Ex-Drug Czar Bill Bennett: Showtime’s “Weeds” is “Damaging,” Jonas Brothers Should Fight Prop 19

Actual image from the anti-Prop 19 website of Bill Bennett's co-author

America’s first Drug Czar and conservative commentator Bill Bennett penned an op-ed for in which he suggests that Showtime’s series “Weeds” is “damaging,” and “would never be aired” if “our country was making a serious assault on drug abuse.”

Bennett also suggests that “popular culture” icons like “Beyonce, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez… the Jonas Brothers…Jimmy Johnson and Danika Patrick” should be part of a campaign to fight California’s Proposition 19.

But Bennett’s crazy doesn’t stop there. He co-authored the piece with Alexandra Datig, a business, political campaign, and real estate consultant, recovering addict, and Prop 19 opponent whose website, (warning: sound auto-plays), suggests that legalizing marijuana is “un-American,” puts “our national security at risk” and compares legalization to 9/11.

Bennet and Datig write on about the “damaging” Showtime series Weeds, as well as Entourage and Mad Men:

As for the popular culture, the message has been even more damaging. Where once television shows actively promoted the dangers of drug use, several of our more popular shows, from “Weeds” to “Entourage” to “Mad Men,” make drug use a laugh line.

Back when our country was making a serious assault on drug abuse, a show like “Weeds” would never be aired. Today it is promoted in full page ads in our nation’s most popular magazines. This, for a comedy about the life and times of a marijuana-growing and -dealing family. As the head of the network that produces and airs “Weeds” put it, “Our ratings were va-va-va-voom! Who said hedonism is passé?” This, for a show where one is lured to root for a family responsible for the death of a DEA agent, children dropping out of school, gang violence and rape.

Oh, my heavens! Hide the children! Adults can’t be expected to watch shows on television and not confuse fiction with reality! But the crazy keeps on coming, in which Bennet and Datig vomit a list of celebrities who they think should oppose Prop 19 and record PSAs against drug use:

At the same time, let’s start a national campaign with those who have not had drugs ruin their lives. Let them be the new national role models for young people. We should see public service announcements and ads from the likes of Beyonce, Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Lopez, Taylor Swift, Tim McGraw, the Jonas Brothers; from the likes of the Williams Sisters and the Manning brothers; from Jimmy Johnson and Danika Patrick.

This issue needs such a campaign. In drug recovery circles, there is a popular saying: If you do the same thing over and over again, you will get the same result. This message has a very helpful converse however, if we repeat the strategies we used that worked once before, i.e., in the late 1980s and early 1990s, we can also get the same result.

Ah yes, that public campaign in the late 1980s that used celebrities to convince kids not to use drugs. We found one of those videos last week, which featured Whitney Houston and David Hasselhoff – how’d that “don’t use drugs” campaign work out for them?

And now onto the true crazy: Alexandra Datig and “Nip It in the Bud.” Datig’s website would be a glorious parody of prohibitionist hyperbole if it wasn’t 100% serious. Let’s take a gander at what Datig pushes on “Nip It in the Bud.”

First and foremost, Datig says that “taxing California by intoxicating Californians with Marijuana is un-American!” OK, a lot of people say a lot of things are “un-American.” But let’s dig deeper. Datig says that if California legalizes marijuana, our “national security [is] at risk,” and California would be too high to “defend itself from enemies foreign and domestic.” This, all under an image of the 9/11 Twin Towers light memorial.

NipItInTheBud also uses photos of random school bus crashes to suggest kids will die because of high bus drivers:

Speaking of kids, check out these two crazy images from Datig’s site:

Datig also suggests the FDA should test medicinal marijuana on mice:

And finally, my absolute favorite image already at the top of this post: the crazy skull/butterfly image that says, “if drugs are the answer, what was the question?” It’s at the bottom of every page of the website.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your active, organized opposition to Proposition 19 (presented by CNN).

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Michael Whitney

Michael Whitney

My name is Michael Whitney. I'm a progressive online organizer working with FDL Action. Rush Limbaugh called me "clueless" once. He went into rehab two days later.