Pubdate: Mon, 01 Jan 2001
Source: Houston Chronicle (TX)
Copyright: 2001 Houston Chronicle
Contact:  Viewpoints Editor, P.O. Box 4260 Houston, Texas 77210-4260
Fax: (713) 220-3575
Author: G. Alan Robison
Cited: Drug Policy Forum of Texas
Note: Dr. Robison is executive director Drug Policy Forum of Texas


I was irritated by the pessimistic Dec. 20 Chronicle article, "Kids deaf to 
anti-smoking message; School programs found effective," which was about the 
failure of a study at Washington state to teach kids about the evils of 

It turned out that the study had no more effect on stopping kids from 
smoking than the DARE program has in preventing kids from trying illegal 
drugs. And speaking of irritations, the DARE program costs Houston 
taxpayers several million dollars per year.

The Washington state experiment that failed was probably sponsored and 
dreamed up by government bureaucrats. And even if it brought in some 
psychologists and other experts to help, I doubt that any of them ever 
smoked or even thought about smoking.

The DARE program was thought up by Daryl Gates -- then Los Angeles police 
chief -- who thought the best solution to the drug problem would be to line 
up all abusers of illegal drugs and shoot them.

Another reason I was so irritated by the article was that I know there are 
several states with excellent anti-smoking campaigns that actually work.

How I wish for a rational drug policy in America, so that instead of having 
to spend all of our time trying to keep nonviolent drug offenders out of 
prison, we could devote at least part of our time to thinking of better 
ways to keep kids from fooling around with dangerous and addictive drugs in 
the first place. But enough with the dreaming.

G. Alan Robison
executive director
Drug Policy Forum of Texas
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