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.