DARE Spits Venom over L.A. Schools Not Throwing the Book at Kids with Pot


I dare a student to do a science fair project on how bongs work.
Credit: hollowcrown_ / photo on flickr

We've previously noted that the Los Angeles Unified School District is trying to get students back into the seats of their schools by the tried-and-true method of not tossing them out in the first place and having them arrested or cited by police for misbehavior and trying to scale back on some outrageous "zero tolerance" responses.

The school district recently announced it was expanding its discipline changes and will refer kids who are caught for minor crimes to be referred to counseling and discipline rather than arrest or citations. The offenses that will be treated this way include fighting, alcohol and tobacco possession, and low level petty theft or vandalism. Oh, and also, possession of small amounts of marijuana will no longer result in student arrest.

That news perked up the ears of the "Toke of the Town" blog at LA Weekly, who got in touch with Steve Abercrombie, California coordinator of Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE). He was not pleased:

"Wow," he tells Toke of the Town. "It seems we keep giving in more and more to different crimes and criminal activity. When does it stop? When do you finally say that you need to follow the rules?"

As typical, we can ponder the circular logic of the drug war argument. "We have declared this behavior to be illegal. If we allow kids to do it, they'll be breaking 'the rules' that we have declared. Therefore they are criminals," without ever questioning whether or not the designation that the behavior is illegal was a problem in the first place.

But then, DARE's placement in the drug war has been dependent on reinforcing the need for a police presence in school systems. And schools have been cutting DARE costs out of their budgets. So Abercrombie's complaining is coming from a place of decreasing influence on school funds, not just education. He adds, "I'm surprised they don't hand [cannabis] out when they hand out their workbooks."

That might be a good way to fight truancy. They should think about it.

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  1. Grifter complains that marks are beginning to see through the grift.

    Good. Maybe in a year or two this motherfucker will be doing something truly useful, like riding on the back of a garbage truck.

  2. “It seems we keep giving in more and more to different crimes and criminal activity…”

    Yeah, it’s much better to just enforce our multitude of ridiculous criminal statutes arbitrarily against those with less access to decent legal representation.

    1. Seriously, fuck liberal. We need to reclaim the word “criminal”

  3. Man, what a great idea. If they’d have passed out weed for attending, I would not have skipped about 1/2 of my senior year in high school (going out to smoke weed, mostly – irony!)

  4. Mmmm! Mmmm! Drug Warrior tears! So yummy and sweet! Let me lick your tears of unfathomable sadness, Steven! Mmmmmm!

    1. Hey! Don’t lick that drug warrior! You don’t know where that drug warrior’s been!

    2. Licking drug warriors is the number one cause of the spread of drug wartitis. You should probably get yourself tested.

  5. The offenses that will be treated this way include fighting, alcohol and tobacco possession, and low level petty theft or vandalism

    Why the fuck is fighting being treated this way?

    It is assault and battery. That shit, out of all the rest, should be sent to criminal court.

    1. Eh, is a couple kids roughing each other up on the playground really deserving of a criminal prosecution?

    2. Remember, Corning, if you say the cops should be called to arrest these kids for fighting, you are saying you think they should be exposed to assault, sexual assault, imprisonment, a lifetime penalty of having a criminal record, and possibly death.

      To me, that’s a little inappropriate.

    3. Fighting isn’t assault and battery, fighting is two people…fighting. A mutual violent physical transaction…assault and battery are unilateral, one party inflicting harm or the imminent threat of harm. I totally agree with the schools policy.

  6. D.A.R.E. to keep kids off Ritalin.

    D.A.R.E. to resist government violence.

  7. No ass in the chair, no ADA money in the bank.

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