DARE To Question 

DARE To Question 
Posted by FoM on June 27, 2000 at 08:26:03 PT
Source: Salt Lake Tribune
 Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson is on firm if unpopular ground in his recent criticism of the nation's largest anti-drug education program, Drug Abuse Resistance Education or DARE, which uses police officers in the schools to teach youngsters about the evils of drugs, alcohol and tobacco.   Anderson wants to dismantle it. The Salt Lake City Police Department spends about $289,000 annually on DARE in Salt Lake City elementary and secondary schools. 
  Nationally, the program is used in 75 percent of the nation's school districts and has grown since its beginning in 1983 as a Los Angeles police program into a $750 million per annum industry, funded mostly by taxpayers. It is marketed like such an industry, too, with DARE-marked T-shirts, balloons, bumper stickers, police cars and even garbage trucks.   Despite its heavy promotion and the copious spending upon it, a number of studies show that DARE largely is ineffective in discouraging drug use by young people.   University of Michigan researcher Lloyd Johnston, for example, focused on eighth-graders. He found that drug use -- marijuana, alcohol, smoking -- among them increased between 1991 and 1994. A Justice Department study in 1994 that analyzed eight DARE studies found that the program had little or no effect on reducing drug use.   Other communities already have done what Anderson is proposing. Snohomish County, north of Seattle, for example, dropped out of DARE in 1997 largely because it was not achieving its purpose of discouraging drug experimentation among youth.   Anderson likely will be criticized for daring to question DARE. Despite its questionable success, the program is popular and plenty of officials, like federal drug czar Barry McCaffrey, remain bullish about it. DARE is one of the best-known components of the anti-drug war, a long-running fight in which victory remains elusive.   The mayor's skepticism, however, is justified. However noble sounding, however positive it seems, any program which spends nearly $300,000 of public funds each year should have a clear, empirical track record of measurable success. DARE does not.   Published: Tuesday, June 27, 2000  Copyright 2000, The Salt Lake Tribune Related Articles:Anderson Calls DARE A Fraud DARE Archives:
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Comment #2 posted by legalizeit on June 27, 2000 at 12:46:34 PT
DARE will be outlawed?!!
That'll be interesting, the biggest city in one of the most prohibitionist states scrapping DARE. Must say something about it.I was just thinking - if Adolph (whoops, Orrin) Hatch's bill becomes law, it will kill DARE because DARE teaches kids about "controlled" substances!!
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Comment #1 posted by CD1 on June 27, 2000 at 12:33:55 PT
How dare someone question D.A.R.E.? I give the mayor credit for his courage, to speak the truth, that this program is a waste of taxpayer money which could be better spent on other things. I do have some questions for General McCaffrey. If D.A.R.E. is such a key "component" of the anti-drug effort, why did you report to Congress in October 1999 that marijuana use among high schoolers has increased? Aren't these kids the same kids who have been force fed the D.A.R.E. indoctrination propoganda since their first year of elementary school? You cited a couple of web sites as the main contributors to this increase, saying (if I can remember the exact words) that you were getting "beat up" over the internet, (which by the way, started the ball rolling on the misname "Anti-Methamphetamine Act".) Are you saying that D.A.R.E. bumper stickers, T-shirts, and television ads are not as effective as a couple of web sites? And what about all the misappropriated money going to put anti-drug messages in television shows? I have news for you, General, it is not the web sites that are beating you, but the TRUTH. People are realizing that marijuana is not the demon that you and your cronies are making it out to be. The internet is opening a whole new world of enlightenment and education, and will expose the War on Drugs for what it really is, an assault on personal freedoms of U.S. Citizens so a few defense contractors and special interest groups can still make money in the post-Cold War era. 
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