Does anybody remember the D.A.R.E. program? Seemed like a noble enough cause right? Well unfortunately the Nancy Reagan inspired , “Just Say No,” campaign turned out to be a complete disaster. According to Time Magazine not only did the program not work, but kids that took part in the program were more likely to have tried many of the drugs that the program was meant to prevent. Ironically enough some of the most asked questions included kids asking where people got the drugs. So of all the things children learned, their main concern was where they could get the stuff that made people see Scooby- Doo.
This is part of the larger problem in the U.S. and how we view drugs as a nation. Inspiring fear and telling children to, “Just Say No,” is obviously is not working. The other aspect that is not working is telling kids how evil marijuana is. Remember, statistically these kids have already tried weed. They already know that it is not the devil, that it isn’t going kill them, and that mommy and daddy did it when they were younger too. By misleading children on the facts about marijuana, The DEA and other parties chip away at their own credibility. So if they can’t trust any authorities on weed, well maybe they can’t trust them on other drugs as well. Has the DEA considered the fact that by overreacting to something like weed, it may encourage children and young adults to try other harder drugs? Does Michelle Leonhart realize the organization that she leads may be losing trust with the very people they claim to protect?