Libertarian Party Ad Campaign Takes on Drug Terror Link 2/22/02

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Outraged by Bush administration efforts to portray drug users as supporting terrorism -- a campaign that began with a $3 million series of Superbowl ads and has continued in major newspapers across the country -- the national Libertarian Party has created a counter-ad darkly parodying the multi-million dollar campaign.

Adapting the style and appearance of the drug czar's ads, which feature black and white close-ups of young people admitting things such as their drug taking "helped murder a family in Colombia," the Libertarian Party ads feature a close-up of drug czar John Walters. The ad's text reads: "This week, I had lunch with the president, testified before Congress, and helped funnel $40 million in illegal drug money to groups like the Taliban." At the bottom of the image, the party notes, "The War on Drugs boosts the price of illegal drugs by as much as 17,000% -- funneling huge profits to terrorist organizations. If you support the War on Drugs or vote for the politicians who wage it, you're helping support terrorism. Get the facts at www.LP.org/drugwar."

The party intends to place the ad in the Washington Times and USA Today, Libertarian Party campus coordinator Mark Brandl told DRCNet, although it is not yet a done deal, he said. "We have to raise some more funds, and we are confident we can do so," he said. A full-page ad in the Times (circulation 105,000) costs $9,450, said Brandl, and the rate for USA Today, with over a million readers, is $60,350.

"Like many folks who want to end the drug war, we were outraged when we saw the Superbowl ads," said Brandl. "The new angle that Walters and the drug warriors are taking that drug use is supporting terrorism is outrageous and is the opposite of the truth. The drug war is supporting terrorism," said Brandl. "This campaign of lies needs to be confronted head-on, and a dark satire of their ads seemed like a perfectly natural response."

The Libertarian Party's foray into the drug-terror controversy is no surprise. The party has long made ending drug prohibition one of its defining planks and is now in the midst of a campaign to take a strategic focus on the drug war. "This is an issue that really energizes our base," said Brandl, "and we are now really promoting anti-drug war activism as a big issue."

Visit http://www.lp.org/issues/drugczarad.html to view the LP ad.

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Issue #225, 2/22/02 Editorial: Costs and Consequences | Lies, Damn Lies, and "The Economic Costs of Drug Abuse in the United States, 1992-1998" | New Mexico Post-Mortem: Reformers Differ on What Went Right, What Went Wrong | Britain: Parliamentary Committee Will Recommend Cannabis Decrim, Ecstasy Down-Scheduling, More Heroin Prescriptions | Dutch to Consider Prescription Heroin for Hard Cases, Study Results Lay Groundwork for Move | New Study Provides First Comprehensive Report on Drug Laws in All 50 States and DC, Variations Abound | At the Statehouse: Medical Marijuana Moving in Maryland and Vermont | Libertarian Party Ad Campaign Takes on Drug Terror Link | Federal Drug Office Accused of "Enron-Style Accounting" in New National Drug Budget Reporting | News Links: Bolivia and Colombia, California Medical Marijuana, Drug-Terror Ad Parody | Alerts: HEA, Bolivia, DEA Hemp Ban, SuperBowl Ad, Ecstasy Legislation, Mandatory Minimums, Medical Marijuana, Virginia | The Reformer's Calendar

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