Have a Butchers at Frank

By Des Humphey

I have just watched Talk to FRANK’s latest cannabis awareness commercial, which is quite frankly the most insulting cannabis propaganda, the tax-payer funded anti-cannabis site has aired to date.

The advertisement shows five butchers sitting round a table with a school party theme of soft drinks and silly hats,  passing around a joint of beef between them, somehow confusing the carcass of a dead animal with a cannabis spliff. Is this really how FRANK believes cannabis consumers act and go about their daily business?

I’m slightly perplexed: As a tax funded, government drug education service, we’re left in the dark to how a side of beef fits into the Lancet Relative Harm Scale. I’m sure, in the numerous harm scale studies that exist, that raw bovine has not been factored into any assessment.

FRANK appears to give the impression that cannabis consumers cannot tell the difference between a lump of meat and a fine joint of organically grown medicinal cannabis.

Somebody needs to point out to FRANK that a hunk of raw meat is far, far more dangerous than any cannabis joint would ever be. That joint of meat is probably crawling with e coli.

FRANK should know meat isn’t all that lean and that cholesterol from saturated animal fats might eventually clog up your heart. Cannabis is never going to do that. I love red meat, but i believe it is significantly more damaging to my health than cannabis.

Given that falling use has been stipulated as a reason for current drug policy intransigence, and that usage has arguably fallen under softer law enforcement practices, it’s of great concern that FRANK will be a forerunner in the awareness campaigns of Sunday roasts. The increased usage of under cooked meats is a health risk. Buffet culture is indeed a worry, and FRANK’s resources are well spent in combating this growing epidemic, but does this ad send out the ‘wrong message’? – Which we are of course very concerned about given that drug policy is not based on science and evidence, and is purely founded upon ‘sending messages’. Perhaps the government were at a loss to know what to do with all the horse meat?

I’m worried on behalf of our membership, some of which are in the meat trade and are butchers. We’ve always assumed that our butcher friends are pillars of the community. However, does this ad infer that we need to encourage of meat-vendors into treatment? Is beef a gateway meat which will lead to harder cuts such as venison?”

What FRANK appears to be doing here is undermining the intelligence of cannabis consumers.

Would FRANK class Queen Victoria, who used cannabis tincture for PMT, the same as the butchers in the FRANK advert? And what about Sativex, a powerful cannabis tincture prescribed by doctors and grown here in the UK by GW Pharmaceuticals under license granted from the Home Office?

FRANK has always tried to make out  that people who consume cannabis turn out to be no good lazy stoners,  that do not amount to anything in society. Well FRANK,  if you do your research, like you should do, you will find so many famous people who have consumed and still do consume cannabis.

Famous people who have smoked cannabis include, Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, Bob Dylan, Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Richard Branson, Michael, Phelps, Michael Bloomberg, Morgan Freeman, … the list is too long, even our current Prime Minister, David Cameron, smoked cannabis at Eton. Here is a list of MPs who have smoked cannabis, perhaps they should be contacted to clarify it wasn’t a leg of lamb they had a puff on?

Talk to FRANK about cannabis, no thanks.

If FRANK really wanted to help out, it should be running a Harm Reduction campaign, such as do not add tobacco to your joint, as this is more harmful. Why doesn’t FRANK tell people the difference between Indica and Sativa strains or how to inspect cannabis to check it has not been contaminated? Of course they won’t do this, as that would be sensible, no they would rather ridicule cannabis consumers.

FRANK is supposed to be a place for people who require help, not to insult cannabis consumers.

Cannabis has been around considerably longer than FRANK, and it will be here far past the day FRANK goes into obscurity.  Drug information campaigns are important, there is more misinformation out there regarding cannabis than there is solid fact.  This video does nothing to inform, or even amuse, except on an ironic level.  If the state is going to provide an example of “better behaviours”, five fat guys passing around an unhygienic slab of raw meat isn’t really hitting the mark.  It isn’t healthy behaviour, it isn’t related to the actual subject matter, and irony of ironies – the hunk of meat is actually more dangerous than cannabis.

I have this message to FRANK –  Please let me remind you that Talk To FRANK is a tax-payer funded operation whose remit is to educate those same tax-payers about drugs. It is your duty to educate these people using facts, evidence and to include all aspects of cannabis use – not just those which fit in with the Government’s ideologically based policies.

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  1. Frank is the biggest joke out there I’ve never read such rubbish in all my life and I’m 45 so see past the Blatent lies and propaganda. Trying to keep our kids from turning into informed educated people and keep them sheeple…

  2. It seems you’ve got the wrong end of the stick slightly. The ad was aimed at those who the government deem at risk of trying cannabis, but are so confused by it and all the terminology that anyone who doesn’t know much about it will go on their website and be put off cannabis for life. Very clever from a propaganda point of view.

      • It doesn’t and it’s not meant to. You really do seem to be missing the point, it’s not meant to be representing cannabis users but is simply a humorous way of representing the confusion some people have about drugs i.e. confusing a joint with a joint of meat.

        • Has everyone lost their funny bone here?? I believe the Norml UK
          response was intended as satirical not melodramatic and as such not meant to be taken so literally..

          • Yes obviously most of the article is taking the piss, but it still gives off the impression that we’re not happy about the campaign, or that it’s stupid from the Home Office’s point of view. If the government wants to try and deter people from trying cannabis then I have no issue with that, I only have an issue with current laws regarding cannabis. I smoke weed, not gonna lie and I think the government’s position on it is absurd, but my word some people take the whole anti-government agenda way too seriously.

          • Too right we are not happy and it’s stupid. Why should cannabis consumers be happy tax-payers money is spent portraying people who use cannabis in such a derogatory way?

            It was a piss poor ad that thoroughly deserved to have the piss taken out of it.

          • Those butchers weren’t meant to represent stoners, it was just simply creating a bit of humour for those who might not understand what it means to pass a joint round a party or any other weed-related terminology. I’d hardly say anyone was portrayed pejoratively in this advert.

          • If you are a cannabis consumer and you think that advert was an appropriate use of tax-payers money, then I feel sorry for you.

          • You are entitled to your opinion, as I am entitled to mine, just as you are entitled to disagree with me and I’m entitled to disagree with you …. it’s called discussion and debate!

            I’m most puzzled as to how any intelligent person who uses cannabis could not possibly be outraged at the Government propaganda machine that is Talk To FRANK. This isn’t the first advert either they have broadcast that is insulting to people who chose to consume cannabis.

          • I took them to represent stoners. As both a cannabis consumer and a tax-payer, I found the advert belittling.

            Great response Des, ignore these humourless dullards.

          • No i am not happy about the FRANK campaign and i am not happy to have a government who develop many of their policies contrary to scientific evidence. The craziness of it all lends itself to lampooning…daily!!

        • Christ on a bike, is a side-effect of cannabis that you take things literally? I thought stoners were meant to have a killer sense of humour.

        • I don’t know what drugs you have been using if you could easily confuse a joint of meat with a joint of cannabis, but whatever they are, I think you should lay off them. That’s some seriously strong shit.

    • …and to be fair, if some kids are thinkin about tryin cannabis, as soon as they see that advert they’d probably be like “Ahhhhahahaha dude, did you see those guys passing that meat around, we gotta try this shit” :/

  3. I think you have the wrong end of the stick on this one. It wasn’t a comment on how stupid cannabis users were, but rather saying “if you’re as outrageously clueless as these people, try to learn something here”.

    It’s a low-brow attempt at humour.

  4. To be fair I think it’s a visual pun rather than a visual metaphor. You want to give cannabis smokers a better reputation? Simple: Don’t go around post melodramatic interpretations of 20 second video clips on our behalf.

    • If you are a cannabis user, then you are giving cannabis users a bad name with such a dumb comment.

      Very good article, good to see Talk To FRANK pulled to task and with a touch of light hearted humour.

      • Sorry, what exactly is dumb about my comment? This article seems to suggest that the advert in question is actually trying to inform people on cannabis, whereas it’s actual intent is to advertise FRANK as an information service using an attention-grabbing literal interpretation of/slight pun on the phrase “passing round a joint at a party”, with the target audience being people who are thinking about using cannabis.

        By all means question the stance on cannabis of FRANK and our government, but attacking the way they market themselves–particularly in this instance–is more or less completely redundant.

        • ^ another dumb comment.

          This is not the first time FRANK has portrayed cannabis consumers in such an insulting way. What was the advert trying to say then? With 5 butchers acting strangely passing a joint of meat, ending with the caption, “thinking of passing a joint around at a party” … then telling people if they want to know about drugs to visit their propaganda web site, which also happens to be full of government lies and misinformation. This is an outrageous use of public money and I’m glad cannabis consumers are speaking out at being portrayed in such a way.

          • The advert isn’t trying to “say” anything about cannabis consumers. It’s FRANK trying to market themselves to people who are thinking about using cannabis. I think if tax-payers are paying for FRANK, then it’s only reasonable to expect that they should market themselves otherwise what is the point in paying for a service that the public are not even aware of?

            I’d also say that this advert and a lot of what is on the FRANK website aligns with public interest quite firmly, so to say that it’s an outrageous use of public money is ridiculous because this is clearly what the public wants. Whether or not the general public are ignorant as hell is a totally different matter.

          • ^ an even dumber comment.

            Who says this is what the public want … I believe the public would prefer an evidence based drugs policy, as opposed to ‘sending messages’ based on misinformation.

            The whole Talk to FRANK web site is a waste of money, and as a tax payer I have every right to take issue with it, as does NORML UK – shock horror – cannabis legalisation group takes umbrage with pot smokers being portrayed in a negative way and doesn’t approve of how the government spends tax-payers money demonising cannabis.

          • Well the fact that the public are still happily allowing their taxes to be spent in such a way would suggest that they’re not really opposed to it. Once again, whether or not the service FRANK provides is factually valid is irrrelevant, because it’s the service that the public are happy with and will continue to pay for. Attacking their marketing schemes is redundant.

            Also, the fact you feel the need to repeatedly call my comments dumb would suggest a certain undertone of partiality in your argument, undermining pretty much any reason I should have to take you seriously.

          • ^ another dumb comment,

            Are you suggesting everything the government spends money on the public are happy with … let’s not even bother criticising anything the government spends our money on, as surely they wouldn’t ever misappropriate tax-payers funds would they? and if they did, well surely the public would say something.

            I call you comments dumb, because they are and I certainly cannot take you seriously … good bye you silly twit.

          • It’s not called “opposed to it” it’s called “Cognitive Dissonance”. the trouble with you lot is you have too much flouride covering your pineal gland, you should smoke a joint, it helps with that too 🙂

          • Market themselves?

            This isn’t a fucking game you clown, peoples lives depend on them getting true, factual information – something I can never remember the govt propaganda machine that is “Frank” ever doing.

            Stop acting like a stuck up pratt who thinks they’re right, because you are way off target on this.

            You should search ” cannabis cures cancer” then see how clever you are!

            P.s. It’s not only cancer either.


          • I think you seem to have decided that because I don’t like this article, I don’t smoke. Not everything is black and white. It’s all fifty shades of grey, haha.

          • If you don’t mind the government using tax-payers’ money to fund propaganda in the form of Talk To FRANK in an attempt to garner support for their own failed policies of prohibition … then that’s your right to hold such a belief, but I find that a rather odd opinion for a cannabis smoker to hold … I almost wonder if Talk To FRANK has sent some socks to defend the indefensible.

      • I am cringing big time reading your comments. Not everyone that smokes weed is a moron, and every advert that doesn’t completely endorse weed is an attack against it. I think the people that make theses adverts have a difficult task and must walk a fine line between sounding like prohibitionists and sounding like…well….you.

        • I cringe whenever I see those Talk to FRANK ads; I agree with you not all weed smokers are morons, yet some evidently are (assuming you smoke weed).

          People who smoke pot have had enough of the Government using tax-payers’ money to produce propaganda appealing to the lowest common denominator … get over it! twat!

  5. I wrote several angry emails about their previous campaigns, i got the usual reply. They seem to back up everything there saying with “government statistics” Cannabis is quite frankly laughable at the way it is displayed on the talk to frank website its embarrassing just how wrong they have got it. They pissed me off so much that i wrote a song called paranoia perhaps they should use this rather than 4 butchers patting a slab of meat!

    Free the herb!


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