Marijuana makes you pregnant!!!!!
That’s not a line from the 1938 propaganda piece, “Reefer Madness.” It’s the shock message of a 2003 commercial that you helped pay for. It ran during the Super Bowl as part of the anti-drug campaign from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, meaning it cost two point one million taxpayer-funded dollars.
And it’s ridiculous.
In the commercial, a man and woman wait for the results of an early pregnancy test, and we’re told that the outcome will change their lives forever. The upshot is that they’re not about to find out that they’ll be parents, but that they’ll be grandparents. The mom-to-be is not the woman, but their teenage daughter — and we’re told that she wouldn’t have gotten pregnant if it weren’t for marijuana.
I have no doubt that more than a few women of every age have gotten high, lowered their inhibitions, had sex with a guy, and ended up with a womb surprise. But I’d bet that many, many, many more women have had the same thing happen to them because they drank beer.
You’d never see that in a network TV commercial, would you?
Not during a Super Bowl in which the biggest advertiser was Anheuser-Busch, whose brilliant, creative advertising team produces the best TV commercials year in and year out, which helps them sell more and more beer. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. Absolutely nothing.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a legalize-all-drugs kind of guy. I don’t even think pot should be legal. What’s so bothersome to me about this campaign is that it’s part of the continuing hypocrisy that is our Failed War On Drugs.
Last year, to feed off our 9/11 paranoia, we were warned that when we buy drugs, we fund terrorism. A special interest group tried to point out that when we buy gasoline that’s made from oil from Saudi Arabia, whose business leaders fund Al Qaeda, that we’re supporting terrorism, too. But lost in that political argument is the question of which terrorists are getting funding from people who cultivate their own marijuana. That must be where the phrase “homegrown terrorism” comes from.
As a father, I want my daughter to learn about the real dangers of drug use. There are valid, important messages to impart about harder, much riskier drugs like crack, ecstasy, heroin, and meth. Instead, we get propaganda telling teens that their lives will be ruined when marijuana forces a fetus into their gut. I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised, since this concept is brought to you by many of the same people who don’t want to teach kids about sex at all.
Ironically, the missed opportunity here is to tell teens an actual truth about pot. Stop telling them that they can get a big belly full of baby. Start telling them that they can get a big belly full of fat. Yes, I’m talking about the munchies! The number one side effect of smoking dope! The solitary reason that White Castle has to stay open 24 hours!
In that regard, the ONDCP could take a page from Anheuser-Busch’s commercial for Bud Light, the one with the guy meeting his girlfriend’s mother for the first time — and she has a butt so big it looks like she’s trying to smuggle Gwyneth Paltrow’s character from “Shallow Hal” in her back pocket.
Now there’s something an image-conscious teenage girl can relate to. Call it “Refrigerator Madness!”