How times have change. It seems like a lifetime ago when an entire generation of middle school adolescents were proudly wearing their black and red, oversized, D.A.R.E. shirts to school, joining the fight against drug abuse. Kids everywhere took upon the “Just Say No” campaign that spread across the United States. At the time, marijuana was enemy #1. Images of a red circle cross above a joint or marijuana leaf were synonymous with the D.A.R.E. movement. That was then, this is now.
D.A.R.E (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) recently published an Op-ed letter calling for marijuana legalization. The police program officially called off the assault on marijuana and endorsed it as a medical treatment option. This comes after a nearly thirty year war that became impossible to win. D.A.R.E. came to the final conclusion that the only way to attack marijuana is through legalization and regulation. Former deputy sheriff Carlis McDerment responded to a letter in the Columbus Dispatch and discussed the impossible feat of controlling the sale of marijuana to minors. The Columbus Dispatch published an article earlier this month on the threats that children face with legalized marijuana. The article primarily focused on cases where children accidentlly ingested legal marijuana. The article also reported on incidents where parents using medical marijuana were neglectful to their children, no specific case was mentioned.
McDerment challenged that view with a strong response. He elaborated on the programs’ awareness of the challenges to protect youths from getting access to drugs. The idea he shares isn’t to ban all the potential harms that youths face, but to focus on drugs and how to keep it away from kids. He isn’t in favor of prohibition because it wouldn’t make the problem go away. Instead, he announced the program’s approval for legalization and regulation in order to take down the black market and support those who need marijuana as medicine.
“I support marijuana legalization precisely because I want to reduce youth’s drug use. Drug dealers don’t care about a customer’s age. The answer isn’t prohibition and incarceration; the answer is regulation and education,” said McDerment
This is a big change for the marijuana industry. Foes have now become the allies and the reason is the existence of marijuana tracking software like BioTrackTHC. The technology presents a solution that can end the war on drugs. Law enforcement agencies across the country have become aware of the tracking technology that provides real-time monitoring of all marijuana activities. They have been forced, gradually, to change their strategy towards protecting children from drugs. This is a breakthrough that demonstrates D.A.R.E.’s willingness to evolve and understand their environment, doing whatever is necessary to protect children from the world’s dangers.
Update: D.A.R.E. has since removed the Op-ed letter from its website, claiming that it was posted by accident. Perhaps the news wasn’t supposed to be made public at this point.