Ah yes, the "War on Drugs". As things are in any un-winnable war, it matters not if you win the battle, only that you continue to fight.
Hat tip to Thinkprogress and The Politico:
The GAO-reviewed study found that "greater exposure to the campaign was associated with weaker anti-drug norms and increases in the perceptions that others use marijuana." In some categories, such as 14- to 16-year-olds, and among all white teens, more exposure to the ads led to higher rates of first-time drug use.Don't worry, encouraging our teens to use drugs only cost taxpayers $1,400,000,000 since 1998. The study of the ad campaign cost $47,000,000. Talk about wasteful spending...
Update: In other LEGAL DRUG news,
Unintentional deaths due to drug poisoning, primarily with prescription drugs, increased by 68.3% between 1999 and 2004, and is second only to motor vehicle crashes as a cause of death from unintentional injury in the US, investigators at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report.The thing to keep in mind here is that Merck and other big Pharma companies have huge lobbies that keep their potentially deadly/addictive products legal. If the point is to criminalize the possession, use and sale of dangerous and addictive substances, I can't think of any other reason why drugs like Adderal (a legal amphetamine) and Fentanyl (a legal narcotic) are still legal while meth and heroin are criminalized.
Fentanyl, you may have heard, was one of the major reasons for an increase in drug overdoses in Detroit in 2006. The drug is still legal to this day.