Pubdate: Tue, 01 May 2007
Source: Fort Saskatchewan Record, The (CN AB)
Copyright: 2007 The Fort Saskatchewan Record
Author: Russell Barth


As much as I applaud anyone's efforts to keep kids off of drugs, we
have to admit that D.A.R.E. is probably worse than no program at all.

Don't believe me? Compare the teen marijuana use rates from 1990 and
2005. Or, compare Canada's teen pot use rate today to that of the
Netherlands (about half as many Dutch teens use pot as Canadian teens).

As a Canadian Federal Medical Marijuana License Holder who is also
married to one, I deeply resent D.A.R.E.'s non-factual information
and "all use is abuse" attitude they have towards marijuana. D.A.R.E.
is the police's fear and fealty propaganda campaign, and I find the
fact that they aim these lies at kids particularly evil.

D.A.R.E. has proven, in many areas, to actually increase drug use! It
could be because, as soon as kids realize that adults have been - at
best, exaggerating, and at worst, deliberately misleading them - they
will likely conclude that if adults lie about marijuana, they must be
lying about everything else too.

In the US, during the 1930's, alcohol was prohibited much as drugs are
today. Children had easy access to bootleg liquor that blinded or
killed many. Gangsters ruled the streets with machine guns, police
became less and less effective as the gangs, wealth and power grew,
and corruption was rampant.

Mothers, grandmothers, and teachers lobbied the government to regulate
alcohol so that it would be out of the hands of children. They
understood that when we criminalize a popular substance, we create a
black market than preys on children.

How is it that people from seventy years ago were so much smarter than
we are today? Easy! They didn't believe the police, government,
school, media, and church balderdash that says the only way to control
drug use in society is with strict criminal sanctions.

And since we know for a fact that prohibition is doing far more damage
to users and society than the drugs themselves ever could, who or what
exactly, are the police and government trying to protect?

Regulation and straightforward education will do more to teach kids
about drugs than all of this piffle! For those keen on educating kids
about drugs - without all the fear-mongering, hyperbole, and absurd
hypocrisy of the standard "drug education" programs like D.A.R.E. - I
recommend the Educators For Sensible Drug Policy website at

Russell Barth

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