Pubdate: Wed, 26 Apr 2006
Source: Powell River Peak (CN BC)
Copyright: 2006 Peak Publishing Ltd.
Author: Russell Barth


The headline should read "RCMP To Brainwash Youth" ["RCMP train to 
educate youth," April 19]. As a federal medical marijuana licence 
holder, I resent most of the so-called drug education programs aimed 
at kids. The rhetoric hasn't changed since I was a teen back in the 1980s.

I applaud anyone's effort to keep kids off drugs, but most of these 
programs, DARE in particular, fail to mention the other side of the 
story, doing more harm than good.

Adults--especially police--have lost all credibility when it comes to 
drugs, because they exaggerate the so-called dangers of marijuana. 
They tell kids that marijuana "is 10 times more potent than before," 
will cause cancer, schizophrenia, impotence, permanent stupidity and 
an addiction to hard drugs.

When kids find the truth on their own, just a Google search away, 
they will likely conclude that if adults lied about Santa Claus, the 
Easter Bunny and marijuana, they must be lying about meth, crack, 
heroin, ecstasy, booze, weapons, extreme sports, safe sex and safe 
driving, too.

We live in a culture that advertises booze and drugs of all kinds on 
TV, but we tell kids to say no to drugs. We give kids Ritalin, 
instead of reducing their sugar and Game Boy intake, and then tell 
them marijuana is dangerous.

For those keen on educating kids about drugs I recommend the 
Educators For Sensible Drug Policy website at

Russell Barth

Ottawa, Ontario
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