May 21, 2004

Marijuana and website ugliness.

Why are all the websites dedicated to the legalization of marijuana so ugly? The ones concentrating on medical marijuana like this one, this one, and this one might be trying to send a message of disassociating themselves from recreational use. But it is certainly possible to design a simple and elegant website that conveys a serious and scientific image. The websites that advocate legalization more generally are also amazingly ugly. See here and here. These groups too may want to present a serious, policy-oriented image: their arguments are all about the wastefulness and oppressiveness of enforcement efforts, certainly not the aesthetic pleasures of drug use. That last link is to Norml, and it looks very sober indeed. (Scroll through their "comics" section here.) I'm sure in the early days of Norml their materials were much livelier and frankly psychedelic. I see why it's not a good political strategy to do that anymore, but do they have to be so ugly?

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