DARE is No Longer Anti Marijuana But Can This Save the Unpopular Program
The Drug Abuse Resistance Education, or as it is more commonly known, D.A.R.E., is dropping marijuana from its curriculum. The international, federally funded program has been teaching the dangers of cannabis, among other things, to children ages 10 to 18 since its inception in 1983. Despite the lack of press release that might qualify a seemingly radical omission for a government institution such as D.A.R.E., the evident reasons are twofold.
First off, this report originally emerged in November exclusively from a fifth and sixth grade D.A.R.E. officer in Washington state. This was on the eve of the vote for initiative 502, legislators put forth to tax and regulate cannabis for medical use. This timing underscores the reconsideration of the drug in the national discourse. All that pre-2008 footage of Barack Obama talking about “starting a new conversation” on the supposed “gateway drug” has finally come to fruition, paradoxically, by abandoning one of the primary, government-regulated forums on the supposed ‘gateway drug’. This irony is even more rich when considering apparent, apples-to-apples comparisons with alcohol. That substance’s legality is not under debate, nor will it ever be again, yet D.A.R.E. continues to teach freely the negative impacts of this seemingly more prevalent drug. Given, it is a generally accepted fact that weed is a less dangerous than alcohol, but the federal government, considering the laws in place, has traditionally been the last bastion of hegemonic ignorance on this discrepancy.