Weed-Whacking Drug Czar Looks Silly – Sounds Foolish

  • by Allen St. Pierre, Former NORML Executive Director August 9, 2008

    Ever want to see a perfect example of rank government propaganda? Watch this public relations stunt filmed by CNN of moralist-masquerading-as-drug czar John Walters making a flaccid attempt at being funny, and relevant. The video immediately goes into a 2:30 story about outdoor cannabis in California that largely parrots the government’s party line.

    Some thoughts after watching the videos:

    John Walters, the self-described anti-1960s warrior (well, in the video he apparently has moved onto hating the ‘values’ of the 1970s), lumbers up a hillside for a highly staged public relations stunt and the best message he can stammer out is to try to shame ‘Hollywood’ (a favorite target of rightwing moralists) into ‘helping us spread the word against cannabis’ (this is the very same rhetoric Reagan and to a degree Bush 1.0 employed to incite emotional contagion in the media against ‘drugs’ in the halcyon ‘just say no’ days).

    Help the ONDCP? Is Walters whining that Hollywood is no longer an ONDCP stooge?

    Is Walters forgetting the hundreds of absurd and insulting ads from the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, produced largely gratis by, well, ‘Hollywood’? Or, when the ONDCP used to sneak anti-cannabis ads into popular TV shows produced in, well, Hollywood, before NORML successfully sued them via the FCC?

    What is it with the obsession these drug czars have with trying to pigeon hole every derogative thing they can think to say about cannabis into what they believe is a witty dig on ‘Cheech and Chong’? Clinton’s Drug Czar, former General Barry McCaffrey, frequently would deride medical cannabis as “Cheech and Chong medicine”.

    How’d that work General
    ? Apparently, Walters has not learned from such blundered, detached-from-science rhetoric.

    Also, my guess is that Walters is likely a big Bill O’Reilly fan. Shocking, I know. Why do I surmise as such? Did you catch all the weird references from Walters in the video to people who use cannabis being in their “basement”? The only person I’ve ever heard, on numerous occasions, make references to cannabis consumers as ‘boobs in the basement’ is O’Reilly.

    Ironically, on the times that O’Reilly disparages cannabis consumers as ‘boobs in the basement’ he is usually quick to add that he favors decriminalizing cannabis for adults.


    BTW, while NORML’s blogs are not usually the environ for a commercial plug, but since Walters chose to waste the taxpayers’ money in southern California to propagandize, I think it only karmic that I let readers know that Cheech and Chong have just re-united and are going out on tour in September. Get your tickets here…think of it as good time protest against the government’s war on cannabis consumers. Also, there is a rumor that Cheech and Chong will be speaking at the upcoming Democratic National Convention. If true, how those apples Walters?

    Tommy Chong is a NORML Advisory Board member and served 9 months in a federal prison for selling bongs.

    Walters and company claim to care about the safety of law enforcement personnel trying to enforce our country’s feckless cannabis prohibition laws, namely the effort to eradicate domestically grown cannabis? If true, 1) prohibition, rather than tax-n-control policies create any attendant violence associated with the uncontrolled sales of cannabis and 2) I think it entirely avoidable for the deaths of three to eight police officers and pilots that perish annually flying over the countryside in the US looking for ‘needles in a haystack’, not because of prohibition-created criminals, but from junky, faulty and old Viet Nam era helicopters often used on loan from state national guard units.

    Hey, Czar Walters, any law enforcement personnel die last year flying around looking for tobacco, grapes, apples, barley, corn, potatoes, etc…?

    Yep…I thought not.

    Walters and the ONDCP care about illegal aliens who grow cannabis on public and private lands? Really? Any illegal aliens growing tobacco, grapes, hops, potatoes, apples, etc…?

    If Walters cares about illegal immigrants supposedly being forced by who he claims are Mexican drug cartels to tend illegal cannabis gardens, then he can’t morally and intellectually continue to support the failed policies of cannabis prohibition that creates a distribution system for cannabis where some of the players will camp in the woods and live off of the grid.

    Finally, Walters says in the video ‘Hollywood and the American people need to know the consequence of these plants”.

    Wrong! More importantly: Hollywood and the American people need to know about the misguided efforts and abject failure of cannabis prohibition, and Walter’s zealous efforts to perpetuate it.

    30 responses to “Weed-Whacking Drug Czar Looks Silly – Sounds Foolish”

    1. Philo says:

      Seriously…. Is anyone else ready for “American Revolution 2.0?” I am.

    2. Dickie b says:

      The drug czar is a dink and everything, and prohibition is a waste of money. However, armed cartel growers harvesting crop in a national forest is a pretty dangerous business. I mean come on! Somebody growing a few plants at their house is one thing, but a drug cartel doing is messed up. It was funny that the czar said one plant was worth $4,000. What a boob.

    3. ralph says:

      well, where do i start,if you spend billions of dollars trying to enforce a law that isn’t working. and the cartel, al queda , and all other corrupt groups is still funding their organizations.Wouldn’t you think the u.s. government with all it’s worldly ways see the light and just do the most effective solution to stopping it and just strike down the federal law against marijuana and put the money, manpower and resources to better use ?they should be held responsible for every attack on every front on the effort to continue this stupidness.

    4. Ren says:

      John Walters wouldn’t happen to live in Prince George County, MD, by any chance, would he? If so, someone needs to mail him a package of MJ, so it can be intercepted by a drug dog in AZ, and then the PG County Sherrif’s Office can perform a No-nock raid on his home and shoot his beloved pets. Then they can leave the bastard on the floor for a couple of hours while he argues, “…but I’m the Drug Czar!”, while they track the blood of his dogs all over his house. Oh! And don’t forget to hog-tie his mother-in-law!


    5. Malaka says:

      what a bunch of dumfucks running this country.

      cheech and chong is gonna be sick i got my tickets for the westbury theater in NY. caint wait

    6. Rob says:

      Great use of our tax dollars, any body no what this little outting cost us?

    7. Tau Siafu says:

      All of the so called problems that he spoke of would all be wiped out in a single pen stroke by full cannabis legalization. it is always about supply and demand. there will always be a demand. as long the product remains in the hands of the black market, they have the supply and therefore control feeding the demand. full legalization would instantly remove the power of supply from “criminal” hands and put it in legal, safe, and taxable hands. thus, destroying an entire criminal enterprise, worth billions of dollars, leads to corruption, and worse, in a single day. Legalize cannabis.

    8. ph0ed1n says:

      A well-written piece. Your points are all excellent.

      However, the net result to date is arguably a win for drug prohibitionists.


      Because the prohibitionists arguably have the larger megaphone (CNN) in this case. They reached more eyes and ears, and while we can scorn Walters, the CNN piece (failing to mention the massive amount of marijuana not seized) made Walters look good from the perspective of those who support drug prohibition, reinforcing the public image that drug prohibition works enough to sustain it.

      Have you contacted CNN about the piece?

      Our main battle is in the mainstream media, because drug prohibition only succeeds by public image (they’re the good guys, we’re not). This battle is the only one we are still arguably losing.

      Until we can get the public majority to understand that we are the good guys (truth and Liberty are clearly on our side) and they are not, our obstacles will be much greater.

      Please inform us of your efforts in that crucial battle. I would love to know what actions you take in the mainstream arena in response to the likes of the CNN piece.

    9. Chris says:

      When will all the brainwashing attempts finally stop? These people like “the drug czar” lie so much, they believe themselves! It’s pathetic! Thank God for NORML and the rest of us out here that are not so trained and brain washed.

    10. Paul says:

      Considering the latest pot movie to come out of Hollywood, “Pineapple Express” (great movie, by the way), shows how ordinary citizens are forced to deal with ruthless drug gangs as a consequence of marijuana being illegal, what the fuck is this drug czar blabbering on about?