Pubdate: Wed, 26 Feb 2003
Source: Associated Press (Wire)
Copyright: 2003 Associated Press
Cited: Marijuana Policy Project ( )
Cited: Offce of National Drug Control Policy ( )


WASHINGTON -- A television commercial challenging the government's ad 
campaign linking marijuana use to terrorism will begin airing Thursday in 
the Washington area.

The ad is a parody of the "Nick and Norm" spots -- sponsored by the White 
House Office of National Drug Control Policy -- in which two men discuss 
whether buying marijuana ultimately funds terrorists.

In the spoof, Nick tells Norm says the marijuana trade supports violence 
only because marijuana is illegal. "If I buy a beer, that doesn't support 
terror, because beer is legal, right?" Nick asks. When Norm agrees, Nick 
concludes, "So what you're saying is if we make marijuana legal and 
regulate it like beer, it wouldn't support violence."

Produced by the Washington-based Marijuana Policy Project, which advocates 
marijuana legalization, the 30-second ad is to air through March 7 on the 
ABC, CBS and Fox affiliates in Washington at a cost of $20,000.

Tom Riley, a drug policy office spokesman, said the argument is flawed 
because the same rationale also would support legalizing heroin and cocaine.

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery," Riley said of the parody. 
"Our ads have obviously struck a nerve."

Marijuana Policy Project spokesman Bruce Mirken said the government's 
campaign is misleading.

"The drug czar has really gone heavily on the anti-marijuana binge with the 
campaign he's running," Mirken said. "The point is really that marijuana 
doesn't cause violence, prohibition does."
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