Pubdate: Tue, 28 Feb 2012 Source: Merritt Herald (CN BC) Copyright: 2012 Merritt Herald Contact: http://www.merrittherald.com/ Details: http://www.mapinc.org/media/1446 Author: Judith Renaud, Executive Director, Educators for Sensible Drug Policy Referenced: http://www.mapinc.org/drugnews/v12/n155/a04.html?1145 Cited: Educators for Sensible Drug Policy: http://www.efsdp.org BETTER WAY TO TEACH DRUG EDUCATION RE: Students offered drugs on school property Educators for Sensible Drug Policy suggests that the outmoded and zero tolerance DARE program not only damages law enforcement officers credibility but exacerbates the problem by inspiring rebellion against an authoritarian legal system. EFSDP research suggests that the DARE program is not only ineffective, which is why it has been discontinued in a number of cities, but may even be harmful. Exaggerating the dangers of cannabis creates skepticism among teenagers about the real dangers of hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, alcohol and tobacco thus encouraging experimentation and use. Our research shows that cannabis policy with its focus on prohibition and extensive efforts on enforcement has failed, cannabis is more available, cheaper and more potent than ever even after billions of tax dollars have been spent on prohibition. Worse, organized crime is rolling in cash because of the same policies. EFSDP is not saying that cannabis should be legalized and taxed because it is safe. Rather EFSDP is saying that proven public health approaches should be used to constrain its use. While the abstinence-only mandate is well intended this approach is clearly not enough. Only qualified health care professionals and educators trained in solid scientific, compassionate, health and evidenced based drug education should be teaching our youth, not law enforcement officers. There is a better way. We must consider it. Judith Renaud Executive Director Educators for Sensible Drug Policy Gibsons, B.C. - --- MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.