President Bush has proposed a significant funding increase for an anti-drug advertising campaign that government-funded research shows is at best useless and at worst has increased drug use among some teens, reports The Politico. The administration is asking Congress for a 31 percent budget increase for the advertising campaign that a nearly five-year study concluded had increased the likelihood that all teens would smoke marijuana. The White House proposal would increase the program’s budget to $130 million over the next year.
In the new Congress, key members with oversight over the program include Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), who has called to have marijuana legalized and regulated similarly to alcohol, and Rep. José E. Serrano (D-N.Y.), who is skeptical about the program. The White House Office of National Drug Control Policy declined to comment on the story, noting that Ryan Grim, who wrote it, formerly worked for the Marijuana Policy Project, which lobbies to legalize marijuana. The ad program was the subject of a critical evaluation released last August. The nearly five-year, $47 million study was conducted by Westat, based in Rockville, Md., for the White House drug control office.