Tuesday, March 24, 2009


DOUBLE DOG DARE: The discredited Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE) program has been abandoned by many jurisdictions around the country as a program that, at best doesn’t work and more often if anything actually causes kids to use destructive drugs, especially the more dangerous types like methamphetamine or “ice”.

But apparently the vapid, poorly informed leadership on Kaua`i – specifically Mayor Bernard Carvalho and Police chief Darryl Perry- live in their own private little world of denial if an article in today’s local paper is accurate.

According to the article reporting on the statewide DARE Conference at the Hilton Kaua`i Beach Resort,

Kaua`i Mayor Bernard Carvalho praised the DARE program for its work with children to have them recognize and resist drugs and other temptations.

“Having police in the DARE program has its benefits,” he said... “The DARE program has a positive impact on young people...

But that’s not what the US General Accounting Office found in 2003 where they ripped the program new one and reported, among other things, that:

(T)he six long-term evaluations of the DARE elementary school curriculum that we reviewed found no significant differences in illicit drug use between students who received DARE in the fifth or sixth grade (the intervention group) and students who did not (the control group).

And as if to highlight one reason the program is a bust Perry and Carvalho announced that the newly rebranded “Operation Green Steam” had taken up the precious police resources of the undermanned and underfunded KPD to go after two marijuana growing plots recently, one in Kilauea and another larger, less reported, one in Hanama`ulu.

Though on the Big Island their county council has made marijuana enforcement the “lowest priority” for their police department and rejected the formerly named “Green Harvest” federal funds, Kaua`i continues to live in the dark ages.

According to the experts, DARE just makes the problems worse.

The reality is this. In the DARE “classes” kids are told that all drugs are equally bad and destructive and to” just say no”, even to this day. Although the DARE officials say they have changed the program since the GAO report, the reality is that this is still the basic underpinning.

When kids leave the class and hit “the street” they find out that different drugs, especially marijuana, have different and often far less of the horrible effects they are told of in the class.

When the kids find out they were lied to about marijuana- and even see that this “scourge” is prescribed as medicine for many- they naturally think that if they are being lied to about marijuana they are probably being lied to about use of everything from” ice” to “huffing” glue and paint to drinking alcohol and the ingesting of many other substances that cause permanent damage.

It isn’t just a coincidence that ever since the marijuana crackdowns started in the 80’s- especially on Kaua`i- that methamphetamine use has risen to epidemic proportions. People either can’t get marijuana anymore or find that, due to the eradication and enforcement efforts, it’s unaffordable. Many- especially those who discovered they were lied to in their DARE program in school- turn to a cheap and, what they think is probably a harmless, substitute.

One of the most bizarre statements quoted in the article came from Perry who spoke of President Barack Obama, who wrote about his drug use while in high school

Perry is quoted as saying

But with children being surrounded by well-known personalities that have histories of drug use, there are not enough mentors out there for children to learn from, Perry said.

He cited for example Barack Obama, a Hawai`i native now president of the United States.“He is one of thousands of students who graduated from Punahou, but why did he become the president?” Perry asked.

His presidency is attributed to several things, but his achievement is based on all the people involved in his life.

“The people in this room represent all that is right,” Perry said. “And we recognize you for all your work with young people.”

Was Perry saying that Obama’s success was attributable to the DARE program? Or did he just forget about Obama’s drug use.

It’s unclear what the heck he was talking about but he apparently was saying that kids need good roles models... like the DARE team.

But when the kids find out that the DARE lessons are a bunch of crap and that they’ve been bamboozled and sold a bill of goods that doesn’t jibe with their observations, their natural inclination is to actually reject everything the “good guys” say... and stand for.

And what are they to think when these “role models” tell them they will wind up in jail or dead if they ever touch any drugs including marijuana and then they see not just their parents with prescriptions for it but the president succeeding despite his youthful imbibement?

According to the article

Bill Arakaki, the Kaua`i Area Complex superintendent, said it is vital that DARE keep disseminating information to local youth.

Including bad information?

Arakaki along with Perry and Carvalho and the whole out-of-touch-with-reality anti-drug team seem to be living in the dark ages, rotely repeating whatever drivel the funders of DARE tell them to say and actually endangering our kids by feeding them demonstrably false propaganda.

Kids need to be armed with the ability to make good decisions and not lied to. The DARE program fails at that on just about every possible level and leaders on Kaua`i need to wise up to the fact that as long as they dare to be stupid, they are the ones to blame for the ice epidemic through their lockstep adherence to a discredited methodology.

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