Daring to Spend Your Money

Dallas defense lawyer Robert Guest writes about how the D.A.R.E. program has been a complete waste of taxpayers’ money:

By all accounts DARE HAS BEEN A COMPLETE FAILURE. DARE has shown no efficacy in keeping kids from using drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes. Yet the government continues to waste over a billion dollars a year on DARE.

Turns out repeating variations of “Just Say No!” doesn’t decrease drug use among teenagers. And there’s plenty of things like “science” and “evidence” to back that up. (Quotations put in for the Bush administration, which doesn’t think of those as valid concepts.)

One of my goals in life has been trying to convince people that correlation does not prove causation. This fallacious reasoning is used often in the “marijuana is a gateway drug” argument on the side of “why marijuana should be criminalized”. But it’s a logical fallacy plain and simple.

However, lack of correlation does show lack of causation. Or in this context, when policeman take over 5th grade classes and give their D.A.R.E. lectures, for decades now, and drug use does not decline, then we can make a logical conclusion:

The D.A.R.E. program does not reduce drug use.

Of course, ineffective government programs and other boondoggles perpetrated on the taxpayer are hardly newsworthy. Sending cops to school to lecture kids about the dangers of drug use, and how they must must must stay away from marijuana sounds like a good idea, and so the program continues to be funded.

What campaign manager is going to tell his candidate that he should be against “Drug Abuse Resistance Education”?

Robert goes on to quote from George Bush’s recent declaration of spending more on useless stuff D.A.R.E. Day 2008, and a la Steven Colbert adds links for more thoughtful readers:

All Americans have a responsibility to encourage others to turn away from drug abuse and to make good choices in life. During National D.A.R.E Day, we renew our commitment to providing our youth the knowledge and encouragement they need to resist the pressures that can lead them to experiment with drugs and violent activities. By working together, we can help our children build lives of purpose and strengthen our communities, one heart and one soul at a time.

The first link is a fantastic C.S. Lewis’ quote:

Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive.

It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.

The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

What better description of the War on Drugs? A tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim – the drug user.

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Comments (2) Read through and enter the discussion with the form at the end
Mark - August 8, 2008 8:26 AM

Why are you encouraging people to smoke pot. I would venture to say that you yourself are a recreational pot smoker. I would not even bother responding to your assinine comments if this had not been sent to me by my 17 year old son. I grew up in the late 60's early 70's. I have seen first hand what the peace, love ,dope mind set has given the world. Marijuana is frequently tainted with other more dangerous drugs. I for one do not want my son anywhere near this shit. You try to fill their young minds with your way of thinking and hope to one day effect the legalization of it. I guess if I were a lawyer and had to deal with the dregs of society I might want to smoke some dope too. It's sad but these very people have been blindsided and run over by peer pressure. I wonder if they are thinking of their drugs as you are defending them. I would venture that they are probably wondering how the hell they wound up sitting next to you in a "court of law". It matters not to you if they go to jail or not. You get paid either way. At least if you get caught smoking pot you will be in a much better position to plea bargain as you already know the judge(s). You would probably get community service. They will likly be Bubba's bitch.

A Voice of Sanity - December 11, 2008 3:14 AM

Tobacco is the true gateway drug. It is also one of the most addictive AND one of the most dangerous drugs there is.

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