In what continues to be a humorous story that is unfolding before our very eyes, D.A.R.E. removed a satirical article from their website earlier today after TruthVoice exposed the article as satire and pointed out how D.A.R.E. shared it as a factual piece to their readers in an attempt to scare them, or perhaps lie to them about the dangers associated with the use of Marijuana.
Less than 24 hours after we went to press with the expose, the article disappeared from the D.A.R.E. website, but was not replaced with an apology or correction, showing that the organization lacks any editorial ethical standards when it comes to publishing content.
To make matters even worse for the organization, one of our readers decided to e-mail the members of the Scientific Advisory Board to point out the untruths propagated, with one member of the board denying that he is even on the board. Chris Ringwalt, who is listed as a a member of the DARE Scientific Advisory Board and appears to be employed by the Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation responded to the inquiry and stated:
“I don’t know who you are, but please stop writing me. I am not on the DARE Scientific Advisory Board; if you have reason to believe that I am, please send me the documentation.”
The individual is indeed listed, together with others on the DARE website as members of the board.
TruthVoice reached to the board members listed on the DARE website, but we were unable to reach most of the members due to the fact that many of the phone numbers listed are no longer in service. We were however able to leave a message for Chris Ringwalt and speak with Sue Rusche, who is the President and CEO of National Families in Action, an organization focused on “helping children succeed by empowering parents to create an academic and social environment where children thrive and are protected from substance abuse and other high-risk behaviors.” (Wikipedia description).
Mrs. Rusche told us that the DARE Scientific Board has not met for over two years and is no longer in existence and said the listing of the board on the DARE website is “misleading” to the general public. When asked about the DARE publication of a satirical article as a factual piece, she called the action “foolish” and said that it is not conducive to the anti-drug message the group is trying to communicate.
Mrs. Rusche also stated that she believes Marijuana to be an addictive drug and that “science shows it when 9% of first time Marijuana users become addicted to it, and 25-50% of daily users become chronically addicted,” she said, pointing to statistics published by the National Institute of Drug Abuse. We were unable to confirm these statistics before the publishing of this article.
No other D.A.R.E. Scientific Board members were reachable or called back to comment on the publication of the satire or the fact that they are still listed as members of a board that is no longer in existence or has not met in over 2 years.
In less than 24 hours we have managed to expose D.A.R.E. for lying about two significant issues, one being the fact that they claim that a group of scientists is actively supporting their agenda, second being the publishing of what turns out to be outright satirical garbage. If this is the approach D.A.R.E. wants to take when educating the public about the dangers of drug use, it certainly has the right to do so, but it cannot seriously expect us to believe anything else they publish, especially when no correction or apologies are being made.
We are hoping that both these issues will be rectified and D.A.R.E. will own up to these mistakes in a public way.