Drug Abuse Resistance Education, aka D.A.R.E., is caught up in a bit a scandal this week after the Washington Post pointed out that D.A.R.E. was duped into covering 21 deaths (9 in Colorado, 12 at Coachella) from homebrewed marijuana edibles. Why exactly was D.A.R.E. duped into covering the story? Well, for starters the story itself was made up satire from the website topekanews.com (TopNews), known for making outlandish stories just like thousands of other satire sites on the web.
But D.A.R.E. didn’t just report the deaths, they went ALL-IN on this one, using some of the most outrageous rhetoric imaginable to paint weed as something akin to the devil’s lettuce, and a drug that will put you on the fast track to ruin. This is all before realizing they had just reported made up garbage upon which they immediately deleted their article. Thankfully for us, WonkBlog grabbed screenshots and excerpts from the post before it was completely scrubbed from the Internet.
From The Washington Post:
Marijuana candies, sold on the street as ‘Uncle Tweety’s Chewy Flipper’ and ‘Gummy Satans’ are taking the country by storm.” That’s the breathless opening sentence of a news story posted on the website of D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education), the infamous anti-drug organization that sends police into schools to teach kids about the dangers of drug use.
After I called to inquire about it, D.A.R.E. removed the story immediately without commenting. But it’s been preserved at the Internet Archive, and I’ve screenshotted it in full below. “It is sad that in a country as developed as America, such third world drugs such as marijuana are allowed to exist,” the story’s anonymous author wrote. “Children are being addicted to marijuana. I knew this day would come, when a liberal president allowed a state to legally sell Marijuana Flintstone Vitamins to children.”
“Marijuana. It is one of the most dangerous drugs on Earth,” the author concludes ominously. “For every one joint of marijuana, four teenagers become burdened with pregnancy.”
You can see a full screenshot of the article by clicking over to The Washington Post’s Wonk Blog.
The original (satire) story from TopekasNews.com (TopNews) can be read HERE.
So why’s this so fucked up? Well for starters: D.A.R.E. still receives federal funding, and is a huge peddler of misinformation. Back when they War on Drugs first launched maybe D.A.R.E. was the perfect scare tactic, but virtually nothing they’re teaching these days has a foundation in science. They’re just out there to scare the crap out of kids to ensure that they keep their federal funding. They also pour their money into really, really awful street art instillations because?????
Something’s got to give….