Pubdate: Mon, 02 Jan 2012
Source: Tribune Review (Pittsburgh, PA)
Copyright: 2012 Tribune-Review Publishing Co.
Author: Stan White


The old lessons make cannabis out to be among the worst substances in 
the world.

I'm sure D.A.R.E. officers mean well ("D.A.R.E. program effective 
despite downsizing, advocates say," Dec. 26). However, nearly every 
study, including government studies, shows D.A.R.E. is a failure and 
may be causing more drug use than no program at all.

One reason D.A.R.E. fails is because it teaches lies, half-truths and 
discredited reefer-madness propaganda concerning cannabis 
(marijuana). For example: When youth find out the relatively safe, 
God-given plant (see the first page of the Bible) is less harmful and 
addictive than taught, they think other substances must not be so bad 
either, only to become addicted to deadly drugs.

The old lessons make cannabis out to be among the worst substances in 
the world, even though it's less addictive than coffee and never 
directly killed a single person. Government even classifies cannabis 
as a Schedule I substance along with heroin, while methamphetamine 
and cocaine are only Schedule II substances. For the health and 
welfare of America's children and adults, that dangerous and 
irresponsible message absolutely must change.

Further, D.A.R.E. instructors teach that cannabis is bad and should 
be prohibited, yet unregulated sales of cannabis force buyers into 
contact with people who often sell hard drugs, which increases 
addiction rates. Legalizing cannabis would lower deadly hard-drug 
addiction. But D.A.R.E. doesn't teach that.

Resources should be put toward anti-drug programs proven effective at 
protecting youth, not compromising them.

Stan White

Dillon, Colo.
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