Recently our delightfully resourceful government has been blaring hard-core anti-marijuana ads on prime-time that seem at odds with the average person’s understanding, perception and intent when it comes to smoking pot. It is quite clear that the ads are not aimed at the youth they claim to be concerned with and my youngest child and I were wondering, essentially, wtf? Why are these suddenly on television, how much did they cost, and why are they suddenly on television?
Canada’s largest mental health organization recently came out very clearly on the let’s legalize the stuff and deal with addiction problems correctly, and not be so drug specific about them, and stop imprisoning people with health problems. Many states are loosing the hatches, and we have yet to see piles of stoners, unable to wash or feed, on the lawns of the neighbours. And the main opponent to the Prime Minister in the next elections has declared that he will legalize marijuana ….
Ah, that explains the timing. Nothing like running your campaign with government funds, and of course both sides do it when in power. But this time it seems particularly ugly, with the ad showing a brain full of neon tubes hissing and steaming. Remember those ads showing your brain and your brain on drugs, with an egg on one side and it sizzling in a pan on the other? Those led to a great line of t-shirts showing a grey brain on one side and a rainbow brain sitting in a deck chair on the other with lines like This is Your Brain in St Lucia. Almost an ad for drugs as it turned out. Hard to know how to mock this one.
So I decided to try to find out when this ad campaign had been launched, and while I didn’t get that far I did get closer to the genesis for this latest round of drug-related mayhem and disaster, a “strategy” launched as the result of a campaign commitment to screw things up for youth in particular and everyone else in general by protecting us by throwing us in jail. And before I fell asleep amidst the self-justifying introduction where it was explained that it was all based on documents and files … yes, it even mentioned documents and files [lions and tigers and bears, oh my!] specifically, bothering to explain that the
methodology employed to evaluate the Strategy made extensive use of performance data, evaluations, documents, files and other data compiled on the various components and action plans.
I.e., they used the information they collected to write the evaluation. What else were they going to do? Pull it out of their … hats? Well, actually, in a sense yes. Because I finally found the key sentence that explains the whole catastrophe. They forgot to ask the citizens of the country what they wanted, and asked those with a vested interest in keeping the war on drugs going instead. And guess what we need? Gentle swat teams.
There was consensus amongst evaluation interviewees that there is a continuing need for programming that contributes to a reduction in demand for illicit drugs and disruption of illicit drug operations in a safe manner while targeting criminal organizations at the national and international levels.
If that isn’t fascism Canadian-style I will eat my toque! But what it also so clearly reveals is this nauseating idea of “capture”, where people turn to the experts to seek advice and get the advice that they need more experts, just like them. Amazingly,
Almost all (98%; n=50) departmental representatives confirmed that the objectives of the Strategy are consistent with the strategic outcomes and priorities of the Government of Canada.
All those bureaucrats supporting a strategy coming from the Minister who controls their hiring and firing … odd. Like Putin capturing 99% of a vote. My suspicions about this arose when I found that the loathsome strategy had originated, apparently, with the Ministry of Justice, who of course want more justice, even if they have to create an illegal product so they can have a war against it.
[This clip is neither work nor child-safe.]