Because I have an interest in drugs (“interest”? Hee hee!) I have subscribed to a news service that emails me articles that have been written on the subject. A recent article was about a drugs education outfit called “DrugSense”. They sound okay, so I’m going to give them a free plug here by reproducing their message:
Education vs. Indoctrination
Education: ed.u.ca.tion [ej-oo-key-shuhn] – noun. The act or process
of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of
reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others
intellectually for mature life.
Indoctrination: in.doc.tri.nate [in-dok-truh-neyt] – verb (used with
object), – nat.ed, -nat.ing. To instruct in a doctrine, principle,
ideology, etc., esp. to imbue with a specific partisan or biased
belief or point of view. [Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)]
As so many folks, young and old, prepare for another school year,
DrugSense feels that it would be useful to start the fall by reminding
people of the difference between education and indoctrination. At
DrugSense, our main goal is to educate the press, public, and policy-
makers about the ravages, costs, and failures of drug prohibition, as
well to inform them of alternative policy approaches. The following
comes from the DrugSense Mission Statement (
“We exist to provide accurate information relevant to drug policy in
order to heighten awareness of the extreme damage being caused to our
nation and the world by our current flawed and failed ‘War on Drugs.’
We aim to inform the public of the existence of rational alternatives
to the drug war, and to help organize citizens to bring about needed
To further these objectives, and in recognition of the critical role
played by the media and the public, we:
a. Call attention to factual errors and excesses of policy as reported
by the working press and broadcast news organizations.
b. Promote debate and discussion by encouraging citizens to
communicate their views directly to the media and the public.
c. Provide on-line and technical support for a wide range of reform
organizations, large and small, including but not limited to free
email chat lists, news information feeds, and web site creation and
support. Please see our site map for a list of the organizations we
d. Create and maintain a growing, easily searched, library of news and
opinion as a research and educational tool.
We believe that public policy has nothing to fear from the truth.
Effective policies require a clear understanding of their results.”
How does this “education” differ from “indoctrination”? To put it
simply, we are not ideologues, or radicals, or even legalizers.
Rather, we are pragmatists who believe “that a public well informed
about the death, disease and social blight produced by current U.S.
drug policy must inevitably seek to reform it”. And our opponents? A
quick look at the Dictionary.com definition for “indoctrination”
pretty much says it all.
So as the school year starts up, please help us move away from failed
drug policies stemming from fear and misinformation and towards
evidence-based approaches based on science, reason and compassion.
DONATE TODAY by clicking http://drugsense.org/support.php, it’s fast,
easy, and tax deductible!
I like the distinction DrugSense draw between education and indoctrination. Maybe they’re worth checking out?