Pubdate: Sat, 27 Jan 2007
Source: Home News Tribune (East Brunswick, NJ)
Copyright: 2007 Home News Tribune
Cited: DPF Florida Speakers Bureau
Author: Stephen Heath


It's smart business to educate our kids about the risks of using
drugs, thus making the intentions of Franklin patrolman William
Piwtoratsky and the Home News Tribune's related editorial praise of
his efforts laudable.

That aside, these important messages are best delivered by qualified
health care professionals and counselors, not by uniformed police
officers and D.A.R.E. Ten- and 11-year-old kids will pretty much do
whatever a cop tells them, including the recitation of anti-drug
mantras. Such cooperation makes parents smile but ignores that most
kids of that age are not able to ask the tough questions to a police

Questions like, "Why do you view marijuana as dangerous as alcohol?"
"Why should my parents go to jail for a joint, when my friends'
parents can drink alcohol daily?" "Why do I see other police officers
smoking tobacco and using alcohol on their off-hours if being
drug-free is so cool?" "Why do a lot of my friends get dosed with
Ritalin, if being drug-free is the best for them?"

I would add that D.A.R.E. makes no allowance for what kids should do
if they turn out to be one of the 80 percent who at some point elect
to experiment with drugs between the ages of 14-18. They're sure not
likely to talk to the police. Combine this flawed message with
ill-advised "zero-tolerance" attitudes in many school systems and
vital, honest communication is sure to be thwarted.


Speakers Bureau Member

Drug Policy Forum of Florida

Clearwater FL 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Steve Heath