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North Carolina 5th Grader Reports Parents' Marijuana Use

The Drug Abuse Resistance Education program, commonly called D.A.R.E., has been teaching school-aged children to "just say no" to drugs and alcohol since the 1980s. Last week, an 11-year-old student turned his parents in for using marijuana after a D.A.R.E. lesson at his school.

Of the many ways that police officers determine an adult should be charged with marijuana possession, children reporting their parents is not common. More often, police officers find the drug during traffic stops, or college students are arrested for drug possession when a party is busted.

This incident is different. Apparently the student's school presented a D.A.R.E. program teaching children that they should not sure drugs or alcohol. As part of the program, students were encouraged to tell police officers if they saw anyone else using a drug. That's what this student did.

He brought a marijuana joint to school with him and told the D.A.R.E. officer that it belonged to his parents. The parents were then arrested for marijuana possession and possession of drug paraphernalia.

While drug possession charges can always have serious consequences, in this case, the parents face additional challenges. They student and his younger sibling were taken away from their parents by Child Protective Services. Not only will the parents need to present a strong criminal defense, they will have to be involved in family court proceedings as well to protect their rights as parents.

Despite the fact that the boy's life has been turned upside down, North Carolina D.A.R.E. officers insist that he did the right thing by reporting his parent's marijuana use.

Source: LAWeekly, "Parents Arrested After Fifth Grader Turns Them In For Having Marijuana Joints," Dennis Romero, 18 Oct 2010

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