Pubdate: Tue, 21 Mar 2006
Source: Similkameen News Leader (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Similkameen News Leader
Author: Russell Barth
Note: Title by MAP


RE: Students DARE To Beware

As a Federal Medical Marijuana License Holder who is also married to
one, I oppose and resent much of what the D.A.R.E. program proclaims.

I applaud anyone's effort to keep kids off drugs, but D.A.R.E. spouts
half-truths and bald-faced lies, while failing to mention the other
side of the story. They do more harm than good, in my view, and many
studies have corroborated that view. They perpetuate stereotypes and
sow seeds of ignorance and prejudice.

Adults - especially the RCMP and programs like D.A.R.E. - have lost
all credibility when it comes to drugs, because they lie and
exaggerate the so-called "dangers" of marijuana. They tell kids that
marijuana "is ten times more potent than before," will cause cancer,
schizophrenia, impotence, permanent stupidity, and an addiction to
hard drugs.

Science and history say otherwise, and when kids find the truth on
their own (which is just a Google search away), they will realize that
they have been systematically lied to by people they once trusted.
They will likely conclude that if adults lied about Santa Claus, the
Easter Bunny, and marijuana, they must be lying about meth, crack,
heroin, ecstacy, booze, weapons, extreme sports, safe-sex and
safe-driving, too. And who can blame them?

We live in a "drug culture" that advertises booze, fast cars, fast
food, violent movies and video games, and drugs of all kinds on TV!
Then we tell kids "Say no to drugs." We give kids Ritalin, instead of
just reducing their sugar and Game-Boy intake, and then tell them
"Marijuana is dangerous!" Kids see right though this hypocrisy. A ruse
by any other name...

Taking the marijuana business out of the hands of teens and criminals
and putting it into the hands of responsible adults is socially
conservative. Generating tax revenue from that industry is fiscally
conservative, and using that money to teach kids why they should avoid
drugs is morally conservative.

By not legalizing and regulating marijuana production and sales, we
subsidize criminals, make pot easier for kids to access than either
tobacco or alcohol, waste valuable police resources and billions of
dollars annually, deprive ourselves of a source of valuable medicine,
and miss out on $3 billion in annual tax revenue.

For those keen on educating kids about drugs - without all the
fear-mongering, hyperbole, and absurd hypocrisy of the standard "drug
education" programs - I recommend the Educators For Sensible Drug
Policy website at .

Russell Barth

Federal Medical Marijuana License Holder, Ottawa
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MAP posted-by: Richard Lake