Pubdate: Sat, 25 Jan 2003
Source: Arizona Republic (AZ)
Copyright: 2003 The Arizona Republic
Author: Kirk Muse
Note: Letters should be 200 words or less.


I agree with Sheriff Joe Arpaio: The DARE program is not working ("DARE
support in Valley wanes," Monday).

Common sense tells us that DARE should work and deter drug use. But it
doesn't. If anything, DARE graduates are more likely to use drugs. Not less.

Common sense tells us that our war on drugs policies should substantially
reduce our youths' use of drugs like marijuana. But it doesn't.

Actually our drug war and drug prohibition policies have increased our
youths' desire for recreational drugs, not diminished them.

Before marijuana was prohibited in the United States via the Marijuana Tax
Act of 1937, the vast majority of Americans had never even heard of

Today, everybody in America knows what marijuana is, and the U. S.
government estimates that 76 million Americans have used it. About half of
all high school students will use it before they graduate.

It's human nature for people to want what they are told they cannot have,
especially children. The "forbidden fruit" appeal is very powerful.

No other nation on the planet has spent more of its resources on fighting
drug abuse or imprisoned more of its citizens for drug law violations than
the United States. Yet no other nation has been less successful than the
United States in solving its drug abuse problems.

It's time for us to do something different - substantially different.

Kirk Muse

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