Is D.A.R.E. Really Dropping Marijuana From Its Curriculum?

According to a local news station in Washington state, D.A.R.E. America, the anti-drug group that uses school resource officers to teach elementary and middle school children about the dangers of drugs, is dropping marijuana from its curriculum.

"The new curriculum starts as of December for us here in Kennewick," Officer Mike Meyer told KNDU25 yesterday. "It does not bring up the subject of marijuana at all."

From this statement, and despite the fact that Meyer said he doesn't know why pot is absent from his teaching materials, KNDU25 extrapolated this headline: "DARE curriculum drops pot."

I've requested comment from D.A.R.E. America's headquarters in Inglewood, California, its regional director in Cleveland, and the state director in Washington, because this news--if true--would indeed be huge. 

Here are some reasons why I think it's not: Despite the fact that Washington state is on the verge of legalizing marijuana for recreational use, D.A.R.E. educates against substances illegal and legal, such as alcohol and tobacco. And Washington state isn't legalizing marijuana for kids, after all.

And despite the fact that D.A.R.E. has been waning for a decade due to its curriculum being declared ineffective by independent and government researchers (as well as running million-dollar deficits in 2009 and 2010, according to charitynavigator.org) the organization released an "evidence-based" curriculum in 2011 called "Keeping it Real," which D.A.R.E. claims resulted in a "32-44% reduction in marijuana, tobacco and alcohol use." While those internal numbers could very well be faulty, I find it odd that D.A.R.E. would stop educating kids about the only illicit drug it claims it can keep them from using.

Update: A reader with a friend in elementary education sends along a picture from the new D.A.R.E. workbooks recently distributed to teachers. Marijuana is definitely still in there.

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  • ||

    They've just decided to be a little less uncool. They're going to go from "cosmically uncool" to "massively uncool". It'll be a major step up in popularity for them.

  • ||

    D.A.R.E. educates against substances illegal and legal, such as alcohol and tobacco.

    The verb you are looking for here is "brainwash". What DARE does is not "education".

  • RFID||

    Once I was accosted in front of a Walgreens by a smoking hot redhead who tried to show me DARE literature and make me donate to the program "for the kids" and all that shit. I ultimately decided against pretending to be a drug warrior to attempt to get in her pants.

  • ||

    You're a better man than I.

  • John C. Randolph||

    This program might actually dry up and blow away. Despite the fact that it's useless, when you get right down to it, it's not nearly expensive enough to have the kind of backing that would ensure support from politicians.

    -jcr

  • Rich||

    KNDU25 extrapolated this headline: "DARE curriculum drops pot."

    Would that it had been: "DARE curriculum drops acid."

  • Chaucer||

    My DARE officer was arrested for stealing lawnmowers from his night job at Walmart.

  • hfitzgerald1||

    How DARE you?

  • jway||

    Is that a real DARE book? I think I know the answers to the questions:
    1. Marijuana users have an increased risk of *thinking for themselves*.
    2. Marijuana smokers have more *chance of avoiding addiction and harm than alcohol users* and *(no increase in)* upper respiratory problems.
    3. Marijuana is *incorrectly scheduled* in the United States.
    4. There is more *thc* in marijuana smoke than in tobacco.
    5. Smoking marijuana causes *minimal, if any,* problems.
    6. Marijuana affects your *mood in a positive way* and *is FAR LESS harmful than its legal alternative, alcohol*.
    7. Marijuana can cause short-term *protection from the harms of alcohol* and the inability to *be harmed by alcohol in the long-term if used regularly as a replacement for alcohol*.
    8. Marijuana smoke contains *a lot* to *significantly* more of some *enjoyment* causing chemicals than tobacco smoke.
    9. Marijuana can be *effectively used as a FAR safer alternative to alcohol*.

    How'd I do?

  • mad libertarian guy||

    FAIL!

    /drug warrior

  • Lincoln||

    Just like any other media outlet: One must maintain viability/credibility in order to continue existing. DARE doesn't want to die yet apparently.

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