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Newsgroups: misc.activism.progressive
From: Robert G Halvorson 
Subject: The Dark Side of DARE
Message-ID: <1993Jul29.215310.14741@mont.cs.missouri.edu>
Date: Thu, 29 Jul 1993 21:53:10 GMT

The Dark Side of DARE
by Pastor Jaymes Douglass Fyr

	Police officers visiting schools - anti-drug programs - neither
one is new.  I remember being told as a child "the policeman is your
friend." I still have the worn old book preaching against drugs and
alcohol from high school.  These things have been ar ound for decades. 

	Now they have come together.  Former Los Angeles police chief
Daryl Gates created the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program in 1983 as
a joint effort of the police department and the L.A. school district to
fight drug use in the city's schools.  It has since spread nationwide and
abroad, as far away as Australia and New Zealand.  Millions have been
exposed to it. 

	So what is DARE?  In most forms it consists of 17 one hour sessions,
held weekly and covering subjects ranging from refusal skills to
alternatives to drug use.  It is taught by uniformed police officers and
usually begins with fifth graders.  Funding comes from both governmental
and private sources. 

	Nothing is wrong with teaching anybody of any age to assert
themselves and think for themselves.  Teens often have a hard time saying
"no." Breaking the back of peer pressure is hard to do.  And this can also
help reject pressure to engage in unwanted sex and other temptations. 

	What makes DARE different is having police officers teach the
classes.  That's kind of like having teachers arrest muggers.  That's not
their job - it's not what they have been trained to do.  Why not have
public health officials lecture about the harmfu l aspects of drugs?  To
be balanced, why not invite NORML members or Native American shamans to
tell how drugs can be used in beneficial ways?  Is the information
presented truthful?  For example, the discredited research of Dr. Gabriel
Nahas is still tou ted about the supposed evils of marijuana use.  Are
alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and prescription drugs covered, or only
"illegal" drugs.  Is this an effort to promote awareness of health and
safety, or just another attempt to enforce blind obedience to the law? 

	And finally, is DARE really out to fight the "drug problem" by
encouraging children to inform on people they know who use illegal drugs? 

	The Wall Street Journal, in a front page article on April 20,
1992, reported the case of Crystal Grendell, a fifth grader who was asked
if she knew anyone who used drugs.  Crystal was taking DARE classes taught
by Searsport, Maine, police chief James Gil lway in the spring of 1991. 
She was worried because her parents grew and smoked marijuana.  She didn't
say anything at the time, but later went to Gillway and reported her
parents.  Six cops raided the family home, seized Crystal and 49 one foot
high mar ijuana plants and arrested the parents.  The mother lost her job
and the father got one year's probation.  Crystal's straight A's turned
into C's, she now fears the police and frequently has nightmares.  The
article also mentions other parents who have be en turned in by their
children - at the instigation of DARE.  Parents' anti-DARE groups are
beginning to form.  A lady from L.A. told me that her child had broken
down under interrogation and admitted that "mom smokes pot." This lady
received a stern lec ture from local child protective "services."

	But DARE is wildly popular among politicians, school
administrators and cops!  Every cop car in town has a DARE bumper sticker
on it.  Lots of civilian cars have them too.  You see people everywhere
wearing DARE t-shirts.  I even recently saw a black city bus plastered
with the DARE logo and slogan, in big red letters.  It's an election year,
everybody!  Climb onto the politically correct bandwagon! 

	Didn't the Hitler Youth and the KGB indoctrinate children in Nazi
Germany and the Soviet Union?  Weren't children encouraged to spy on their
parents?  Just because something is illegal doesn't mean it's wrong and
just because it's legal doesn't make it r ight.  Wasn't Hitler elected to
power according to German law?  Weren't the laws persecuting Jews enacted
by due process? 

	The "War on Drugs" is now using our children as its eyes and ears,
having failed with drug screenings and inaccurate propaganda.  It's not
enough that they demand to analyze samples of our hair and urine; not
enough to fly helicopters over houses with he at detectors to find hidden
growrooms in attics; not enough that they seize utility records to see how
much electricity we use.  Now they deputize our kids to be their spies! 

	All to coerce people into mindless compliance with racist laws
enacted long before most people now alive had even been born. 

	The dark side of DARE.  The dark side of our government.  The dark
side of ourselves!

"Our society's appetite for narcotics and dangerous drugs has reached
epidemic proportions. 

"The illicit drug problem stretches from elementary school campuses into
prestigious corporate structures.  Ridding ourselves of this slow but
certain death is not a simple task.  We must have short-range and
long-range solutions, from battering rams on 'rock houses' to
immunization of our children through education. 

"The Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program is our most
promising long-range solution.  It holds great promise for producing
future generations of young adults who not only have no appetite for
drugs, but also have the strength of character to dissuade others from
drug abuse. 

"The Los Angeles Police Department and The Los Angeles Unified School
District are but two members of the partnership needed to help D.A.R.E.
achieve its promise.  The other, and most important partners in this
effort are the children's parents.  All of us, working together, can save
this nation's most vital resource, our children."

Daryl Gates

Former Chief of Police

City of Los Angeles

National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML)
1636 'R' St. NW #3
Washington DC 20009

Western Washington University NORML
Viking Union Room 202, Box E-9
Bellingham, WA 98225

Washington Citizens for Drug Policy Reform (WCDPR)
P.O. Box 1614
Renton, WA  98057

Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP)
5632 Van Nuys Blvd.
Van Nuys, CA  91401

Business Alliance for Commerce in Hemp (BACH)
P.O. Box 71093
Los Angeles, CA  90071-0093

The Church of Hemp
P.O. Box 1511
Bellingham, WA 98227-1511



"Look in the blind spot in the culture--the place where the culture isn't
  looking, because it dare not--because if it were to look there, it's
    previous values would dissolve.           --Terrence McKenna

   Western Washington U, Viking Union, Box E-9, Bellingham, WA  98225
              (206) 650-3460    norml@henson.cc.wwu.edu
    Kevin Keyes, Coordinator    Robert Halvorson, Co-Cooridinator