Sunday, July 01, 2007

Cedibility Matters

I've been saying similar things about drugs for years, but Stephen gets it exactly right:
Aside, then, from arguments about the legalization of marijuana or even other drugs we can see that our money is being wasted on over-the-top, ineffective advertising. I can’t imagine any way to measure this, but I believe whatever effectiveness anti-drug advertising and education may have is mitigated by the government’s obsession with marijuana. The claims made about marijuana use are generally undermined by most people’s experience with it. Anti-marijuana advertising is only slightly less hysterical than anti-meth or anti-crack ads. If people disbelieve anti-marijuana ads and education, then, they will be less inclined, I believe, to accept the claims about harder drugs such as meth. This is unfortunate, because meth really is as dangerous as the hype, and an effective strategy to curb its use is desperately needed.
Ridiculous fears and laws regarding marijuana do tremendous harm to the battle against drugs that are actually dangerous. This is because society needs to educate as a first line of defense and you can't educate without credibility. No one will listen to you.

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