Here's Why D.A.R.E. Failed to Keep Kids Away from Drugs

For decades, the frontlines of the War on Drugs were America's classrooms, where educators and visiting law enforcers pleaded with students to abstain from marijuana and other illicit drugs. And no group championed that message more than the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, popularly known as D.A.R.E. From the mid 80s to the early 2000s, D.A.R.E. worked with schools across the country to keep kids away from drugs. But despite all those efforts, the program proved worse than ineffective. In some cases, students who participated in D.A.R.E. events were actually more likely to experiment with illicit substances than kids who had nothing to do with Darren the Lion - official mascot of the program.

So why did educators and public officials pour billions of dollars into a failed program? Weird History offers an explanation in their brief history of the rise and fall of D.A.R.E. Check it out below.

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I've been covering cannabis for nearly five years, and by now I'm all too accustomed to the impersonal cannabis conference at a stuffy, generic hotel or expo hall, brimming with white guys in suits, and generally lacking in the spirit of well, cannabis. (The woes of legalization, I suppose.) So it was a breath of fresh air when I walked into what felt like a giant atrium in downtown LA for a new kind of cannabis conference. Located in what's called the Valentine Grass Room in an industrial area past the hustle and bustle of the DTLA skyscrapers, Microscopes & Machines (M&M) boasted a diverse array of speakers, from doctors and lawyers to chemists and cultivators on the frontlines of the cannabis industry.

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