The substance abuse prevention education program D.A.R.E. shocked anti-drug groups and pot enthusiasts alike by publishing an op-ed piece supporting marijuana legalization.


On Monday, a letter to the editor was published on the D.A.R.E. website by former Deputy Sheriff Carlis McDerment titled, “Purchasing marijuana puts kids at risk.” The title reads as if it’s an anti-drug article, when it’s actually in support of marijuana legalization.


“I support legalization precisely because I want to reduce youths’ 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 in his letter.


Washington Post writer Christopher Ingraham emailed the D.A.R.E. VP of Development, John Lindsay, asking about the published article. Lindsay explained to Ingraham that D.A.R.E. in fact does not “support legalization,” and that they were going to take the article down. How is it that this op-ed piece made it to the site if they were going to take it down days later?


D.A.R.E. VP of Development, John Lindsay

D.A.R.E. VP of Development, John Lindsay (

“We have a news service and the header ‘Purchasing Marijuana Puts Kids at Risk’ may be why it was posted. A mistake on our part but one we are correcting,” said Lindsay to Ingraham.


Supporters of the drug’s legalization were disappointed to find out that D.A.R.E. was sticking to their anti-pot narrative. Before the article was taken down, New York magazine called the program’s change in ideology a “breakthrough,” but this clearly wasn’t the case.


It comes as no surprise that D.A.R.E. refuses to support marijuana legalization. As long as the drug is listed as a schedule 1 substance by the DEA, the group will continue to spread their anti-marijuana message.


Should D.A.R.E. have kept the letter to the editor published on their site? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.