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DARE Attacks Marijuana Legalization While Praising Alcohol

D.A.R.E. class, Blacksburg, Virginia
Skip Miller is the chairman of DARE America and, as you might guess, he's terrified of what could happen if marijuana becomes legal:

Do we really want to make it easier to get stoned?

Cut through the smoke and that's really what California voters will be deciding in November with Proposition 19, which would make this the only state to fully legalize marijuana — a drug with proven negative health consequences.

The concern with marijuana is not based on my personal disapproval or bias but upon what science tells us about the drug's effects. The science is clear: Marijuana is associated with physical and mental illness, poor motor performance and cognitive impairment. [San Jose Mercury News]

So according to Skip Miller, science compels us to keep marijuana illegal. Yet, as SAFER points out, his website takes a very different tone when it comes to alcohol:

Take a minute and think how often adults drink alcohol: a cold beer at a baseball game, a glass of Chardonnay with a piece of broiled fish, a gin and tonic on a warm day. Social drinking is an acceptable and pleasurable activity for millions of Americans. It relaxes you, curbs stress, and chases away inhibitions… []


Wait, what!? Although the statement goes on to acknowledge the problems associated with alcohol abuse, there's no question that DARE is going out of its way to defend recreational drinking. And I agree with every word. Teaching young people that there's nothing wrong with responsible drinking is important, even though I find it ridiculously weird that DARE, of all places, would seek to do that.

All of this just serves to highlight the mind-blowing prejudice and hypocrisy that underscores DARE's position on marijuana policy. If alcohol can be enjoyed responsibly by millions of adults, despite all the mayhem associated with it, then of course the same must be true of marijuana. On the other hand, if the potential for negative outcomes trumps the rights of responsible users, then why on earth is DARE applauding "acceptable and pleasurable" alcohol instead of insisting that science compels us to start arresting people for possessing it?

When pressed, the architects of this brainless disparity typically resort to some desperate nonsense about alcohol being accepted and familiar in our culture, as though marijuana just arrived on a boat sometime last year. These same idiots actually are the last remaining obstacle to broader social and legal acceptance of marijuana, and if only we could take away their precious beer, we'd find them at the bargaining table within 48 hours.

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Skip must have skipped class when they taught about alcohol

Or maybe he went to one of those schools that pretends alcohol isn't a drug. He feels marijuana should be illegal because it "is associated with physical and mental illness, poor motor performance and cognitive impairment". What's your point, Skippo, alcohol is associated with all that too, a lot more than weed is, but it's also associated with DEATH, physical maiming and incurable fetal alcohol syndrome (that lovely gift to your child). Do you understand what death is Skippo? It sure doesn't sound like you do. Here's a mental exercise for you: Imagine what you would say about marijuana if it was a killer like alcohol, and then show some intellectual and moral integrity and say those things about alcohol.
Of course his hatred for weed is based on his personal disapproval and bias. Alcohol supremacist bigotry doesn't get any more clearcut that Mr. Miller's.
Another nice post, Scott, and the ending is right on.


alcohol makes you fat and stupid. That's why it's legal. That's exactly how Uncle Sam wants his citizens.


DARE is such a joke. i remember back in the 90's i was in 5th grade and the "DARE" guy came around showing us what drugs looked like, that was the first time i had actually seen quote, unquote "illegal" drugs. it humors the hell out of me that people, talk a big game but when it comes to an intelligent debate, they fail to appear or just get utterly shut down. why do you think there aren't that many debates on TV about the subject.
and what old Skip has failed to mention is all the god damn abuse alcohol causes to people and families who DON'T attend these social events or ballgames, and just drink to relax your inhibitions. what a great point Skip makes for us, lowered inhibitions are exactly what causes spousal abuse and accidents and inhibited thinking! great point Skip old buddy. It's accepted because it's legal dumbass!!!! get a life skip. i have never heard of anyone dying or hurting from pot, or any spousal abuse. i DARE you to have a debate old SKIPPY (mmmmm...peanut butter!) lol.

DARE is Meaningless

When I was in 5th grade, I won the school DARE essay contest, and got to read my "why drugs are bad" essay in front of the school. I was a true believer. Let's just say I didn't stick with the program -- by the time I got to 10th grade I was turning in essays on legalizing pot.

Newageblues brings up a point I've often thought about: how would the public react to a well-funded, highly publicized effort at re-criminalizing alcohol use? If MADD, the treatment industry, religious leaders, law enforcement, etc launched a concerted alcohol prohibition campaign? I'm not asking if it would get anywhere -- clearly it would not -- but is it possible that such an effort would finally make people consider the intellectual consistency of their views on drug prohibition? Eh, probably not -- if people feel comfortable remaining in denial at this point, with all the available evidence, I doubt there is anything at all that would get them to re-think their position.


re criminalize alcohol, speaking of mothers against drunk drivers, I think they need to have mothers against bars, as long as there are bars there will be bars with parking lots, and I'll bet you can see where I'm going with that. a little entrapment anyone?

Easier to get?!

"Marijuana is associated with... cognitive impairment..." those who fear it.

You couldn't possibly make cannabis any easier to get in California, especially for kids.

new approach

Great stuff Scott, but aren't you just preaching to the choir? Start debating these people and put in on youtube. Get to the minds of the undecided.

Easier said than done

You say Scott should "get to the minds of the undecided" as if it were easy. Unfortunately that's the challenge of virtually any advocate, for any position, and is far from being easy in practice. Plus I'm not exactly sure how Scott can be charged with "preaching to the choir" any more than any other blogger.

Also, even those of us who are firmly against prohibition benefit greatly from smart analysis by people like Scott. It's an ideological debate, and a healthy environment of curiosity and formalization internal to "our side" is necessary to effectively spread the message. If we decide we've said all that needs to be said, we'll lose.

Drinks on me

I can't help but wonder just how much money the alchol industry has contributed to DARE.

Making It Easy

Do we really want to make it easier to get stoned?”—Skip Miller

Easier?  You roll a joint, light one end, and suck on the other end.  How much easier can it get?



Skippy should act like an American and return ownership of the body to its rightful owner - the individual themselves. By far the most dangerous aspect of marijuana is a prison sentence. The elitist banking class has never gotten over losing their slave holdings but drug laws have provided them with an unlimited pool of new slaves. Not surprisingly most of these new slaves are of course still black. The surprising part is how many so called black leaders support this new form of slavery.

out of context

The author acknowledges that DARE goes on to point out the dangers of alcohol. There is no point of this article except to falsely accuse DARE. Drugs and alcohol are not good for people and BOTH marijuana and alcohol make you fat and stupid. Smoking of anything is not good for the lungs so I prefer the occasional glass of wine with dinner.

So . . .

Alcohol makes you "fat and stupid" but still you drink it, even if only occasionally. So why shouldn't others be allowed to smoke a little cannabis occasionally, too?

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

out of context out of context

Nor does the DARE point out the essentially innocuous pleasures of Cannabis using in moderation:
Social Cannabis smoking is an acceptable and pleasurable activity for millions of Americans. It relaxes you, curbs stress, and chases away inhibitions, but not to the point of committing assault, rape or murder, unlike alcohol.
But then I prefer a few pipes of opium or a sniff of heroin after breakfast.

If pot made made you

If pot made made you stupid/killed brain cells, I would be a non-functioning, brain dead moron by now. But I'm not. Pot does not kill brain cells. Alcohol does, but I wouldn't say it makes you stupid, regardless.

What would be the purpose of

What would be the purpose of a glass of wine with dinner?  What would be the purpose of having a dinner that consisted of anything other than the bare essentials necessary for survival, like a can of beans?

If nothing else, they could be considered simple pleasures of life that you can utilize at your option and discretion.  After all, you only have one life, shouldn't you be able to enjoy it in the fashion that you choose, as long as it neither imposes harm to others or restricts their ability to live life as they choose?  Who would support legislation that denied you the ability to have a glass of wine, or denied you the choice of what food you ate for dinner?  We, as Americans, should have these choices and more.

Alcohol is a drug: the phrase "alcohol and drugs" is harmful

It implies alcohol is not a drug, which implies that what is said about drugs doesn't apply to alcohol. The same dangerous message that alcohol supremacism over cannabis sends. As far as "BOTH marijuana and alcohol make you fat and stupid" I don't agree, but the much more important issue is that alcohol makes quite a few people kill and commit mayhem and cannabis doesn't. It doesn't do any good to ban cannabis when crazy horse alcohol is running wild. Level the goddamn playing field already, that would still be more than fair to alcohol.

alcohol and drugs

I believe the term is correct because alcohol is not a drug it is a poison.

re: "out of context"

Why do you have more right to use wine than other folks have to use cannabis? How is that compatible with the pledge of liberty and justice for all? The issue with DARE is that they are being flaming hypocrites, I hope you're not one as well.

What A Total Nonsense!

Alcohol is "infinitely" more dangerous and destructive than alcohol, there cannot be even any comparison between the two. It is interesting that the opponents of CA Prop. 19 call themselves "Public safety first". And this is when it has been conclusively shown by experts that Cannabis use suppresses violent behavior (as opposed to alcohol), and that Cannabis can even be potentially useful in addiction treatment, that is in helping people stay off booze and dangerous hard drugs or prescription drugs. Mexican drug cartels also oppose Legalization because if Cannabis is legalized all their illegal distribution networks are no longer needed. Recent scientific Conference in LA also stressed that current situation is unacceptable and unsustainable, and that it is supported by "prison-industrial complex" in this country because those are the people who benefit financially from more prisons and more prisoners. The so-called "public safety first" campaign against Proposition 19 is simply not entitled to use this name for their lies and distortions, because if we talk about "public safety", it is the supporters of Prop. 19 and not its opponents who really care about it. Public safety will be much better served if the Proposition passes, rather than if it fails!

Alcohol is more dangerous than alcohol?

If one registers at this site one can edit one's posts when one makes a glaring error like that one.

"Cannabis can even be potentially useful in addiction treatment, that is in helping people stay off booze and dangerous hard drugs or prescription drugs"

Uh, prescription drugs ARE hard drugs and mostly dangerous as well, even when taken as prescribed.

I totally agree with the rest of your post.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

Legalization Advocates

 should stay away from phrases that attempt to compare cannabis favorably  to "dangerous hard drugs" . you argue against the demonization of drug use,  drug users. if you gave some some context perhaps....which "dangerous hard drugs" are you talking about? prozac? xanex?

I'll drink to that!

The science is clear: Marijuana is associated with physical and mental illness, poor motor performance and cognitive impairment.
The science is clear: Alcohol is associated with physical and mental illness, poor motor performance and cognitive impairment.

Or, What I do is good. What other people do that I don't do is bad.
Or, Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as I define "liberty" and "happiness".

Take a minute and think how often adults drink alcohol: a cold beer before beating your wife, a bottle of Gallo Thunderbird before passing out for the night on skid row, a gin and tonic on a warm day before plowing your car into a group of pedestrians. Heavy drinking is an acceptable and pleasurable activity for millions of alcoholics. It inebriates you, curbs rational thought, and chases away inhibitions that stand in the way of committing a variety of violent criminal acts.

What the hell ?

A quick thought....

How many people have died due to their consumption of alcohol ?

Answer : Millions

How many people have died due to their use of Medical Marijuana ?

Answer : Zero

Another quick thought

Prescription drugs causing death
Properly prescribed medicine kills 106,OOO each year. Drugs that cause worst ... of toxic reactions to correctly prescribed medicines taken properly, ...
While cannabis kills no one.

I'm pro-choice on EVERYTHING!

I've been hearing this type

I've been hearing this type of bull for over 30 years, and still can't believe that anyone could have this position and yet not be aware of how ignorant it is.  The most fundamental American principle is that of individual freedom, and countless American citizens made the ultimate sacrifice to uphold it.  Yet here are American citizens, bound by oath in this case to uphold the American way, willing to sacrifice our most fundamental and cherished principles not to mention the lives other American citizens, in order to preserve some vague concept of societal control and order as though we were mere insects.  Is societal control and order one of our founding principles?  How could someone in the employ of our government, or an elected official for that matter, miss something so obviously out of step with the fundamental principles that our nation was founded upon?

No, the drug war is in reality a war against American citizens practicing their god given right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness.  The same flawed logic used to support the war on drugs could be utilized to outlaw virtually any activity or freedom Americans hold.  Those waging war on American citizens and fundamental American principles are in reality, the criminals.  They are domestic terrorists who prefer tyranny to individual will and freedom.  And we're concerned with the Taliban?  They don't even have a boat to get here, and our "American Clerics" pose a much greater threat to our way of life.

Anyone not clear in regard to my position on the matter?  Can I say these things without raising the hair of the FBI?

DARE cracks me up...

Why even compare alcohol to marijuana? I don't remember voting for alcohol or marijuana to be legal, so why does it even matter which one is legal? They are both drugs and people should have the right to use them.

If I were to compare something to using marijuana I wouldn't pick another drug because that will get you nowhere, I would pick another act; such as, suicide. Shouldn't people have the right to kill themselves? Even if the drugs are bad. It's like the whole concept of suicide being illegal even as a kid I never quite understood it. If this drug was actually bad for us how does it make sense to spend millions of dollars punishing people for punishing themselves? Suicide should be legal.

If people have the right to say whatever they want even if they damage other people, how come people cant do whatever they want even if they damage themselves?


My belief is most of this has to do with the economy, Marijuana is a easy to grow plant that has many many uses. Another problem is the seed to grow marijuana is in the product or the bud. In other words, it would be impossible to keep people from growing it themselves hence it would be impossible to tax it. It's much harder to make alcohol than to grow a plant. Another way I could see marijuana effecting the economy is it would replace much more pharmaceuticals than alcohol, it has more medicinal value.


I don't really care either way. If it was legal the government would stick their fingers in it with regulation and taxes, but I DONT believe pot smokers are criminals!

dare takes alcohol over marijuana?

and they probably take corn cobs over toilet paper how can you count an opinion like that? only a moron cou ld even think something like that

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