Pubdate: Fri, 08 Jun 2007
Source: Chief, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2007 Whistler Printing & Publishing
Author: Russell Barth



RE: Youth Awareness Campaigner Honoured (Chief, June 1), 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 the fact that
they aim these lies at kids is particularly evil.

When one considers that junk food will kill many times more Canadians
than all illegal drugs combined, it is difficult to think of drugs as
the "epidemic" that the media, government, churches and police have
hyped them into. In fact, we should be teaching kids how to "Say No"
to sugar instead.

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.

And who can blame them? We all live in a "drug culture" that
glamourizes sex, power, fun, thrills, youth, wealth, law-scoffing and
risk-taking. Drugs of all kinds are all over TV and around us in
public - they are the cornerstone of our consumerism society.

Then we tell kids not to do drugs?!

As long as we advertise fast food, fast cars, violent movies and video
games, beer, and Viagra during sporting events, adults are doomed to
being hypocrites when it comes to drug education.

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? Their
budgets? The gangsters' profits?

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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