The DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) Program has apparently removed the discussion of marijuana from its curriculum.
According to Kennewick Police Department’s DARE officer, Mike Meyer, as of last December, the nearly 100 students who graduated from the Sunset View Elementary DARE program in Kennewick, Washington, were the last group to be taught about the potential dangers of marijuana.
The new curriculum started in December in Kennewick and does not bring up the subject of marijuana.
Meyer has been Kennewick’s DARE officer for six years and doesn’t know why the national parent organization that oversees the DARE program has deleted marijuana from its curriculum.
The DARE program is supposed to inform young people about the dangers and effects of serious drugs like heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. Marijuana pales in comparison and in reality should have never been on that list to begin with.
More and more benefits of marijuana are coming to light. It’s no longer vilified the way it once was as a dangerous and harmful “gateway drug.” Young people are keen to this.
The overblown dangers of cannabis, which were touted by the DARE program, lead young students to think that more serious drugs aren’t that dangerous. They might be less likely to believe what the DARE program teaches about drugs that are harmful.
For years, the DARE program has had very low success rates. Their plan to keep kids off of drugs wasn’t working.
A study called “Project DARE: No Effects at a 10 Year Follow-Up,” has deconstructed every claim that the DARE program made. People who had taken the DARE program in middle school were no less likely to have used marijuana or tobacco, drink alcohol, or use other drugs, than those who were never in the DARE program.
It’s interesting to note that another study, at the University of Illinois, suggested that some high school seniors who were forced to take DARE classes were even more likely to use drugs than students who didn’t take the classes.