No, DARE Has Not Gone Soft on Pot

Contrary to wishful rumors, the anti-drug stalwart still considers marijuana a menace.


DARE America

Teen Vogue says DARE, which has dominated drug education in elementary and middle schools since the 1980s, no longer considers marijuana a "gateway drug." Canna Chronicle reports that the organization "has apparently removed the discussion of marijuana from its curriculum." In my latest Forbes column, I dig into these wishful rumors, which have been circulating recently among critics of the war on drugs, and discover their sources:

Like other Americans who came of age in the 1980s or '90s, I associate Drug Abuse Resistance Education, a.k.a. DARE, with the mindless "Just Say No" propaganda of that era. I was therefore startled to hear that DARE had endorsed marijuana legalization. But that turned out to be a mistake. Likewise recent reports that DARE no longer considers marijuana a "gateway drug" and has excised the perils of pot from its curriculum.

DARE was started in 1983 by Los Angeles Police Chief Darryl Gates, an old-school prohibitionist who declared that casual drug users "ought to be taken out and shot." The program, which featured cops in uniform lecturing kids about the evils of psychoactive substances, dominated elementary and middle school drug education throughout the country for decades even though it was never scientifically validated. Now that people can walk into a store in Denver or Seattle and walk out with a bag of buds or a marijuana-infused cookie, it is tempting to believe that such a stalwart supporter of the war on weed has finally seen the light. But it's not true—or at least, not in the way various critics of that war have been claiming.

Read the whole thing.

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  1. “marijuana or inhalants, the typical substances considered to be gateway drugs.”

    What is sugar, chopped liver?

    1. More liked chopped pancreas!

    2. What about inhaled sugar?!

  2. DARE to resist government bullies.

    1. Drugs


      1. Drugs

  3. DARE was started in 1983 by Los Angeles Police Chief Darryl Gates, an old-school prohibitionist who declared that casual drug users “ought to be taken out and shot.”

    A quick run through a woodchipper for Gates is only appropriate.

    1. Bladder cancer got him first.

  4. I can’t read the whole thing because Forbes doesn’t like my cookie policy, but what little I’ve seen of the DARE flap is that DARE is now saying that marijuana is a scourge and a menace and a tool of Satan and every bit as bad as molesting little children – but they’ve never actually called marijuana a “gateway drug”. But all they did was removed that exact language from their website and claimed it was never there because they’ve never heard of this thing called the Wayback Machine.

  5. I remember my dad taught part of the DARE class when I was in elementary school.

    1. Sorry to hear that.

      1. My parents divorced when I was really young, so I’m pretty sure he just volunteered so he could spend more time with me. He has never really been the prohibitionist type.

        1. That’s kind of cool.

  6. DARE was started in 1983 by Los Angeles Police Chief Darryl Gates

    Just wondering if he got the idea while lifting a few brewskies with the boys.

    1. It came to him during the organism he experience while choking a handcuffed perp.

    2. I remember DARE being pretty anti-alcohol as well. They have always been a bunch neo-prohibitionist puritans.

    3. And ignoring a riot in L.A. cops gotta have their own bar.

  7. Reason may have gone soft on Mourning Lynx?

    1. [polite applause]

  8. And even if DARE had, or does, go soft on MJ, they are not going to be forgiven.

  9. I had a funny experience of DARE in school. While I was in the right age range for it, they changed which grade gets the DARE stuff, so my class never had the full program. So when we got to 8th grade (when by my count around 10% of the class was already smoking weed), they decided we needed to get some taste of DARE, so a cop came in for one day and told us all that we would get arrested if we did drugs. The end.

  10. Pot is absolutely a gateway drug. When I was in grad school, I had a dealer who was a bit of a wine connoisseur. One day when I went over to pick up some Thai stick, he had two bottles of chardonnay opened- same producer, same grape type, but one from Sonoma and one from Napa. I laughed at the pretense of it, but was shocked to find that they really WERE different. That hooked me, and if it weren’t for pot, I wouldn’t have spent the last several decades immersed in the wine world.

    1. I love Sonoma and Napa both and they do produce rather different characteristics. One of my favorite wines is from Vincent Arroyo in Napa…barrel tasting for the win.

  11. Has anyone ever asked a DARE mouthpiece how one actually goes about resisting violence?

    1. By responding to violence done upon you with such brutality that your aggressor is rendered incapabke of ever harming you, or anyone else.

    2. If we kill all the drug users before they continue to inflict violence upon themselves, then we’re cured violence.

  12. Home income source by collider.. I’m making over $5k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they ZJ can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.
    This is what I do,

  13. The greater threat is NIDA, which pushes propaganda that drugs cause addiction that make you commit crimes, and that ‘meth mouth’ is easy to detect. It’s not – which is why it’s so insidious. Generally the back teeth disintegrate from the inside out, and the front teeth look fine. Quite the opposite in their story and the dangerous implication is that if you take meth, you’ll know if there’s a problem. You won’t, often until it’s too late. This is just horrible.

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