"Protecting kids?" This ad challenges the often heard justification for the drug war, drug prohibition protects children, with some sobering facts. This advertisement appeared in the National Review, the The New Republic, the Weekly Standard, The Nation, Reason Magazine and The Progressive in early 2000. Also available in Portable Document Format (PDF).
Drug warriors claim to be protecting kids.
In fact they are
endangering our children!
  • Surveys show that 90% of of high school students find marijuana easy to get. They report marijuana is easier to buy than alcohol. You don't find anyone trying to sell booze in school yards since the repeal of alcohol prohibition! 1

  • Studies of DARE, the widely used drug education program, show that it is ineffective and may even be harmful. Exaggerating the dangers of marijuana to grade schoolers creates skepticism among teenagers about the real dangers of hard drugs such as cocaine, heroin, alcohol and tobacco. This encourages experimentation and use. 2

  • Draconian mandatory sentencing for adults along with big money from the black market in drugs draws our young people into the world of crime. 3

  • Funds that should be spent for building new schools and colleges have been channeled into building new prisons for the incarceration of our young people. 4
1Johnston, L., Bachman, J. & O'Malley, P., National Survey Results from the Monitoring the Future Study, Vol. 1, Washington D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office (1999), p. 270, Table 30; online version of MTF survey; Luntz Research Companies, National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse II: Teens and Their Parents, New York, NY: National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (1996). 
2 Rosenbaum, Dennis, Assessing the Effects of School based Drug Education: A Six Year Multilevel Analysis of Project DARE, Abstract (1998 April 6); Ennett, S.T., et al., "How Effective Is Drug Abuse Resistance Education? A Meta Analysis of Project DARE Outcome Evaluations," American Journal of Public Health, 84: 13941401 (1994); Brown, J. H., D'Emidio Caston, M. & Pollard, J., "Students and Substances: Social Power in Drug Education," Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA), 19, 1, (1997) pp. 6582.  
3 "A Wiser Course: Ending Drug Prohibition," Report of the Committee on Drugs and the Law, The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Volume 49, Number 5, June 1994; Steven Duke and Albert Gross, "America's Longest War," TarcherPutnam, 1993 p. 89.
4 Ambrosio, TaraJen and Vincent Schiraldi. (1997) From Classrooms to Cellblocks: A National Perspective. Washington DC: The Justice Policy Institute; National Association of State Budget Officers, 1995 State Expenditures Report, Washington D.C.: National Association of State Budget Officers (1996); Ambrosio, T. & Schiraldi, V., "Trends in State Spending, 19871995," Executive Summary February 1997, Washington D.C.: The Justice Policy Institute (1997).
Politicians that justify the War on Drugs to
"protect our children" are either fools or knaves.
For more information visit http://www.csdp.org.
Common Sense for Drug Policy, Kevin B. Zeese, President
703-354-9050, 703-354-5695 (fax), info@csdp.org