defund them by entering your e-mail address here:
Email Address:

UPDATE: I just received a call from the ONDCP's Daniel Petersen, who was apparently upset about my post making fun of his letter. (Is ONDCP really reading this blog regularly?!?) "If you're going to play games like this, you can expect the same kind of games to be played on you," he said. What kinds of schemes does ONDCP have planned for us, anyway? Mr. Petersen also called me "childish."

Mean, lean, DARE Machine ineffective?

From sunny South Carolina (shoutouts to my homies in SC, you know who you are) comes this touching story about the local DARE program. Touching, except something's amiss. Let's read:

Bamberg County Deputy Adrienne Blume scoffs at criticism that a 24-year-old drug abuse prevention program doesn’t produce effective results.

She has put too much time and effort – 17 years, to be exact – into teaching the smallest kindergarten students to the biggest fifth graders about the dangers of inhaling household products, smoking marijuana and, most recently, bullying.

Yes, the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program has come under fire for a so-called flowery approach to drug prevention, lecturing kids without adhering to a research-based curriculum characteristic of stronger, evidence-based programs that produce real results.
Alas! For these so-called reasons, funding to the DARE program has been cut. This is preposterous, or something. Clearly, because a program is 24 years old, it must be effective. You don't mean to tell me that it's been a stupid waste of resources for a whole 24 years, do you? Deputy Blume can think of at least some successes she's had, and doesn't seem to care whether they're statistically significant. That's the spirit! So what is the key to the DARE program's marginal success?

Kids are also engaged in essay competitions and also develop skits which are also included in a competition. [Whoa, and I thought I overused the word "also."] Skits range from students depicting the use of the “cold-shoulder” technique when approached by friends with illegal drugs to more elaborate presentations such as the use of a D.A.R.E. Machine.

Ooh, the D.A.R.E. Machine. Go on...

“There were a couple of people pretending to be gang members. They were rude and had [no] respect for anybody, including themselves. They then went into the D.A.R.E. Machine and were respectful, trustworthy when they came out,” said Blume.

Whoa! That is one crazy-awesome machine! It simply works by inserting an input subject, and the output is a considerably nicer subject. Why hasn't this thing been patented? When will it be mass-produced and on the shelves of a new and improved, suddenly benevolent Wal-Mart? Can we install one in every room of the White House?

It doesn't work, folks. Just say, "Oh, okay, let's try something else."

Monday, June 11, 2007

Drug law enforcement gone to the dogs

Reason #496542 to get pissed off about the drug war: You might get pissed on, or otherwise sexually harassed.