A brain washing era
crafted in 1983 by an over zealous California group began waving it’s heavy hand through the elementary schools of the USA with the D.A.R.E. program. The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program began with the intention to give children the support to ‘Just Say No’.
Admirable goal; too bad it didn’t work for those initial ginny pig children.
Uniformed police officers influenced children
in a week long program with the intent to teach them about drug use. Very specifically, the ‘gate-way’ marijuana plant was a topic of introduction. Children were shown a marijuana cigarette and encouraged to become familiar with the unmistakably pungent smell.
Consider the internal stress of the child who recognized that smell and had the phone number to tattle on the ones he loved. Imagine a 4th grader being sent home with the marching orders to keep an eye on Mom and Dad. Who to trust; the officer with the gun or the parent(s) who loved them?
Fear is one of the strongest of human emotions and it defies logic. The propaganda machine against cannabis that matured in the 1950’s hit a fever pitch in the 1980’s when our children were taught to be informants by wielding fear over their little hearts.
I am reminded of NAZI Germany children praised for turning in their neighbors for harboring those that did not march in step with the current regime. Shameful at the least.
In 1989, our oldest son was one of those children. We had a small garden in our basement closet and hopes that we could supply ourselves and not ‘deal’ with the shady business of finding an honest marijuana source.
We thought it was a secret garden until the day our little boy came home shaking with fear; convinced it was his duty to tell the DARE officer that his parents were committing a crime. The propaganda machine did it’s work; as loving parents, we defaulted to protecting our son’s loyalties and took down our little garden.
It took years to grasp the impact of the initial Drug Abuse Resistance Education program.
The initial 10 years failed with the results that children’s curiosity was often aroused and the message that ‘drug abuse is everywhere’ may have simply pushed many into wanting to fit in with their piers who were familiar with drugs; ‘Since it’s everywhere, I might as well join the group’ mentality, rather than abstain. (You can own the actually 10 year study here.)
The DARE program failed to meet federal guidelines that they be both research-based and effective so in 1998 the government pulled funding for DARE and created the Safe and Drug Free Schools Program.
The new DARE slogan is now, “Empowering Children to Lead Safe and Happy Lives”. I hope that goal is a successful. I hope it is not fear based. I hope it keeps families together.
I now ‘dare’ you to seek the truth about cannabis. It may not be easy to peel back the layers of belief so I will do my best to seek out the true stories and report them to you.
Peace and Prosperity,