Pubdate: Fri, 08 Jun 2007
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 The Vancouver Sun
Author: Jerry Paradis
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)


Re: DARE builds good relations between students and officers, Voice 
of the People, June 6

It is not surprising that Const. Anette Martin is passionate about 
the DARE program she has been teaching for the past three years. It 
is a centrepiece of the RCMP's attempt to appropriate the issue of 
drug use in order to preserve the force's enormous investment in our 
existing prohibitionist policy.

I have no doubt that her efforts may well help to establish "a 
positive youth/police relationship." But why do we need a police 
officer in a Grade 5 classroom for 10 hours to "instill positive 
values"? Considering its overall conduct over the past few years, it 
would be a stretch to conclude that the force has a lock on those.

More to the point, the RCMP's conduct with respect to our drug laws 
makes it clear that it is incapable of presenting an objective, 
evidence-based and balanced view of a very complex social issue. 
Staff Sgt. Chuck Doucette, the province's drug awareness coordinator 
and, presumably, Martin's boss, was on a talk radio show last year 
discussing Insite. His performance was breathtaking: Uninformed, 
doctrinaire, inaccurate and often deliberately off point. It 
illustrated perfectly why a police force that has such a huge vested 
interest in existing policy should not be in the business of 
"educating" kids about drugs.

DARE stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. Every study ever 
conducted has concluded that it has zero impact on drug use or abuse. 
That Martin believes a "more comprehensive study" will prove 
otherwise demonstrates perfectly the ability of the RCMP to hide from 
reality when it doesn't suit the force's aims.

Jerry Paradis

North Vancouver
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