Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Steiner strikes back

Steve Steiner is on the defensive about my post from last night. He must be really worried, because in addition to commenting on my post, he sent a link to DARE Generation Diary to his e-mail list this afternoon. I paste his alert below, in full:
Subject: Students for drug legalization attack DAMMADD founder

Marijuana policy Project ramps up propaganda

Dear Tom Angell,

Yesterday, I sent out a request for you to sign a petition, the purpose of this petition was to call on Rhode Island House Members not to override the Governor's veto. We also sent out a press release on US Newswire, in response to this press release and petition, the drug legalizers led by the Marijuana Policy Project and their sister organization Students for drug legalization started a personal attack on myself.

Please if you can forward this petition to your friends and family. Obviously, we have hit a nerve, the truth will win.

Here are the links to their attack:



Sign this petition

Sign this petition and notify:
Representative James Langevin
Representative Patrick Kennedy
Rhode Island House
Senator Jack Reed
Senator Lincoln Chafee
Steven Steiner

We the American citizens of this great country are asking you the House members of the State of Rhode Island to please do not override Governor's Caricieri veto in regards to crude marijuana as medicine. We are also asking you to take a look at this video clip http://www.sorosmonitor.com/medical_access.wmv
that clearly shows there agenda for even more information on the agenda of the financiers, please go to http://www.sorosmonitor.com/home.aspx . The most compassionate thing we can do for our loved ones that are ill is to get the best medicine possible and crude marijuana is simply not compassionate medicine. The children of Rhode Island are just as important than children from any of the other 49 states, for their sake do not override the veto.
Typical Steiner rambling. But I can't believe he'd want his members to read the important and accurate criticism of him posted here.

Additionally, I can't understand why he thinks Rhode Island state legislators will be swayed by e-mails from crazy DAMMADD members from all across the country. And why is he also asking people to e-mail members of Congress and all the governors in the nation? They have no bearing on whether or not Rhode Island enacts this compassionate legislation.

In any case, it probably won't be long before Steiner purges me from his action alert list. But that's okay, I've already signed up with an alternate e-mail address.


Some.get.away.777 said...

I like it...

Jonthon said...

Now, now Tom - let's not call the DAMMAD members crazy. Although they disagree with us, that doesn't warrant pejorative statements. We'll win on facts, as we seem to be doing already.

DAMMAD members: If you've come to this post, it's probably with some amount of angst and rage. Feel free to let it out here. I am confident we can guide you towards a higher truth than your Mr. Steiner. Here are a few reasons I believe this to be the case:

1) We have lived through many of the corrective policies (such as D.A.R.E., hence the name of our blog) that were intended to reduce drug use in youth, but effectually proved to be boomerangs. Statistics suggest that, indeed, MOST of our drug policies have proven counter-effectual. Like your group, we do not support youth drug use - but we feel there are alternative ways to address this issue that would prove more effective, and would demonstrate more concern for human rights.

2) We are a community of students from across the nation, acting first and foremost to protect student interests. If you are concerned for youth, doesn't it only make sense to engage us in rationale dialogue? We welcome blog posts - especially when they contain names and substantive points.

3) Most of us are very proficient at spelling and the use of punctuation. I hate to be crass, but sometimes the medium is the message, and I urge you to discourage Steiner's continued efforts until he gets spell-check. If nothing else, you don't want him making us look any better!

Let the posting begin...

Anonymous said...

Dear San Diego County Supervisors,
[and D.A.R.E. fanatics]
... search strings that will help you in your quest for enlightenment:

We patients, whose emancipation you are attempting to reverse, await your reply.

Jonathan Perri said...

The lengths some people will go to just to believe a lie... it is truly amazing. We all feel sorry for Mr. Steiner's son, but dosen't he realize that if his son had been better educated about the harms of pharmacuetical drugs, he might still be alive today?
I am from Rhode Island and I think it is very clear that the govenors veto will be over-ridden. It is what RI taxpayers, voters, doctors, nurses, and the house and senate support. So research the lies about marijuana... you might unlearn some things.

Scott Morgan said...

I can't get over the fact that he's funded by the makers of the drug that killed his son, yet he crusades against marijuana which has never killed anyone.

Do you guys think he's a drinker?
Who misspells the name of their primary funder? I guess they feel so bad about his son's death that they'll gladly pay him to act like a jackass for the rest of his life. Tom, have you seen him speak in public? Is he able to communicate verbally?

Anonymous said...

With regard to the doings of Mr. Steiner, I'd like to offer the following link: Top Story: More Stupid Prohibitionist Tricks: Orwell Died Before Cliff Kincaid Was Born, But He Knew Him All Too Well.

Some here might recall a video had been produced by Mr. Steiner which contained significant portions of a speech given by Mr. Richard Cowan denouncing cannabis prohibition as being a hoax...were not-so-subtly edited to make it appear that Mr. Cowan was claiming that the MedCann movement was a hoax. Interesting reading, should those who have come here thanks to Mr. Steiner's links have more than just the pretense of open-mindedness.

Kyle said...

After reading these great two posts by Tom, I decided to check out DAMMADD's website to check this guy out. I will have to say that I am sorry for Mr. Steiner's loss, as many of us likely are, but he seems to be missing the point. If you check out his video clips (http://www.dammadd.org/video.asp) there is a pretty interesting clip of Steiner on the O'Reilly Factor.

This video clip actually gives some great insight into Steiner's situation. He actually knew of his son's drug use as early as the age of 13 and had confronted him about it. Steiner even followed the horrible DARE and tough love practices of having his son arrested. It seems to me that Mr. Steiner and his son were not on good terms to begin with and maybe this led to Mr. Steiner's current situation.

As many of us know, a more efficient and better drug education and interdiction on Mr. Steiner's part may have helped his son to avoid his tragic end. This case seems like a perfect reason for better drug education and treatment and not harsher penalties, prohibition, and ratting on friends and family members. Hopefully Steiner's followers will wake up and realize that we need to handle drug problems differently than straight prohibition.

Bob Merkin said...

If the truth will win, Mr. Steiner needs to brace DAMMAD for King County (Seattle), Washington, whose legal and political community is about to abandon the prohibition/police/prosecutor/prison model and shift to the medical/harm reduction model. A few years of that, and the results it will bring to the community, and other cities will most certainly follow.

I sincerely grieve for Mr. Steiner's (and any family's) tragedy. But such a loss does not translate into Mr. Steiner's automatic ownership of the direction of drug policy.

Tookie Williams' execution today reminds me of news stories about recent American executions. Outside the prison, there's a deathwatch of people screaming for the execution. A lot of them are family members of murder victims.

But there are also interviews with victims' family members there to OPPOSE the execution. Same tragic loss, two different conclusions about what's best for the community.

There are drug-loss and addiction-ravaged families in America who are 180 degrees out of synch with DAMMAD.

Mr. Steiner's son died in an environment in which government lies -- so patently ridiculous and obvious, just Reefer Madness with an iPod -- have left teens and young adults completely distrusting and disbelieving everything their government tells them about every imaginable drug. I can't imagine a more lethal environment for kids.

The ailing citizens of Rhode Island -- and soon nearly every American state -- will get medical marijuana and Seattle-style harm reduction soon: That's just the Arrow of History, and it's blinking in red neon all over the USA now.

tom d. said...

good work tom. i'm glad we have such an articulate and dedicated individual such as you fighting the good fight. my lazy ass can't say the same for myself, but i have personal issues. keep these fools on their toes... it'll be easier to knock them over.

Anonymous said...

Even though it looks like this Steiner guy is a total douchebag, I'd choose the side of parents protecting their kids against weed over you dopeheads anyday.

get a life.

Justin Holmes said...

Don't want kids to smoke weed? Fine.

But what the hell does lobbying against medical marijuana have to do with it.

Oxy is already "medicine." Should kids take that instead?

Steiner is not "protecting" anyone from anything.

....and FYI, my life includes a healthy component of smoking weed and engaging anonymous numbskulls in the blog and wiki worlds. Just so there's no ambiguity.

Jason Fein said...

"to please do not override ..."

Ever hear of split infinitive?

Anonymous said...

Steiner aside, I hear that the lobbyists who got the mmj issue going in RI are top notch.

Steven H. Steiner said...

I would like to weigh in again, first off if you want to make your members believe that i edited the tapes, you are wrong, you can spin it any way you want but the truth is the truth. One thing I have noticed, none of your websites talked about Jane Weirick apparently according to one news article she was a prominent organizer for the legal use of cannabis movement and a co-founder of the Patients Resource Center in San Francisco. She was only 46 years old and apparently was using crude marijuana as medicine because of some rare nerve disease, now we are waiting for a copy of the autopsy, but according to the news article, she might have suffered an allergic reaction to a pesticide that was sprayed on the marijuana she handled.

The problem I have is that there is no mention of this on any of your websites Why?

Steven H Steiner

Micah Daigle said...


Thanks for continuing to engage us in discussion.

It is truly unfortunate that Jane Weirick passed away, as she was close to many of us in the reform movement (I, unfortunately, was never priviledged enough to meet her). If you'll notice, an organization that we are affiliated with, WAMM, has memorialized her on their website.

However, it seems you are grasping at straws here. Thousands die each year due to allergic complications with medication and food products. In this case, Jane was not allergic to the marijuana itself, but rather the chemicals with which it was treated. I'm assuming these pesticides are also used in the cultivation of food products, so Jane was at risk already.

It is likely that this marijuana was bought from a bulk supplier, off the black market. Co-Op groweries like WAMM and the dispensaries that were raided in San Diego this week are less likely to use pesticides, and more likely to grow their medicine organically. Because marijuana is unregulated, it is likely that Jane had little knowledge of the pesticides that went into her medicine. If it was regulated, she could have simply looked for the friendly "USDA Certified Organic" sticker.

If you are truly concerned with products that kill people, perhaps you should be asking these tough questions to your lead sponser, Perdue Pharma, whose drugs are the primary agent in thousands of deaths a year. Or maybe you should go after the makers of Asprin. How about Planters peanuts??

Citing one anecdotal incident of someone dying because of pesticide-treated marijuana shows exactly how weak your case against medical marijuana is. Prove to us that you are not simply a puppet of the pharmaceutical companies, by showing some real evidence of the danger of medical marijuana. Until then, I refuse to give you the benefit of the doubt.

Micah Daigle said...


I am one of the activists in Rhode Island that has worked over the past few years to pass the RI Medical Marijuana Act. Nice try with the Action Alerts, Steve, but I'm quite confident that our bill will pass in early January.

I'll be sure to send you a note with my condolences on the 4th.

Justin Holmes said...

....quite possibly the best blog response I've ever seen, right here, from Micah Daigle.

Is there anything this man CAN'T DO?

jackl2400 said...

Good work, Tom, Micah, Bob on the DAMADD article posting and previous comments.

I've tussled with Mr. Steiner before in the blogosphere about DAMADDs wrongheaded mission and adherence to IRS charity filing requirements, and he did graciously correct me by supplying me with their IRS (Form 990) return.

That document, however, IMO raised some troublesome issues about their support by pharmaceuticals also acknowledged on their site, including Purdue Pharma, etc.

It did appear that Mr. Steiner and his wife (not Stevie's mother) were supported in part by DAMADD salaries and a car, and had a questionable fundraising record outside of the pharma contributions (a clambake that lost $8K, I seem to recall). This all goes to the old saw about what you think depending on who pays the piper.

Anyway, as a lot of you have said, Mr. Steiner's arguments are so incoherent that he actually hurts his own cause when he argues. As a spokesman, he's pathetic, because he can never explain how the evils of "crude marijana" have anything to do with Stevie's death from Oxycontin overdose. Nor does it honor Stevie's memory to seem to be pointing fingers at Stevie's mom, who was the custodial parent after Mr. Steiner and mom divorced, IIRC.

As many of you know, prohibitionists don't publicly debate publicly, so it is rare when someone like Mr. Steiner step up to the plate to defend that tired ideology. Perhaps he is doing us a service by being kind of a foil for debate.

Keep up the good work!