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You remember D.A.R.E., right?

If you're anything like me, this throwback serves as a haunting reminder that, no, middle school was not a nightmare, and yes, it did in fact happen in real life. Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images.


D.A.R.E. stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education. I'm guessing this rings a bell.

D.A.R.E. is a program run by police departments and it aims to keep kids away from harmful drugs, gangs, and violence. It launched in Los Angeles in 1983 in the throes of the "War on Drugs" and still operates in schools across the U.S. today, meaning millions of Americans have had the D.A.R.E. experience over the past few decades.

(D.A.R.E.'s effectiveness has been questioned, but that's a topic for another time.)


Do you remember D.A.R.E.'s mascot, "Daren the Lion"?! Here he is shaking hands with actor Erik Estrada in 2002, because, why not? Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images.

D.A.R.E., unsurprisingly, has never been a fan of marijuana — that is, until this week, apparently.

With its strong anti-drug mission, it makes sense D.A.R.E. has always been against legalizing marijuana. But on July 27, 2015, D.A.R.E. posted an op-ed from The Columbus Dispatch to its website that implied otherwise.

The article, which was written by former deputy sheriff Carlis McDerment, was titled, "Purchasing marijuana puts kids at risk." And while it may sound like it's an anti-pot essay ... it's not.

Photo by Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images.

"People like me, and other advocates of marijuana legalization, are not totally blind to the harms that drugs pose to children," McDerment wrote in the op-ed. "We just happen to know that legalizing and regulating marijuana will actually make everyone safer."

In the article, McDerment argues that legalizing and regulating weed would actually help in keeping kids away from marijuana, as dealers in the illicit market (which would cease to exist should pot become legal) don't care if a customer is under 18 years old. Legalizing marijuana would mean creating an industry that could be regulated to enforce age limit laws similar to the ones we have for alcohol.

The apparent endorsement of legal weed was a complete 180° flip for D.A.R.E. But, alas, it was also a complete accident.

After outlets like New York Magazine reported on the organization's change of heart, D.A.R.E. removed the article from its website.

When The Washington Post's Christopher Ingraham reached out to the group to learn more about its stance, D.A.R.E. clarified the article's publishing was, in fact, a "mistake."


It's a bummer to hear that D.A.R.E.'s not on the legal weed bandwagon, though, because the op-ed they shared is onto something.

In the past, conventional wisdom led some to believe that loosening marijuana laws would send the wrong message to children, but lots of research tells us that's not the case.

A June 2015 study, for example, found that in states that have passed medical marijuana laws, the legalization didn't increase teenage use of the drug. In fact, the study spotted a decrease in use among eighth-graders after the laws went into effect.

Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images.

There's also plenty of evidence telling us legalizing weed would do society good...

...like providing funds for important things.

If weed is made legal and the industry regulated, taxes generated from sales could go toward things like public education.

Legal weed could also lower the incarceration rate. Some believe that decriminalizing "victimless" crimes — like the ones often related to minor marijuana offenses — would decrease the prison population without sacrificing safety.

And legal weed might even save lives. As I wrote about in July, it looks like people who seek out painkillers to ease chronic pain are turning toward legal weed instead, thereby reducing the number of deaths from overdosing on prescription painkillers.

For an organization that claims to have everyone's best interests at heart, D.A.R.E. might want to consider actually reading that op-ed they posted.

It might just change their program for the better.

Joy

Delivery driver's reaction to snacks left for him shows how a little kindness goes a long way

'Seeing a grown man get so excited about Capri Sun is extra wholesome.'

"Dee" the delivery guy stoked to get some Doritos.

Sometimes the smallest gesture can change someone’s day for the better, especially when that act of kindness lets them know their work is appreciated. Over the last few years, delivery drivers have done a fantastic job keeping people healthy during the pandemic, so Toni Hillison Barnett told News 11 that she and her husband started a tradition of leaving snacks for their drivers on the front porch.

The Barnetts, who live in Louisville, Kentucky, can see the drivers' reactions by recording them on their doorbell cameras. “I live for reactions like this to our snack cart! Thx to all of the delivery drivers out there! We appreciate you!” Toni wrote on an Instagram post.

Recently, one of the Barnetts’ delivery guys, a joyous fellow that we believe is known as Dee, went viral on TikTok because of his positive reaction to receiving some snacks during his deliveries. The snacks are tasty, no doubt. But it’s also wonderful to feel appreciated. After Toni posted the video, it received more than 100,000 views.

“Oh my God, you guys are the best, I gotta take a snapshot of this,” Dee can be heard saying in the video. “Oh, Capri Suns are my favorite, Yes!”

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Parenting

Mom perfectly explains how emotional it is to accept kids letting go of 'childhood magic'

'But I know that this year is probably the last year we'll have our Elf on the Shelf, Peppermint.'

Photo by Misty Ladd on Unsplash

Mom explains the emotional process of kids letting go of childhood magic.

One of the best things about having children is being able to pass along your family traditions or starting new traditions. Many families let their kids experience the magic of fictional characters like the tooth fairy or Santa Claus. But eventually they get older and they slowly start to realize the truth.

For parents, this can be an emotional process because it signals that their kids are growing up and moving into the next stage of life—adolescence. Soogia, a mom on TikTok, perfectly explains her youngest child's gradual realization that things in her childhood have been "pretend."

Through tears, Soogia talks about the Elf on the Shelf she has for her daughters, saying, "But I know that this year is probably the last year we'll have our Elf on the Shelf, Peppermint." She described how her daughter has started to ask questions about the Easter Bunny, the tooth fairy and now Elf on the Shelf.

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Photo by Roméo A. on Unsplash

Cat hilariously rats out owner in front of the landlord.

Maybe it's a right of passage into adulthood or maybe some landlords discriminate against pets because they can't tell people kids are forbidden in their residence. Either way, just about everyone has lived in a rental home that didn't allow pets. Most people just abide by the rules and vow to get a pet when they find a new home.

Some people, on the other hand, get creative. I once came across a post on social media where someone claimed their pit bull puppy was actually a silver Labrador. But one woman on TikTok was harboring a secret cat in her rental that had a no pets policy, and either her cat was unaware or he was aware and was simply being a jerk.

My money is on the latter since cats are known to be jerks for no reason. I mean, have you ever left something on the counter for a few minutes? They make it their mission to knock it on the floor. So I fully believe this fluffy little meow box wanted to make his presence known in an effort to rat out his owner.

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Pop Culture

Keke Palmer's baby reveal on 'Saturday Night Live' inspires hope to those with PCOS

Her hilarious monologue ignited a conversation between others living with the condition.

Baby, it's Keke Palmer.

Sure, folks are talking about Keke Palmer’s epic baby bump reveal on “Saturday Night Live” because it’s a masterclass in comedic timing. Seriously, nobody does it like Keke Palmer.

But for those living with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and hoping to one day announce their own pregnancy, it became a much more meaningful conversation.

Joking that she would ”set the record straight,” the 29-year-old “Nope” star revealed a pregnant belly hidden underneath her trench coat, adding that it has been “the biggest blessing.” As fans were quick to note—this news is especially positive since Palmer has been open about her own struggles with PCOS.

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