Pubdate: Wed, 27 Jan 2010
Source: Airdrie Echo (CN AB)
Copyright: 2010 Osprey Media
Author: Russell Barth


As a federally licensed medical marijuana user who is also married to 
one, I consider DARE nothing less than a government-sponsored 
hate-crime. Sending cops in to teach kids about drugs is like sending 
in a priest to teach them about sex: "Just don't do it, or you will 
be in big trouble."

"You can't really get to them too young." Imagine if the police came 
into a school and preached one religion over another? There would be 
public outrage! But when police go into schools to preach the merits 
of their abstinence cult, they get government funding!

The fact that taxpayers' dollars are used for this fear and fealty 
campaign is sick and reprehensible in the extreme. It should be 
illegal to go into schools and deliberately frighten and mislead 
kids, but no, we use taxpayers' dollars and send cops in to do it! It 
isn't just irresponsible, it is obscene!

Indoctrinations, certificates, slogans, promises and vows - all of it 
has proven to be of little help and at least some harm. Don't believe 
me? Since DARE first started in the 1980s, drug use among Canadian 
teens has quadrupled!

DARE has proven to be outrageously counterproductive. Maybe because 
it exaggerates the so called "dangers" of marijuana, while ignoring - 
or even decrying - its many proven medical applications. When kids 
are lied to about one thing, they are less likely to believe you when 
you actually do tell the truth about drugs like meth and heroin.

And who can blame them? We live in a culture that glamourizes sex, 
fun, danger, thrills, law-scoffing, risk-taking, rule-breaking, 
power, wealth-acquisition and authority-resisting. We advertise 
booze, fast cars, fast food, violent movies and video games and drugs 
of all kinds right on TV! Then we tell kids that "drugs are bad". 
Does anyone still believe that kids don't notice this wild hypocrisy? 
A ruse by any other name.

Russell Barth,

Nepean, Ont.
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