Budget Cuts Cause Coconino County to Suspend D.A.R.E. Program

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State and county budget cuts have forced the Coconino County Sheriff's Office to suspend the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program for students in the county's elementary schools.

The D.A.R.E. program started nationally in 1983, and the CCSO has participated in the it for more than 20 years.

For anyone unfamiliar with D.A.R.E., the program basically calls for an officer to go to fifth-grade classrooms and tell kids about how terrible drugs are.

Some kids buy it, some kids don't. Radio shock-jock Howard Stern once attributed a program similar to D.A.R.E. as the reason he started doing drugs in the first place.

We were curious just how much it could possibly cost to have a few cops drop by the county's elementary schools for a few hours a week, but the program's director, Gerry Blair, is out of the office until tomorrow and didn't answer our call. 

However, despite the amount of money the county may be saving, we have a feeling that not having kids take D.A.R.E. classes in school won't lead to the drug-fueled catastrophe some might think. The bottom line is that kids smoke pot. Kids have always smoked pot, and kids will continue to smoke pot. The world will go on -- trust us.

"We strongly value the opportunities we have had to work with your staff and students over the years," Coconino County Sheriff Bill Pribil says in a statement.

Not to worry, Bill, we're confident you'll have the opportunity to "work" with some of the kids who, program or no program, will get busted for drugs in the future.
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