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I know I'm shocked

Apparently there's a big federal government spending program somewhere that doesn't have the desired effect. A new study shows that the government's anti-drug advertisements don't work. In fact, the study showed that there might have been an increase in drug use among people who saw the ads, though "it noted that further analysis was necessary before the ads could be directly tied to the increase."

Of course, you have to wonder about the quality of the results when you read:

The survey revealed no decline in the rate of drug use among those surveyed. But 80 percent of the parents who viewed the ads aimed at them were positively influenced to ask their child questions about their social lives and become more involved.
Gee, do you think parents are going to answer "No" to that question, regardless of what they actually did?

Certainly, the anti-drug commercials are the most benign element of the country's national drug policy. Trying to convince people not to use drugs is infinitely better than forcibly drug-testing them, kicking them out of school and/or their jobs, giving them criminal records, possibly locking them up, and otherwise invading their privacy and destroying their lives. But why would anybody who was rational think that kids (or adults, for that matter) choose to use drugs, or not, based on obvious, heavy-handed propaganda?

The anti-drug ads are designed to approach teen-agers on their own turf, offering electric guitar and skateboarding as cool alternatives to a generation too complex for "Just Say No."
Sure. Because the government is so good at promoting "cool."


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