Pubdate: Tue, 03 Dec 2002
Source: Poughkeepsie Journal (NY)
Copyright: 2002 Poughkeepsie Journal
Author: Jen Rog


In a recent letter, Hyde Park Police Officer Robert Benson tries to 
discredit Rob Robinson by saying he may have criticized DARE "be-cause he 
is an activist for the legalization of marijuana." He adds, "I'm not an 
activist, but a realist," implying Robinson's arguments are out of touch 
with reality.

The reality is the statements taught to children in DARE, are largely based 
on slanted interpretation of evidence. Take the gateway theory. "For every 
100 people who have used marijuana, only one is a current user of cocaine." 
The theory is merely an observation that people who have used harder drugs 
are likely to have tried the most popular drug, marijuana, first. There's 
no proof smoking pot causes hard drug use (from the book, "Marijuana Myths, 
Marijuana Facts").

Robinson believes drug use is a health issue; that is the alternative 
answer to police teaching about drugs. Kids want to think for themselves 
and will make sensible choices if given all the facts about drugs, positive 
and negative. Not all drug use is negative or self-abuse. "From Chocolate 
to Morphine," by Andrew Weil, M.D., is a great alternative to DARE that 
works for adults, too.

Mr. Benson suggested he might include Robinson in his "how to resist peer/ 
media pressure" curriculum. What is there to resist? The public discussion 
of public opinion? Or is this another attempt to discredit Robinson as 
pushing drugs? He never said he is pro-drugs. What he is is anti-jail. Mr. 
Benson is pro-jail. His life depends on it.

Jen Rog

New Paltz
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