Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Paging Steve Steiner

Steve, I want to genuinely thank you for engaging us in debate. It's not everyday that prohibitionists are willing to discuss the actual issues with drug policy reformers.

With that said, I've got a simple question for you:

Can you tell us why you advocate the prohibition of marijuana (a drug that has never killed anyone) while you don't advocate the prohibition of OxyContin (a drug that lead to your son's death)? It can't be because you take money from Purdue Pharma (the manufacturer of OxyContin), can it?

We're eagerly awaiting your honest response.


Justin Holmes said...

The reason that prohibitionists generally don't engage us is probably that we are so aggressive with out "gotcha!" answers.

I'm not saying we're wrong - of course I believe we're on strong moral ground and I appreciate Tom’s diligence in asserting our strong points over and over again in media outlets across the nation.

However, as a fellow resident of the Southern Tier of New York (I grew up about 30 minutes from Mr. Steiner) I know that the people there don't take kindly to the kind of fast paced point-counterpoint conversation reflected in this post.

I can attest, however, to the fact that many more people in this area of world (like everywhere) believe in the ideas of justice and common-sense approaches to problem solving.

It may be that Mr. Steiner has never taken the time to hear our message because it is so often transmitted in what feels like adversarialism. Or, perhaps Mr. Steiner really does have a disdain for marijuana – he once indicated to me that he believes marijuana to be neurotoxic, although he didn’t say where he heard this pseudoscientific tidbit.

More than anything, he, like many other residents of this part of the world, is probably uncomfortable with drug-taking for recreation, and even less comfortable with drug-taking for spirituality.

My Grandfather, who is a conservative businessman in Binghamton, fits into this category. However, he also advocates the immediate end of prohibition. He recognizes that prohibition does not stop these behaviors; it only makes them immensely profitable and far worse.

Furthermore, he is watching the taxes he has to charge on transactions he manages going to build prisons all over this state and nation with no end in sight to the drug problem.

I do hope that Steve decides to engage in this discussion because I suspect that he’s actually closer to us in his thoughts about this issue than we might suspect.

daksya said...

This entry is especially phrased in an adversarial manner ("It can't be because you take money from Purdue Pharma" + "awaiting your honest response")

Micah Daigle said...

At the risk of filling up this comment board even more before Steiner has a chance to respond, I'd just like to say that Tom's question, regardless of tone, is perfectly legitimate. If it is "adversarial" to raise tough questions about the motives of those who fight, full-time, to make medical marijuana patient's lives a living hell, then Tom and I are guilty as charged.

Keep in mind, Tom's mother lives with MS, and has been fighting for medical marijuana in Rhode Island for the past few years. Steiner (who has probably never been to RI) has been a thorn in our side ever since. He preaches the "dangers" of marijuana, while he is funded by the makers of the drug that played a role in his son's death. We want to know why.

And while I agree that we shouldn't attack Steiner personally (ad hominem gets you nowhere), Tom is perfectly justified in asking him these tough questions.

daksya said...

I'd just like to say that Tom's question, regardless of tone, is perfectly legitimate.

The tone makes the effort useless. I hope that Tom's aim is for a sincere discussion. But the tone is just flamebait. Even the potential for a productive dialogue is diminished, never mind the actual realization.

kaptinemo said...

People, if Mr. Steiner's intent was truly one of dialogue, I'd be inclined to agree...somewhat. But the DrugWarriors jettisoned the Queensbury Rules long ago, and believe that our continued adherence to them them is out of perceived weakness. Such people are not impressed with our concerns about fairness.

Mr. Steiner has shown that he prefers, as nearly all prohibs do, to speak to a captive audience - which generally is not permitted to raise objections with his material. (Or if they do, they will be publicly humiliated and punished for doing so, a condition which most public school students experience daily.) He, like nearly all prohibs, is incapable of defending his 'facts' in open debate due to having his rhetorical skills atrophy thanks to not being so challenged.

His attack pattern is quite well is his tendenecy to retreat when faced with even the slightest challenge of his position. You will please note it's a been several days now since the point of his accepting money in order to support illicit drug prohibition from the makers of the licit drug from which his son overdosed was raised and...there's been no response.

This isn't 'gotcha'; not when it serves to illustrate as starkly as possible the innate hypocrisy of supporters of prohibition...and the misery that they are accessories in aiding and abetting. Mr. Steiner voluntarily placed himself in the role of being part of the PR 'smiley face' mask that has been taped over an apparatus that has killed innocent people with impunity. Indeed, based upon the 'gift' received from the makers of that drug that led to his child's death, he has in fact become a mercenary for such forces. If he wishes to continue to be a spokesman for them, then I feel no compunction to treat him and his murdering friends with kid gloves. Thanks to drug prohibition, the 'kitchen' has gotten exceedingly hot, a condition which reformers have had to adapt to again and again. If Mr. Steiner can't stand the thermal environment that he and his friends have created, then they have no business trying to sell stoves...

jackl2400 said...

What the good Kap'n said! Plus, this guy Steiner is one of these "useful idiots" they send out to attack our good guys like Soros. Sure, dialogue with him, but don't expect this tiger to change his stripes.

matt said...

i dont think weed leads to more drugs if used responsibly it is only a gateway drug when you add your druggie friends and other things to the mix but if your responsible there is no problem with smoking pot at all it dosent kill anyone never has and its not a gateway drug i started taking pills before i ever smoked a bowl although i have now quit and only smoke weed.

gina bina said...

Marijuana is not a gateway drug. I do strongly agree that its is NOT for every one.

I don't think the original post sounds malicious at all. This is a ligit question and I am also eagerly awaiting Mr. Steiner's answer. Though if I was a high profile prohibitionist I to would tire of arguing with bloggers, chatters etc.

Marijuana is great medicine. Every doctor that I have seen since I was 20, I have told I smoke pot. I use it (preferably eaten) for back pain, migrans, nausia, the occasional hangover, must MOST of all for PMS. Every single RN and doctor I have seen have all said the same thing, "Now Im not suggesting you go out and smoke pot...but yes that is great for it."