DARE admits failure
ABC news reports that the DARE program has admitted that
their anti-drug program in the nations school has failed.
The report said that DARE ignored numerous reports that
their anti-drug messages were falling on deaf ears. However,
the President of DARE admitted today that the program needs
to be changed dramatically because of the failure rate of
Here is the original site for the DARE story from
DARE failure mirrors anti-alcohol effort
To the Editor of The Washington Post:
In "Duplicitous Drug Dialogues" (Feb 26), Jonathan
Zimmerman rightly points out that modern drug education
programs for adolescents are little more than warmed-over
19th-century teetotaler sermons, phony as snake-oil. The
precise term "dare" was used, then as now, to bolster the
dignity of abstinence as a greater adventure than youthful
experimentation: "Dare to do right," pledged kids in the Red
Ribbon Reform clubs of Maine (circa 1875), "we the
undersigned, for our own good, do hereby promise ... to
abstain from buying, selling, or using Alcoholic Beverages."
Instead of crack or meth horror stories, those kids heard
scary tales of 'alcoholic human combustion' where drinkers
who breathed on a lighted candle would burst into flames.
Respected doctors and reformed drinkers swore it was all
true. Preachers warned that the alcoholic fires burning the
drunkard's body presaged the fires of Hell that would surely
These were the original 'your brain on drugs' ads: your
alcoholic brain as a flaming shish-kabob, your alcoholic
soul impaled on Satan's flaming pitchfork. (NOTE 2.)
Any common pleasure drug, whether it's alcohol,
marijuana, or caffeine, can be portrayed as a threat to
humanity if its risks are reported without saying how much
is used, by whom, and under what circumstances. If the
actions of unbalanced, irresponsible, or malicious users are
portrayed as typical of all users, and every remote risk is
portrayed as a near-certainty, then any drug will sound
horrendously dangerous. These tactics of the alcohol
Prohibitionists have been borrowed and updated by today's
drug warriors. It's prophylactic lying re-labeled as
"education" and essentially required by abstinence-based
federal guidelines for drug-ed funding.
But lying exacts a price. After 120 years of exaggeration
about "John Barleycorn" and "the Demon Rum," the jaded
American public could no longer believe alcohol to be a
dangerous drug. We still soft-pedal its real and substantial
risks -- "it's just alcohol." In fact, the risks of alcohol
are on an equal footing with those of the common
criminalized drugs - greater than some, less than others.
Yet we now rightly perceive alcohol to be manageable (for
most people) because we talk about it rationally. Rational
discussion of the other drugs has yet to arrive in America.
Before it does, we must dare to 'decriminalize'
Paul M. Bischke, Board Member Drug Policy Reform Group of
Minnesota February 27, 2001
NOTE 1. Source: "The Temperance Reform and Its Great
Reformers," by Daniels, W.H. (1878), New York: Nelson &
Phillips Publishers. pp. 385, and "The Cyclopaedia of
Temperance and Prohibition (1893). New York: Funk &
Wagnalls. p. 57.
NOTE 2. Source: "The Great Illusion: An Informal History
of Prohibition." by Herbert Asbury (1950). Garden City, NY:
Doubleday. pp. 42-44.
The wrong message:
DARE is fundamentally dishonest: Let's
look at just one DARE cop's published lies in just one news
excerpted from the article "Marijuana prescriptions
discussed" Mount Shasta News, August 10, 2000
Deputy Dennis Melum said he has been in law enforcement
since 1966 where the possession of marijuana was a
"It was a powerful mind altering drug way back then and
it still is today," he said. "In 1976, California
decriminalized the use of marijuana which opened up a flood
gate to our young people."
FACT: There was no significant increase in marijuana use
in california or any other state that decriminalized
marijuana in the 1970s. The total percentage of the
California population using illicit drugs actually began to
decline within two years of the passage of the Moscone
Melum, a DARE officer for many years, said, "In 1991 we
had lots of programs and education of how dangerous it was
which resulted in the lowest drug usage ever. Then a few
years ago, because of pro-marijuana supporters, it was made
legal in California. The government gave children a message
it is not that bad, and boom, it took off."
FACT: Adolescent use of marijuana has declined since the
passage of California's medical marijuana law, Prop 215, now
Health and Safety code § 11362.5.
Melum said marijuana was harmful in the 1920s, 60s, and
70s. "Why is it not harmful today?" he said.
FACT: Cannabis has always had medical values and has
always been one of the safest therapeutically active
substances known to mankind," according to DEA Judge Francis
Young, who studies the scientific data and issued his report
in 1988. In 5,000 years of recorded use there is not a
single death due to marijuana overdose.
In fact, he claims it is even more harmful today. In the
early 1980s at Humboldt State they developed a hybrid strain
of the cannabis plant which produces 1000 times more
"The THC in today's street marijuana is from 16 to 26
percent," Melum said. "Ten years ago it was four percent and
in the 1960s one percent. You would have had to smoke 104
marijuana joints 10 years ago to equal the potency of one
FACT: Melum must have flunked math, because what he said
here is mathematically impossible. 1,000 times 1 percent is
1000 percent, so he claims that a cannabis plant produces
ten times its weight in pure THC. Melum should go back to
the fourth grade to study math. Furthermore, the National
Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) compiles annual statistics,
and it reports that the average potency of marijuana in 1980
was about 3% and the potency of sinsemilla averaged 7.5%.
The report in 1996 showed those figures were fundamentally
"Proponents of marijuana say it is an okay drug and
because our state made it a medicine it must be okay if you
don't use too much of it," he said. "Growing, using, or
selling it is against the law."
FACT: It is not against the law to grow or use marijuana
with a doctor's written or oral recommendation in
California. And this guy is a cop?!!?
"Just because California said some people can use it for
medicine does not change the drug. It will always be a
harmful drug. Some of the countries which originated the
plant now have a death penalty for marijuana use because
they see the devastation it has done."
FACT: The only reason marijuana is even illegal in many
countries is because the USA threatens economic or military
harm if they do not do so. Many European countries, such as
Holland, Germany and Portugal, have decriminalized adult use
of marijuana because they see that the harm done by the Drug
War is worse than the harm done by cannabis, and that
cannabis can actually reduce hard drug addiction.
Melum said marijuana is illegal because it is mind
altering, addicting, and a gateway drug to other illegal
FACT: The National Academy of Science, Institute of
Medicine, National Commission on Marihuana and Other Drugs
and every other scientific study done on the subject show
this is wrong. In fact, studies done in Europe show that
cannabis use can help addicts recover. Every major increase
in the use of hard drugs in the USA has been preceeded by a
crackdown on marijuana, which shows that access to cannabis
can help reduce drug abuse. Marijuana is illegal because
powerful special interests misled the government and there
is no scientific basis for the law: in fact, the ban runs
contrary to the known facts and the recommendation of every
independent taskforce that has studied the issue.
"I own a half way house and half of those there are for
marijuana addiction," he said. "Once addicted, hygiene and
personal conduct are compromised and the person joins the
FACT: Marijuana is not physically addictive, although it
may be habit forming. This guy is making money out of
telling people these lies. He's a profiteer off the
suffering of others.
"Marijuana is a culture and those who live in it believe
in it," Melum said. "They believe it is okay and the way
they are living is the way they want to live. To go to
someone using it and say it is wrong just does not work." He
said the addict has to be taken out of that "belief culture"
in order to have a chance to see it for what it is and what
it does to people.
FACT: Yes, there is a culture that holds cannabis in high
esteem. There has been a culture and many religions based on
cannabis dating back for at least 10,000 years. To try to
destroy any cultural group is considered genocide in
international law. Melum admits that DARE is part of a
genocidal campaign attached to the drug war. In this case,
he is telling the truth. In terms of what cannabis does to
people, he is a profligate liar. Once you lie to children,
all you teach them is not to believe you. DARE destroys
families and should be eliminated.
Iowa: Norwalk DARE officer
By AMANDA PIERRE, Register Staff Writer 02/15/2001
Norwalk's drug education police officer faces charges of
assault and interfering with officers after an incident at a
Windsor Heights bar, police said Wednesday. Windsor Heights
police arrested Alex Betts, 24, after a purported
altercation with a woman late Monday at Stix, 7211 Apple
Betts is the second Norwalk drug education officer to
face criminal charges in less than two years. Betts joined
the Norwalk Police Department in December 1999. He succeeded
Tom Nolan, a Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer who was
arrested in April 1999 on marijuana charges. Des Moines
lawyer Maggi Moss, who represents Betts, declined to
comment. Norwalk Police Chief Ed Kuhl refused to comment
until an internal investigation is complete.
Norwalk schools Superintendent Tom Fish said Betts has
been suspended. "I wish I had the right words to say to the
kids again," Fish said. "Until the investigation is over,
it's hard to know.
"Witnesses told police Betts assaulted Stephanie Schnack,
24, of Des Moines
after telling her she was sitting next to a man with "law
enforcement problems." Schnack told Betts to leave, and was
met with profanity, and then physical force, police
reported. Schnack told police Betts grabbed her face with
one hand, the back of her head with another, and forced her
face down to the counter.
The police report said Betts was uncooperative during the
arrest. According to the report, Betts told the arresting
officer, "I know your chief. Who do you think you are? He'll
never put up with you arresting a police officer." Betts was
taken to the Polk County Jail, where he was released after
two hours on his promise to appear at future court
The fifth-grade class at Lakewood Elementary School is
about halfway through the drug program Betts teaches.
Stephanie Fumaro, who manages an apartment complex in
Norwalk, knows Betts and was surprised to hear of his
arrest. "I can't believe he has gotten into trouble," she
said. "He is a good guy. He's really good with the
Iowa DARE cop, arrested driving
around with porno and stolen methamphetamine, LSD and
cocaine, returned to classroom unpunished.
Des Moines Register, Friday, May 17, 1996, Page
'One-Time Incident'; Judge says probation, not prison,
for (DARE Officer) Trimble
Prosecutors say the police officer fired by Ubandale
after his drug arrest deserved harsher measures.
By Dan Eggen, Register Staff Writer
James Trimble, the fired Urbandale police officer who
stole $20,000 worth of methamphetamine from his department,
was spared prison Thursday for his felony drug
Judge Leo Oxberger sentenced Trimble to two years'
probation, a $1,000 fine and 100 hours of community
"I'm convinced this is a one-time incident for you," the
judge said. The sentence angered prosecutors, who along with
pre-sentence investigators recommended up to 10 years in
prison for the crime.
Trimble, 44, is required to spend his community-service
time giving anti-drug speeches to students. He conducted
such talks as a police officer in Urbandale schools.
"I do not want you to think that I do not consider this a
serious crime," Oxberger told Trimble. If this were a crime
you committed in the course of your conduct as a police
officer, would view it differently.
"I do not believe that any official should be above the
law. On the other hand, I don't think that any officer or
high-standing official should automatically be sentenced to
prison.... You have rearranged your life and seem well on
the way to rehabilitating your-self."
Jamie Bowers, an assistant Polk County attorney, pointed
out that Trimble admitted taking drugs from an evidence
locker at the Urbandale Police Department.
About 4 a.m. on New Year's Day, Trimble was arrested
driving his mother's van in an inner-city Des Moines
neighborhood. Police say they found about 7 ounces - $20,000
worth - of methamphetamine, in addition to marijuana, LSD
Videotapes and pictures
Authorities said numerous sexually explicit videotapes
and pictures were found in the van, including photos of
Trimble. He had a battery-operated sexual device inserted in
his body when arrested, police said.
Riding in the van with Trimble was Lorrie Breiholz, 34,
who was sentenced to probation and a deferred judgment in
April for misdemeanor marijuana possession.
The 18-year veteran headed Urbandale's DARE (Drug Abuse
Resistance Education) program and acted as liaison officer
be-tween police and the suburb's schools. He was fired
shortly after his arrest.
The case raised questions whether Trimble should be
treated like other first-time drug offenders -- almost all
of who receive probation - or as a law officer who shamed
his profession. Bowers and state investigators argued the
"We recommended that he go to prison based upon the
impact he had on the community and on the credibility of law
enforcement," Bowers said. "What the judge did depreciates
the serious nature of the crime. ... When you're a police
offi-cer, you're a police officer all the time, not just
eight hours a day."
Trimble, sweat glistening on his face, said nothing
during or after the sentencing in Polk County District
"Jim Trimble lost his wife, his job, the respect of the
community. He is a pariah, " said Trimble's attorney, Mark
Pennington. "I think he's been punished enough."
Trimble's wife, who accused him of threatening to kill
her and commit suicide shortly before his arrest, has filed
for divorce. He is unemployed and lives in Urbandale with
He was charged with five drug crimes, but prosecutors
agreed to let him plead guilty April 8 to one: possession
with intent to deliver methamphetamine.
The crime is a Class C felony, a category that includes
offenses such as vehicular homicide, involuntary
manslaughter an third-degree sexual abuse. It is part of the
stiffest category of state drug crimes.
The sentence was not part of the plea bargain.
No Criminal History
Pennington said it is important to note that Trimble had
no prior criminal history and there was no evidence he
bought or sold drugs.
Criminal history is key to determining sentencing: After
Trimble was sentenced, Bowers said, three other people were
sent to prison on the same charge -- but they all had prior
Pennington said Trimble's story will be valuable to
"He has, in his own unique way, taught the kids the
ultimate lesson: That drugs bring nothing but disaster," he
said. "He's a living example of the destructive power of
But David Hamlin, the Urbandale police chief, said
Trimble may have difficulty meeting his community-service
"I do have some question about how many schools are
really going to be open to him talking to kids," Hamlin
Hamlin said he has mixed feelings about the sentence,
considering the black eye Trimble gave the small
"He spent 18 years doing a lot of good work, but he
created a lot of havoc in recent months," he said. "I'm
thankful the judicial aspect is over, although I'm sure
we'll be answering for it for some time."
Authorities considered charging Trimble with theft but
decided it would have been "overkill," given the five drug
charges against him at the time, Hamlin said.
District Judge Ray Fenton accepted Trimble's guilty plea
and would normally handle the sentencing as well. But Fenton
recused himself because he said he had known Trimble for
Oxberger -- who fills in on the Polk County bench --
retired in 1994 as chief judge of the Iowa Court of
[Image not included] James Trimble stands for his
sentencing Thursday. The former police officer received two
year's probation and a fine.
PA. -- POLICE DRUG PROGRAM TOLD TO
Beaver County Times/article dated 6/4/02
Harrisburg --An Embattled police program that fights
youth drug and alcohol abuse has been ordered to return
thousands of dollars to the state after an audit showed the
agency had mismanaged funds.
The PA. DARE Officers Association, which is already
reeling from a probe into embezzlement allegations, will
have to return more than $204,468 in unspent money to the
PA. Commission on Crime and Delinquency. ....
[Roy A.] Willoughby, a convicted felon, [the
commission's former crime prevention manager] was forced
to resign in May 2001 after his fourth drunken-driving
arrest. Willoughby is now the subject of a state Grand Jury
investigation into alleged misappropriation of funds. The
commission said an audit shows lavish spending on
conferences after Willoughby left, however. ....
Willoughby, 55, was hired in 1971, after serving time in
state prison for a series of burglaries. But as early as
1977, Willoughby claimed on Civil Service forms that he had
no criminal record. The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported
in Sunday editions.
DARE, one of the nation's most publicized programs to
fight youth drug and alcohol abuse, puts police officers in
schools to teach children about the dangers of drug and
alcohol abuse. The Officers Association provides training
for the agency's officers and organizes conferences.
The U. S. Surgeon General and the National Academy of
Sciences issued reports last year saying DARE was largely
ineffective. A state commission study from 1999 showed
ninth-graders who are program graduates are more likely to
have tried marijuana than other ninth-graders.
PA.'s funding of the program topped $4.5 million this
year in grants to schools and police depts. James Thomas,
executive director of the commission that performed the
audit, said his agency has stopped providing the officers
association with grants and that the money is instead being
distributed through the state Chiefs of Police Association.
Interesting is the fact that every police vehicle in the
City of Los Angeles displays a "D.A.R.E" bumper sticker.
Perhaps it is time to peer into what is going on within
D.A.R.E. on an broader basis on their expenditures of