Lighting up a subreddit thread yesterday, a sharp-eyed ent (a marijuana enthusiast) made a seemingly significant discovery when observing that D.A.R.E., a Reagan-era anti-drug propagandist group, had mysteriously lost their reference to marijuana as a degenerate gateway drug.
The Gateway philosophy surmises that individuals begin addictive habits with socially acceptable substances – think tobacco and alcohol – then making the transition to more mind-altering drugs like LSD or heroin.
Pleased yet confused by the website’s omission, the more observant supporters of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program (a.k.a. D.A.R.E.) have been duped before by the low-tech reality of these antidrug crusaders. Late last summer, D.A.R.E. made a serious online faux pas by telling the truth. Accidentally publishing an inadvertent op-ed piece that pointed out the dangers of keeping marijuana illegal.
In that truthful Freudian slip of a post, D.A.R.E. published a piece by an ex-deputy sheriff turned legalization Crusader, which set the Internet ablaze when he claimed, “I know from enforcing senseless marijuana laws that children only are being put in more danger when marijuana is kept illegal.” After leaving the post up for 72 hours – it was abruptly yanked from their website with no explanation given.
Not exactly a tech savvy company
Similar to their previous mistake of unintended truth telling, D.A.R.E. simply never got around to defining marijuana as a gateway drug on their website. Instead, D.A.R.E. only identifies marijuana once on their “Keeping Kids Drug-Free” page, at the end of a short paragraph describing the slippery slope of tobacco use…
“Tobacco use is associated with alcohol and illicit drug use and is generally the first drug used by young people who enter a sequence of drug use that can include tobacco, alcohol, marijuana, and harder drugs.”
Regardless of whether or not D.A.R.E. has ever identified marijuana as a gateway drug on their propaganda filled site, most see it for what it is… scare tactics. Despite several studies dispelling the antiquated notion that marijuana is a gateway drug – this Cold War relic of a bygone philosophy continues to distribute distorted “facts” based on erroneous assertions.
(Photo Courtesy of /r/tress )