Talk to Frank
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Talk to FRANK is an anti-drug propaganda organisation run by the British government since 2003. The stated purpose of the organisation is to gather into one place a huge database of misinformation, lies, distortions and scare tactics about drugs and to market it at young people.
There has been a long tradition of abstinence in the UK. Oddball religions such as Methodism and Quakerism promoted the ideas of avoiding the use of alcohol and other mind altering substances. Nobody objected to this while these religious types kept their batty ideas to themselves and didn't try to ban the use of drugs altogether, as the British people are notoriously fond of getting wrecked and would have rioted at any suggestion that alcohol and other drugs be banned altogether.
Prohibitionism is a mental illness that began in America, whereby the sufferer is consumed by a fit of arrogance causing them to decide that they have the universal right to ban everyone else from doing fun things that they disapprove of. At first prohibitionism was used as a tool of racism, but eventually it was seen as more fun to arrest and imprison just about anybody. The British government agreed and copied American prohibition making only two exceptions, for the most dangerous, addictive, life-wrecking and profitable drugs; cigarettes and alcohol.
edit Just Say No
In the 1970s and 1980s the US and UK governments intensified their efforts to imprison as many people as possible with the announcement of the war on drugs and the first child specific anti-drugs indoctrination scheme known as Just Say No.
Just Say No failed because reducing all drug issues to a simplistic catch phrase and clumsily lumping together all drugs as equally dangerous (with the exemption of fags and booze of course) is obviously misleading and inaccurate, one of the hallmarks of anti-drugs propaganda to this day.
edit Talk to Frank
Talk to Frank was set up in 2003 as a "funky" way of making state sponsored hard core prohibitionist propaganda appeal to young people.
FRANK wisely supports the ideology and the prevailing wisdom that exists among policy makers and politicians instead of offering impartial advice about drugs as it claims. If it did offer impartial advice and acknowledge the positive effects of many drugs it would be shutting down almost instantly.
Following this dishonest and politically driven agenda it has gone from strength to strength, consuming billions of pounds trying to make Britain's arcane and inconsistent drug laws seem sensible through the dissemination of scare tactics and misinformation.
FRANK provides the following services for people who seek information and/or advice about drugs
- 24 hour confidential phoneline: to provide lies and misinformation about drugs and drug use at any time of the day.
- Email: in case you need your lies and misinformation in a written format.
- MSN messenger bot: a misguided attempt to connect "wiv da yoof". They don't know that messenger is soo uncool and that these days "da yoof" spend most of their internet time watching porn, checking their facebook updates and vandalising Wikipedia.
- TV advertising campaigns: Ads make cannabis seem scary, but actually only makes it look like more fun than it actually is.
The clueless social worker types that end up working for Frank are notoriously green. It is policy within the FRANK organisation to exclude anyone that shows any reality based knowledge about drugs or drug users. Meaning that if you contact FRANK, you will certainly end up communicating with someone with no real world experience, naive enough to believe and parrot all government anti-drugs propaganda.
They will quote government misinformation at you and dismiss anything that you say that conflicts with the mandatory FRANK employee world view, that all drugs are evil.
FRANK has been criticised for claiming to be impartial, when it has an obvious prohibitionist agenda. It has also been criticised for creating confusion amongst young people by investing millions of pounds in high profile scare campaigns against cannabis use instead of concentrating on improving awareness of really harmful drugs like alcohol, nicotine, solvents, crack and Coldplay.
The main thrust of this criticism is that the kids that FRANK have tried to brainwash will find out that cannabis is about as safe as drugs get as soon as they try it. They will then recognise the scare campaign for what it is. Once they realise that the "impartial drugs advisers" are lying about weed, they will probably get the idea that all warnings about the dangers of drugs are also exaggerations and lies. A pretty fucking dangerous worldview to have if you come across crack, smack, crystal meth or WKD.
Another major criticism is that FRANK has a strategy of blaming the drugs rather than the prohibition. It is clear to anyone but the most witless and gullible fool that the majority of drug associated harms are caused by prohibition, not by drugs themselves.
Imagine that you could go down to the chemist and buy a pack of drugs which would be pure, come with recommended daily allowances and advice on where to seek help if you do suffer side effects. These drugs would be heavily taxed, creating more than enough income to set up sufficient treatment and rehabilitation centres and education programmes.
Unscrupulous bastards would no longer be able to cut drugs with any old crap to increase their profit margins, there would be fewer overdoses and drug poisonings. People would stop using really crappy and dangerous drugs like crack and crystal meth when they could get easy access to much safer and more enjoyable drugs like ecstasy and cannabis from their local licenced and regulated distributor.
If people could get relatively affordable and clean drugs from their local pharmacy they would stop thieving to feed their habit. The police could spend more time catching real criminals rather than targeting easy to catch and convict drug addicts, the government would save the cost of imprisoning tens of thousands of drug users and government would receive a massive tax income from drugs taxes.
It is clear that an end to prohibitionism would benefit drug users, wider society, the government and the police. The only losers would be the organised criminal gangs, drug smugglers, street dealers and FRANK employees.
FRANK makes no mention of this, as it is against their policy of sucking up to the prohibitionists that make the rules and defending the indefensible, in order to keep the massive stream of government cash flowing in their direction.
edit Other misinformation
The clueless social worker types that work for FRANK have made a number of glaring factual errors, including:
- Mistaking a load of tree leaves for cannabis.
- Stating that cannabis is a narcotic (it is not).
- Claiming that cloning cannabis plants will create stronger strains (cloning would just produce another identical plant).
- Stating that cannabis is the most widely used recreational drug in the world (Alcohol and Cigarettes?).
- Claiming that "One of the major short-term risks to physical health posed by cannabis consumption is the impact on blood pressure and heart rate which is similar to that caused by exercise" (As dangerous as exercise?).
- Claiming that mixing cannabis with tobacco and smoking it in joints is the safest way to use cannabis (they should be warning against mixing cannabis with substances that have been proven to be highly addictive and carcinogenic).
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