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DARE LEADERS OWE TAXPAYERS AN EXPLANATION

After months of criticism, here and elsewhere, the people who head the DARE program nationwide have admitted their program is a failure.

Last week, officials of the program, whose acronym stands for Drug Abuse Resistance Education, said they are coming up with a revamped program -- one they have been working on for two years.

This raises several questions, not the least of which is why DARE's leaders strongly defended it against recent criticisms when they apparently knew at least some of the complaints were true.

For two years they have been working quietly on changes based on evidence that DARE wasn't working, yet they were happy to continue accepting taxpayer money from school districts.

Not only that, they often impugned the motives of their critics, attacking them as hiding an agenda to legalize drugs.

Recently, studies by the National Academy of Sciences and the surgeon general have shown the program to be flawed.

Now the program's critics, including Salt Lake Mayor Rocky Anderson, who last year withdrew support from DARE in the Salt Lake School District, have gained a good measure of credibility.

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