Could D.A.R.E. Quit Lying About Marijuana?

Nov 08, 2012 , , , , , , ,

The infamous school drug-education program known as D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) may be removing marijuana from its curriculum. D.A.R.E. officer Mike Meyer of Kennewick, Washington explains that program’s materials for December make no mention of the substance, though he says he does not know why.

If true, this is a welcome step, although eliminating D.A.R.E. altogether would be preferable. All credible studies of the program, including a report from the Government Accountability Office, have failed to find any decrease in drug use connected with participation in D.A.R.E. Officials with the organization have apparently been slow in admitting this, however. In a libel suit brought by D.A.R.E. against Rolling Stone magazine, Federal Judge Virginia Phillips ruled that allegations printed in the magazine, including that D.A.R.E. had actually tried to suppress scientific research critical of the program, were “substantially true.” D.A.R.E. appealed the decision, but the Ninth Circuit Court upheld the ruling.

Although D.A.R.E. officials admitted their failure in 2001 and proposed a new, less hysterical curriculum, research since then has still failed to demonstrate any success. The “new” curriculum, as it is described on the website, does not seem to involve any increased commitment to facts, but rather now involves “role-playing sessions” and “discussion groups.” The summary of the new program, revealingly, makes insinuations that drug use is connected to terrorism, and in place of facts, explains that officers will be using “stunning brain imagery” as “tangible proof of how substances diminish mental activity, emotions, coordination and movement.”

Although they have possibly abandoned the anti-marijuana crusade in their school curriculum, D.A.R.E. still disseminates dishonest information on their website. An ironically named “fact sheet” repeats claims that marijuana “has a high potential for abuse,” and although it is short on the details or prevalence of this abuse, it does claim that marijuana can weaken the immune system and cause insanity and lung disease. The “fact sheet” categorically denies the medical benefits of marijuana, suggesting that it causes only “inebriation.” At the same time, it admits that THC, which the page describes as “the psychoactive [in other words mind-altering or “inebriating”] ingredient in marijuana,” has medical benefits. It implicitly denies the countless cases of experiences of medical marijuana patients who tried conventional treatments without success, claiming simply that “existing legal drugs provide superior treatment for serious medical conditions,” and “the FDA has approved safe and effective medication for the treatment of glaucoma, nausea, wasting syndrome, cancer, and multiple sclerosis.” The page even quotes the Institute of Medicine study, “Marijuana and Medicine: Assessing the Science Base,” the very same study which confirms the medical usefulness of marijuana and refutes claims that it poses a major proven risk of addiction or lung cancer, or that it causes brain damage, amotivational syndrome, suppression of the immune system, use of other illicit drugs, or premature death from any cause. The study further points out the shortcomings of existing legal medications for the relevant medical conditions, including the slow and unreliable action of synthetic THC pills.

According to Mike Riggs at Reason, D.A.R.E. headquarters has neither confirmed nor denied any shift in policy.

23 responses to “Could D.A.R.E. Quit Lying About Marijuana?”

  1. I went through the D.A.R.E program in 1990! I remember the hysterical fear they tried to instill in us. It worked in middle school. I said no to Marijuana because it will fry my brian.. Then in high school you see friends who do well in school and smoke marijuana.. They say to me that the adults lied and I figured they lied about all drugs, to get us not to use.. Some of the DARE message was true, but lying made me through all of their message out! Honesty is how you teach children to be responsible adults.. You can’t teach children not to use.. thats silly!

  2. It is truly a shame that the Feds want to continue to perpetuate their “Money-go-Round” by keeping marijuana a schedule 1 drug. It works hand in glove with organized crime and the drug cartels on an international basis. Legalizing what is clearly a rather benign natural chemical makes good sense when we compare it to tobacco products and and alcohol products. The money made by the entire criminal justice system, law enforcement-defense attorneys-courts-jails-bondsmen-prisons and the department of corrections probation and parole system along with federal and state funded drug treatment programs that fail miserably in recovery from addiction and are not even needed in dealing with marijuana other than to send someone back to prison at additional cost is just a small but money-wise important part of the Money-go-Round involved. Corruption at all levels of the drug enforcement laws is rampant. More of the Money-go-Round in action. The monetary savings in removing marijuana from the list of illegal drugs might permit the DARE program to have a little more validity. Heroine, cocaine, methamphetamine, nicotine, and alcohol are addictive and the DARE program would be providing the truth. One lie about marijuana and the DARE program invalidates itself in the eyes of the kids. That is a shame. Naturally, the drug dealers, organized crime and the international drug cartels want the marijuana to continue to be illegal. That is profit to them. Money, Power, and Greed are the three evils that power keeping marijuana illegal. As a professional addictions futurist, I projected 2013 to 2014 as the approximate time that the scam could be clearly seen by most people and marijuana could become a profit making, taxable product, regulated by each individual state much like alcohol. It would remove approximately half of the alcohol carnage on the highways and the alcohol addiction problems that cost society so much today. I would project a savings and profit of close to a trillion dollars a year when all of the states and our territories had their own legalization, taxation, and regulation of marijuana. We could use that now, in 2012, given our current economic crisis. What do you think?

  3. Dan Gray- you seem to have hit the nail on the head. I live in CO where we legalized pot inthe last election. We’ll see how the feds respond, whether they leave us alone or not. There is a bill in Congress asking them to do just that. let’s hope it passes. Pot is so relatively benign a “drug” that it is nearly laughable to incarcerate people for it, but not quite since incarceration has ruined so many lives. Pot, however, has not and does not ruin lives in comparison to alcohol and those lovely legal prescription drugs people think it’s ok to abuse because they have a script! Some folks are now afraid to come here they say, for fear everyone will be lighting up on the streets and running around stoned. Well, I have news for them, it’s been legal in our town limits for a few years and all those unwarranted fears have not played out in the least! Sure, a few people smoke outside, but it is nothing compared to the marketing of alcohol related attractions such as Oktoberfest and on and on and on where public drunkenness is seemingly encouraged and definitely allowed. And then these people get in their cars and drive home!
    No, the war on drugs has been an abject failure.

  4. Thank You Maureen! Because of like-minded people like you, Pres. Obama can no longer dismiss the issue so easily as he has done in the past. I’m praying (for what that’s worth) that he orders the DOJ to back down and finally have that honest debate about cannabis and get it removed from the DEA’s drug schedule.

    Thank you.

  5. D.A.R.E. would often encourage or to trick children in getting them to talk about their parents as a way of having the children show-off of what they know. Kids trust people with authority and they can say the darnest things.

    Do you remember the scene in the 1980 movie Poltergeist , when one of the children rushed into their parent’s room while their mom was on the bed with the cigar box and rolling a joint to share with her husband? The audience laughed.

  6. back in , 1990 D.A.R.E was mandated in the schools . I took it personal to expose the truth . its seem to me that any program such as this a program experimental and run by police as teachers? with the colors of black , white , and red needed my attention . so i learn that the program was copy write-ed which meant parents could not obtain instruction manuals , you see the police figure attacking th3e children with there policy and propaganda would benefit our society , however police are investigators not teachers and what happen in all the school was easy future to tell , law enforcement and its brutality came in / i personally took my children out had them take up classes they were lacking in like math and English I made the news paper 3 pages ft page in Worcester telegram in Massachusetts it would later be used against me min court of lawlessness when a D.A.R.E officer ( beat me with others on a bogus charge on signage on my truck and no commercial plate the jury could not understand my years of protesting to legalize vs any reason to attack me i was injured by them ACL was snap by the billy club , they hit me with in knees , that alone should have won the federal case there was a law i stood on which prevented D>A.R.E as it was experimental and required the parent signature / however the D.A.R.E program fit well so Congress ear mark finding and off they went , the program was a brainwashing political p[rat its operation by po{lice I made up a flag red back ground with white circle and the letters D.A.R.E in black circle ban marking I parade it and the police fip out , you see the program was no more less then Nazi in schools. Teaching a policy of lies and political correctness they came to hate me and did attack me the court case the proof The rules over jurisdiction still in question the court was moved to Boston ( wrong venue ) the whole case should never happen there should had stay in Worcester i told the paper of all the children who had come to tell , and next there parents were arrested or worst some was even attack like me and two were killed D.A.R.E is nothing more then congress running policy to vain in school against legalization and true attempt to resolve they would rather continue to lock up parents even kill them and separate families in there police pursuit to what they teach is a crime , that is getting high > the while millions who come to drink smoke ect… the children are then confused seeing the world and what was driven in week after week and those kids all came to due drugs later the program failure why? you asked > well its easy to see you tell them of the tree of knowledge pick the apple when they are innocent and show it when they have but no mindset later due to prohibition its everywhere and they try it eat the apple and realize the lies and the truth leaving that warning be nullity and trust then gone as the control of addiction was not resolve by daring lies instructed by unformed po[lice . as a patriot i risk to inform the public of swanning of Dr Carlson the creator to chief Gates the program was sociological and informational tool used by the police to enter homes though kids they even came to used them as informants for operation like attacks on cig and alcohol but, what are we to expect form scum . all i can say is wake up protect your children form the government policy refuse to drug test without probable cause the war is not won yet we must put the last d in DEA
    and free Mark Emery

  7. D.A.R.E is lying program geared too federal and state police policy taken form the smart program which was introduce in 70s the program causes those who are pro additive to be trigger / the government knows this as it needs to imprison souls the program is an us and them war like understanding , parents would do well to remove there children form its teaching , D.A,R,E should be ban having experence the smart program and having over the years see its out come I would say if we do not come to legalize drugs soon we will have imprison millions of souls . I myself can not become a part of this scam that save s no one and introduces police over parents trust I myself have seen the cops first hand they are no better then the crime they fight and i say make . they need the drug war to remain we need to end it to gain understanding and peace and really save ourselves
    there is no crime in getting high

  8. Yeeahh maaaan why are the oppressive government lying about our pot maaan weed is goooood for yoouuuu maaan it has uuuuh medicinal benefits yeah that’s it… Weeed has neveer haad any bad side effects maaaan the fascist pro…prohib…prohibitionists want to control your miiiiindssss…

  9. Here in the UK our gov has tried different strategies to keep cannabis illegal, from the “just say no” campaign borrowed from yourselves in the US to “will lead to harder drugs, causes schizophrenia, skunk 30 times stronger than regular weed etc etc” all end up getting disproved – can’t remember what this years stance is but what I do know is that lying to the public doesn’t work & causes even more distrust (if that’s possible) between the authorities & the people. To be honest, if you guys hadn’t banned it back in the 30’s or whenever it was I don’t think we would of!!

  10. […] News of a major curriculum change was first reported in early November when an elementary school resource officer in Kennewick, Washington told KNDU25, “The new curriculum starts as of December for us…it does not bring up the subject of marijuana at all.” (Marijuana is the only illicit drug that D.A.R.E. claims to have reduced the use of through its educational programs. Drug reform advocates have slammed D.A.R.E. for its characterization of pot.) […]

  11. […] News of a major curriculum change was first reported in early November when an elementary school resource officer in Kennewick, Washington told KNDU25, “The new curriculum starts as of December for us…it does not bring up the subject of marijuana at all.” (Marijuana is the only illicit drug that D.A.R.E. claims to have reduced the use of through its educational programs. Drug reform advocates have slammed D.A.R.E. for its characterization of pot.) […]

  12. […] News of a major curriculum change was first reported in early November when an elementary school resource officer in Kennewick, Washington told KNDU25, “The new curriculum starts as of December for us…it does not bring up the subject of marijuana at all.” (Marijuana is the only illicit drug that D.A.R.E. claims to have reduced the use of through its educational programs. Drug reform advocates have slammed D.A.R.E. for its characterization of pot.) […]

  13. […] News of a major curriculum change was first reported in early November when an elementary school resource officer in Kennewick, Washington told KNDU25, “The new curriculum starts as of December for us…it does not bring up the subject of marijuana at all.” (Marijuana is the only illicit drug that D.A.R.E. claims to have reduced the use of through its educational programs. Drug reform advocates have slammed D.A.R.E. for its characterization of pot.) […]

  14. massvocals you said you were a parent, right? Well your grammer is horrible, your statements made hardly any sense and you sound like your brain is fried 🙂 Lay off the weed “bro”

  15. I think D.A.R.E. is a big joke that has been going on, way to long.Stop tring to get as much money from us as you can . Marijuana is coming and there is NO way for you to stop it!

  16. It will be interesting to see how the Federal Govt responds. god know, this prohibition has been a bad chapter. But change is coming so slowly. One step forward two steps back. remember the ’70’s? Fans in every dorm window, bongs on every coffee table. Outside of Colorado (and Washington, I guess) even college campuses are more far more conservative and restrictive than they were. I watch and wait. And get older.

  17. Wake up AMERICA….. Gate way drug hands down is caffeine, caffeine, caffeine…… School students have accesses to Red bull, Monster, and Dew. The best speeders you can get over the counter..I have seen many people crash, and become unreasonable from lack of just caffeine. These companies have lobbing money. AMERICA THE HIGHEST BIDDER. HELP US!!!!!

  18. The dare program is another fascist-capitalist orginization. I told my son the truth about marijuana when he was in 1sta grade. When he took dare in 5ththe grade, he brought this propoganda trash in form of booklet home. I looked at it, it talked about tobacco, alcohol, u know, thats reasonable. But when i read the lies about marijuana, i became infuriated. I told him to go back the next day and tell him all that ive taught him. So, when his braindead dare cop continued to spread the smear campain against cannabis , infront of everyone, my son dropped a knowledge BOMBSHELL on the arrogant pig. All the kids believed him too. He told the cop about how hearst, dupont, and anslinger put together reefer madness and how they made a swift move in congress to make the illegal tax act, and how it was always a medicine, no ones ever died from it, and no link to cancer, actually proven to shrink it, etc. The cop lost it. He yelled at my son outside. I was there to pick him up and i saw him screaming at him. Being the father and not mom, i lost my temper pretty quick and screamed right in his face to never tell my son lies again. The next day he left the school and went spreading it around somewhere else i guess. He also told everyone wen the cop was there, how big tobacco, big alcohol, big oil, big banking, the timber/logging industry, and especially big pharma lobby the hell out of the puppeteer politicians to do everything they want. He also pointed out how its no coinsidence that dare and drug free america adds are SPONSORED BY BUDWEISER and why prohibition doest work since both government and cartels agree to keep it illegal. This society is slowly moving to a real life 1984 or equilibrium. My god! The government and corporate fat cats should be dragged out of there billion dollar penthouses and 100,000 dollar cars and thousand dollar suits, and burnt alive in the streets of dc with molotovs!

  19. when i was in the 6th grade a dare officer gave a very condescending speech about how we had better not smoke pot or else. i never thought of trying pot before but after listening to that jerk off my friends and i were determined to defy that prick, that night i searched my moms room(whom i never turned in btw) while she was at work found her stash within an hour my friends were in love with weed….so thanks dare for making weed sound so tempting because without you i would have never even thought to even try it

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