The cannabis community was all abuzz last week when the drug education and prevention group D.A.R.E. published a pro-marijuana legalization letter written by a former cop on their website. Had one of the last bastions of the “marijuana is bad, mmmkay” crowd finally come to their senses and come around to our way of thinking?
Sadly, no. It was all just a big mistake. A former deputy sheriff had named Carlis McDerment had written a letter to the editor which appeared in The Columbus Dispatch. The letter was titled “Purchasing marijuana puts kids at risk," and I’m sure some 18 year old intern at D.A.R.E. saw the title, saw the words marijuana, kids and risk and popped the article up on the website.
To be sure, the title is somewhat misleading. The letter is actually pointing out that keeping cannabis illegal makes it easier for kids to get, and that legalization and regulation would make it harder for kids to get.
The post exploded in the blogosphere and D.A.R.E. had to take it down and issue a statement to The Huffington Post in response to a question from a reporter named Christopher. In their reply, D.A.R.E. reiterated that they were still against legalization, after they referred to the reporter as “Scott.” D.A.R.E. blamed the error on a “news service” they use to post articles.
In defense of the people who work and volunteer at D.A.R.E., it’s got to be a tough place to work. Many of them might not believe in their own rhetoric anymore, given the hammering their pet positions — like the gateway theory — have taken in recent years.
I will admit that I, like many of you, graduated from D.A.R.E. in grade school. At the time I believed everything they told me, again, like many of you reading this. That’s why they make you go through the program as a kid; adults are more likely to see through the bull.