Pubdate: Tue, 26 May 2009
Source: Western Star, The (CN NF)
Copyright: 2009 The Western Star
Author: Russell Barth


It teaches them to be afraid of new things, instead of curious, and as
history has shown, fortune favours the adventurous.

Re: A lesson on drugs; city students ready to say 'no' Dear Editor: As a
federally licensed medical marijuana user who is also married to one, I
consider D.A.R.E. nothing less than a government sponsored hate crime.

Also, the fact that taxpayers' dollars are used for this fear and
fealty campaign is sick and reprehensible in the extreme. It should be
illegal to go into schools and deliberately frighten and mislead kids.
But no, we use taxpayers' dollars and send cops in to do it. It isn't
just irresponsible, it is obscene.

Indoctrinations, certificates, slogans, promises and vows - all of it
has proven to be of little help and at least some harm. Don't believe
me? Since D.A.R.E. first started 20-plus years ago, drug use among
Canadian teens has quadrupled.

It could be because D.A.R.E. exaggerates the so-called "dangers" of
marijuana, while ignoring - or even decrying - it's many proven
medical applications. When kids are lied to about one thing, they are
less likely to believe you when you actually do tell the truth about
drugs like meth and heroin. And who can blame them? We live in a
culture that glamourizes sex, fun, danger, thrills, law-scoffing,
risk-taking, rule-breaking, power, wealth-acquisition and
authority-resisting. We advertise booze, fast cars, fast food, violent
movies and video games, and drugs of all kinds, right on TV. Then we
tell kids that "drugs are bad."

Does anyone still believe that kids don't notice this wild hypocrisy?
A ruse by any other name...

There is also a misconception in our society that suggests that only
drug-abstinence is to be encouraged and admired. Telling kids to
"never" use certain drugs is like telling them to never see a certain
genre of movie, never go to an amusement park or exotic country, or
never do anything at all that may be both risky and fun.

It teaches them to be afraid of new things, instead of curious, and as
history has shown, fortune favours the adventurous. Sensible,
moderate, well-informed drug use is no more harmful, dangerous or
immoral than any one of dozens of other activities humans participate
in every day. So if you think "drugs" have nothing good to offer
society, then throw away every CD you own.

For those keen on teaching kids about drugs without all the hyperbole,
spin, sloganeering and baldfaced lies of the standard "education"
programs, I recommend the Canadian Students For Sensible Drug Policy
website at ( ), the Educators For Sensible Drug
Policy website at ( ), or the Law Enforcement
Against Prohibition website at ( )

Russell Barth, Patients Against Ignorance and Discrimination on
Cannabis (PAIDOC), Nepean, Ont. 
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