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Posted by on Apr 5, 2013 in Guest Contributor, Society | 8 comments

This Is Your Brain On Propaganda. Got It?

A majority of Americans now support the legalization of marijuana.

survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted March 13-17

What’s interesting to me is just how effective the whole “JUST SAY NO/WAR ON DRUGS propaganda war was. Look at the minimum tolerance year on the graph. (And I think it’s insulting to call the post World War II generation the “silent.” )

Majority Now Supports Legalizing Marijuana
Numbers / Pew Research Center for the People

OVERVIEW  —  For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana.  A national survey finds that 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not.

But look at the graph more closely …

mary jane watson

Majority support in the USA

When you think about it, and look at how  generation by generation — with the standard “the older y0u are the more afraid of change you become”  declining levels of support BY generations — the track of opinion is EXACTLY the same. Except that you can see how effective the PROPAGANDA for the war on drugs was, even though the war on drugs has been a complete disaster ON EVERY LEVEL: more addiction, more drugs, longer sentences, the largest prison population on the planet, incredible waste of policing resources to chase plants and voluntary use when murder, theft, etc. are UNDERPOLICED, etc. etc. etc.


We waste billions of dollars and base a HUGE part of our foreign policy and diplomacy just on the Drug War, and it has all but destroyed the governments and civil liberties of the Western hemisphere, Canada perhaps excluded.

But just look how effective the PROPAGANDA was on shaping public opinion … until Reagan/Ailes leaves office.  From 1986 —  when the “War on Drugs” and “Just Say No!” are launched as a national crusade to help the GOP win Ronnie’s last off-year congressional elections* — to 1990 — when George H.W. Bush faced his only off-year election — public disapproval of marijuana (treated as exactly the same as heroin, crack, etc.) was at its absolute rock bottom.

brain on drugs2

Propaganda from the ’80s

[* The “Drug War” was a political failure from the get go (Wikipedia, emphasis added):

Democratic gains

In this Senate election, the Democrats gained a net of eight seats, and recaptured control of the Senate from the Republicans with a 55 – 45 majority. Robert Dole (R-Kansas) and Robert C. Byrd (D-West Virginia) exchanged positions as the Majority Leader and the Minority Leader.
This was the last election — up through the present — in which the Democrats in this Class of Senators (1/3 of the Senate) amassed a gain in seats (not including special elections held in off-years in some states to fill the seats that had been vacated by Senators due to death, resignation, or otherwise*).

(* WTF??!? sic)

Republican gain

The only win by the Republican Party was for one “open seat” in Missouri. On the other hand, the Democratic Party won the “open seats” in Maryland and Nevada, and the Democrats also defeated seven incumbent Republican Senators, six of them who were first-term senators who had been elected in 1980.

And the “War on Drugs”? Prohibition should have tipped us off. Of course, Vietnam should have tipped us off, too, but we invaded Iraq anyway.]

Since 1991, public approval of ALL generations has risen steeply and steadily.

Which just goes to show how effective propaganda can be.

brain on drugs

What their propaganda did to your brain

Hell: there are some significant number of Americans who don’t believe that the President of the United States was born in the United States and are so dumb that they don’t know it doesn’t matter, since his MOTHER was an American citizen and where she goes, America goes.

columbia gem of the ocean

Hail Columbia!


A writer, published author, novelist, literary critic and political observer for a quarter of a quarter-century more than a quarter-century, Hart Williams has lived in the American West for his entire life. Having grown up in Wyoming, Kansas and New Mexico, a survivor of Texas and a veteran of Hollywood, Mr. Williams currently lives in Oregon, along with an astonishing amount of pollen. He has a lively blog His Vorpal Sword. This is cross-posted from his blog

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