Pubdate: Thu, 02 May 2002
Source: Valley Voice, The (CN BC)
Copyright: 2002 The Valley Voice
Note: No known website. Contact data not verified.
Author: N. Chodat
Bookmark: (D.A.R.E.)
Bookmark: (Drug Education)
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Youth)


DARE scare tactic #1: Marijuana is an addictive substance.

There are no physically addictive substances found in Cannabis sativa. This 
has been proven repeatedly by respected scientists and organizations on 
both sides of the fence.

The Canadian government funded LeDain Commission, and more recently the 
Ross Rebagliati Olympic inquiry, are just two out of hundreds of legitimate 
studies which found the DARE claim untrue.  Mere use, even over-use, will 
not create a marijuana addict.  Psychological addictions definitely occur 
in some people, but emotional crutches can be found in a myriad of objects 
or substances.  Food, sex, video games, the list of 'addictive substances' 
goes on.  These are all real and difficult addictions for thousands of 
North Americans.  Should we make them illegal, too?

To teach a child that use of marijuana will result in abuse or addiction is 
a misleading half-truth - a scare tactic which can and does backfire. 
Inevitably the student will discover that 'reefer madness' is not a 
reality.  One can only hope none of our children make the same assumption 
with 'Trainspotting' (heroin).

DARE scare tactic #2: marijuana use causes permanent brain damage.

This claim is largely backed up by the Reese/Tulane study of 1974 whose 
unethical and unscientific methods were uncovered through the Freedom of 
Information Act during the 80s.  The brain damage received by monkeys 
occurred by asphyxiation, not THC or other cannabis compounds.   No 
legitimate scientific studies since then have been able to corroborate 
DARE's claim.

Even though the American Surgeon-General publicly announced that "marijuana 
is a benign substance," DARE still waves these and many more untrue or 
unproven 'facts' about cannabis use and its effect on the human mind and 
body.  Were they all true, hundreds of countries and societies who use 
cannabis, including our own, would be filled with deformed apathetic, brain 
damaged individuals who thieve, murder and pillage, all for a marijuana fix.

Criminal organizations exist in the marijuana industry because it's 
criminal.  Rum running was a major legal offence during prohibition; we 
laugh about it now.

Our children should receive drug education, not biased propaganda funded by 
Anheuser Busch, Joe Camel and the FDA.  Give our children some credit! 
Teach the dangers of psychological addictions, research and teach the 
latest medical findings.  Teach our children self-esteem and the abilitiy 
to make their own education decisions, but if we continue to allow DARE to 
teach by means of scary half-truths and lies then we will have failed. 
After all, we live in 'The Land of Pot' and it's blatantly obvious that too 
many of DARE's claims are exaggerated or untrue.

N. Chodat, New Denver 
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