Monday, May 01, 2006

What's a Guy Gotta Do to Get a Debate Around Here?

In the past two months SSDP has brought the HEA Aid Elimination Penalty back into the national spotlight with a Congressional scale-back of the law and two federal lawsuits. In an effort to jumpstart a national debate on this very important issue, SSDP has reached out to some of the law's biggest proponents, offering to debate them on national television and college campuses.

Apparently our opponents on this issue are too chicken to defend their position in a one-on-one debate. We first reached out to Students Taking Action Not Drugs (STAND), a "grassroots" movement of students who support current drug war policies (presumably the same students who remind their professors to collect class homework assignments). It turns out that STAND is nothing more than a front group for the Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF), as it appears that no students are actually involved in the organization (surprise!).

In response to my e-mail offering to debate STAND's executive director on college campuses, I received the following responses from DFAF executive director and self-avowed prohibitionist Calvina Fay:

"We do not believe that utilizing science-based principles to educate students about the dangers of drugs, facilitating the reduction of drug use among 18-25 year olds, or directing young people into treatment are debatable issues."

Calvina Fay and her non-existent STAND students aren't the only ones without the spine to debate the repeal of the Aid Elimination Penalty. The law's own author Mark Souder doesn't even have the guts to defend his own law in a direct debate. SSDP not only offered to debate Souder on the issue, we even proposed to do so on his own home turf, Fox News.

Souder's office refused, claiming that the issue was "settled" when Congress scaled the law back earlier this year. Considering the amount of press garnered by our federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the penalty, I would hardly say this is a settled issue. The American public deserves a free exchange of ideas on this law.

What is it with these drug warriors anyway? Why are they so afraid to defend their position when confronted by a reformer? How could a 46-year-old Congressman be so scared of a public discussion with a 27-year-old student representative? Could it be that they know we have the truth and the facts on our side? Come on Souder, let's talk about this like grown-ups. I promise to be civil and cordial. Just ask my good friend and former DEA agent Bob Stutman…

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

And SSDP isn't a front for the DPA or NORML?

Keep up the lying. That's what keeps me coming back!

Joyce's Cutie said...

A "front" organization, in my understanding, is one which purports to be run by and represent a certain group, but in reality is run by another. STAND fits this bill because there are apparently no STAND members, no chapters, no executive director, and no spokesperson. STAND is simply a website that's apparently operated by the Drug Free America Foundation. It's simply a program or initiative of that organization, not one it its own right.

SSDP, on the other hand, actually has a broad grassroots base. Want to find SSDP members? Most major colleges have a chapter. Want to speak with it staff? Come by the headquarters in Washington, D.C. Want to speak with its Board of Directors? Go to www.ssdp.org and send them an email.

SSDP is not run or controlled by any other organization, and we're easy to find and talk with -- perhaps, in your opinion, a little too easy. Anonymous, like many other drug warriors, you're making a claim that you simply don't have any facts to back up. My 8th grade teacher always taught us that when we make an assertion, we must support it with evidence. Where's yours?

thehim said...

Hey guys, the DFAF has poll on their front page you might be interested in.

thehim said...

And SSDP isn't a front for the DPA or NORML?

Keep up the lying. That's what keeps me coming back!

What a stunning argument!! All those facts and figures and historical evidence. Man, we're all afraid of you!

800 pound gorilla said...

Welcome to the club. The biggest problem will always be the lack of scientific evidence and the total lack of standards that are not related to specific classes of users. "Potential for abuse" is a standard that would shut down all commerce in just about any commodity. Anyone who thinks more than 10 seconds on that "standard" knows that anyone who enforces it will be doing so in a capricious manner and that the enforcement will not be done in a just manner.
I'm one of many reformers who know about this achilles heel to prohibition. They can't risk going against someone who thinks like myself.

Jonathan Perri said...

The Vice President of our Freshman Class recently backed out of a debate SHE asked me to have with her... after we passed our HEA resolution of course...

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