D.A.R.E. drops marijuana from 5th and 6th grade program

Reason.com shares the details but D.A.R.E. has decided that 10 and 11 year olds will be better served with information about alcohol and tobacco abuse. "D.A.R.E. America has determined that anti-drug material is not age-appropriate"


  1. Good.  Tobacco and alcohol are far more prevalent, and beyond any shadow of doubt far, far more deadly.

    Not that Mary Jane has not caused problems, stunted lives, and quashed potential for many many people over the years: but pot is the strawman of drugs, the shibboleth, the Boogeyman… the Gateway to the Halls of White Powder and Objectionable Injectables.

    Which is of course…mostly bullshit.

    But I have to say after clicking the link, the thing that annoyed me most was the DARE mascot. A cartoon lion, Disney knockoff in full effect, arms crossed, eyebrow raised, DARE shirt…and no pants.  

    Is that supposed to appeal to an 11 year old?  5, 6…maybe 7.  But 11 is too old for such poorly realized cartoon pandering.

  2. The most amazing thing about DARE is that it still exists.  In this era of difficult economics the government and local communities continue to fund a program that has absolutely no evidence base supporting it.

    The DARE program has never been demonstrated to have any impact on substance use in later life, yet it continues to consume resources that could be spent on things that have been proven to make a difference.

    DARE is nothing more than a relic of Nancy Reagan’s ‘just say no’ movement of the 1980’s and should be discarded, in favor of more meaningful education that doesn’t rely on kids making bogus promises to live according to someone else’s morality. We’d be better served to kill DARE and spend its resources to bring back recess, which has been clearly demonstrated to have a positive effect on development. Something DARE has never done.

    1. And, of course, every pot dealer I’ve ever had has sported a DARE bumper sticker on his ride.

      …Oops… not ‘had’ but rather ‘heard of.’ …

    2. If anything, my ultimate takeaway from DARE was “cops, teachers and other authority figures will flat-out lie to your face.” Obvious in retrospect, but eye-opening at the time.


          How else would presents show up under my tree every christmas?

          And don’t say it’s my parents, I killed them long ago.

    3. that’s not quite true. in some areas the DARE program is associated with higher rates of drug use later in life.

      turns out that telling teenagers about something really weird, dangerous, and potentially fun causes them to become interested in it.

      who would have thought?

      1. y’know, that’s the same point made in regards to sex-ed. Apropos of nothing, it just struck me as funny. 

        1. False equivalence. Teenagers are innately curious about sex regardless of how much they’ve learned about it, but puberty doesn’t bring on some biological imperative to do drugs. 

          Not that I buy the “education -> experimentation” line either; I was spinning myself around in office chairs to get “high” (aka dizzy) and having friends sit on my chest after hyperventilating long before I had more than the barest inkling of what recreational drugs even were.

          1. I wasn’t actually arguing against sex education, just that it struck me funny that the argument was formulated in such a similar way. I guess the better analogy would be to abstinence education, but even there, I’m not really sure it’s the ‘this is bad, don’t do it” is as much of the problem as the fact that it tends to gloss over the actual education component. Either way, you’re right, they’re really not equivalent. It still amused me though ;)

        2.  Not telling teenagers about really weird, dangerous, and potentially fun sex prevents them from becoming interested in it. 

        3. right, but in this case the statistics are there. as i understand it, that is not so for sex education. correct me if I’m wrong.

      2. Programs to discourage anabolic steroid use also just end up as advertising and how-to materials.

        1. LoL, I know, who would have thought telling competitive yet vulnerable young people how to turn themselves into superhumans (but don’t!!) would backfire.

      3.  “Honestly, Ralph.  I don’t know what your fascination is with my forbidden closet of mystery.” — Chief Wiggum

      4.  I think that has been called the “Don’t stick a peanut up your nose” syndrome. Basically, telling a child that will make it far more likely to happen. Pretty sure it worked on me.

  3. The makers of DARE are massive Republican campaign donors.  You can probably guess the rest of the story.

  4. i never considered smoking pot before DARE in the 5th grade. they told us it made you feel GREAT and would definitely lead to other drug use. i don’t do “other” drugs anymore, but i still smoke pot. thanks, DARE!

  5. http://www2.potsdam.edu/hansondj/Controversies/20070111184521.html

    very interesting page: ”The popular Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program has consistently and without exception been found by scientific research to be ineffective and sometimes counterproductive — that is, worse than doing nothing. That’s the conclusion of the US Department of Education (DOE), the US Surgeon General, the US General Accountability Office (GAO), and the American Academy of Sciences, among others. The Department of Education strictly prohibits the use of any of its funding to support DARE in any school.

    Fortunately, schools are not faced with the choice between DARE and no program. A federal agency (SAMSHA) has identified 66 model programs, any one of which would be preferable to the ineffective DARE program.”

  6. I learned how to make crack cocaine in my health class in high school. The class divided into groups and each group had a drug abuse topic. I forget what mine was, but the group that did crack explained that it’s relatively trivial to make, presuming you have enough money to buy cocaine. 

    I don’t know if DARE was used in my schools – I just don’t remember if it was an ad hoc program or what – but in general, it worked. I viewed drug use as something disgusting and beneath me, a way to form identity out of negative association. “I’m not one of those gross, base drug users.”

    Turns out that’s a generally bad way to form your personal identity. Got rid of that one fast in college, that’s for sure.

  7. Unbelievable, really, given that marijuana has been stereotyped as making you stupid for decades, to which they scientifically proved as such, particularly in developing adolescent minds.  Not to mention, the drug is still illegal in most states, so it should be taught to be avoided just the same as the rest.

    It’ll be a terrible day in the history of this country when marijuana becomes legal in every state, signifying that the majority of the public cherishes feeling good for a short time over their own brain cells.  

    But then again, given how stuff like gangster rap/R&B, Honey Boo Boo, the Kardashians, and Jersey Shore became huge hits, I think America’s intelligence level already speaks for itself.

    1. [Citation Needed.]

      Actually, two citations: One for your alleged scientific proof that mj “makes you stupid,” and another for where anyone credible has been arguing for making it legally available to adolescents.

      (Are we to take your own mangled grammar as an indication of early marijuana abuse?)

  8. I remember being so proud that I got picked to read my speech to everyone as a fifth grader about how I would never do drugs, and years later, horrified at the efficient brainwashing.

  9. I was pretty intrigued by drugs because of D.A.R.E. especially because I was already pretty skeptical of authority. I didn’t really smoke until later in high school though. Nowadays I see middle school kids smoking blunts outside the school I live near by … I can’t really condone using it that young.  

  10. Do you think that the fact that the drinking age limit is 21 helps proliferate the amount of drug users in the states. It’s surely easier to obtain drugs for young people, than it is to buy Alcohol

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