Friday, December 16, 2005

Steiner phones in

I got a call on my cell phone yesterday from good ol' Steve Steiner.

Without getting into too many specifics, I'll just say this: We actually had a fairly nice and cordial conversation. Despite his ineptitude with the written word, he's actually a fairly articulate and well-spoken guy.

And believe it or not, there wasn't any yelling and only a little bit of voice-raising and interrupting.

Among other things, Steiner told me that I don't sound gay (not that there's anything wrong with that), and that he's expecting a call from President Bush (who, he says, he's planning something special with). As to the pending presidential call, Steiner wouldn't reveal the details. This, I told him, I completely understood. It's not as if I'd prematurely let him in on any big plans SSDP's working on.

I think Steiner and I gained a bit of mutual respect for each other (or at least I hope the feeling is mutual). Listening to him talk about his deceased son gave me a sense that this is actually a guy who really cares about making the world a better place and genuinely believes he's doing so through his work with DAMMADD.

I talked a bit about my mom, who's living with multiple sclerosis and has been working harder to pass Rhode Island's medical marijuana bill than anyone I know who's not getting paid to do so. I think Steiner came to understand that I too endeavor to make the world a better place through my advocacy. Of course, that didn't stop him from repeatedly patronizing me with lines like "you'll learn when you get older and have kids yourself."

In other news, Steiner also e-mailed me a response to my public question below. While on the phone, he told me he'd be posting it here on the blog (but he hasn't done so yet). I would go ahead and post it here for you all to see, but I think it might be a bit unethical to broadcast a private message. So let's hope he follows through and does end up posting his response. For now, I'll just tell you that it leaves a lot to be desired.

If you're still reading, Steve, I do want to thank you once again for continuing to engage us in spirited discussion about these important and complex issues that don't have any simple solutions. It's certainly not often that prohibitionists are willing to debate drug policy reformers. Only through open and honest discourse can we unearth our common ground and foster constructive solutions. Let's keep it up.


Anonymous said...

I think Tom always sounds gay on the phone. He's one of the happiest people I know

Kevin Killough said...

He said you didn't sound gay? How did that fit into the conversation? Did he expect you to sound gay? "Well Tom, you sound like a nice guy. And unlike most legalizers, you don't sound gay, either."

Or did it somehow relate to the conversation, like, "Well, I'm going to be talking to the president, who like you, doesn't sound gay on the phone."

I would have responsed something like, "Well thanks, you silly goose."

Or perhaps, "Yeah, whenever I call my friends, they always mention how straight I sound."

Guess we can add homophobia to Mr. Steiner's long list of admirable traits.

Justin Holmes said...

I'm going to have to concur in dissent of Steve's assessment - Tom definitely sounds gay on the phone, and if he and Micah are on the line.... watch out.

Alex K said...

Tom doesn't just sound gay on the phone, he also sounds gay when you are lying next to him in bed. :)

Anonymous said...

A Quote from Tomology: "I'm an intergalactic lover; I'm agnostic about my agnosticism; my politics are progressive; my heart is in the right place; I used to have really long hair; I love DC but miss Rhode Island; I'm heterosexual but enjoy fostering a perception of ambiguous sexuality."

He may not be gay, but that self-description certainly was.

thehim said...

That's impressive that you were able to have a civil discussion. I guess there's some hope in this world after all.

Did you ask him why only the moms are mad?

Anonymous said...

I just talked to Steiner on the phone. He was reasonably coherent when talking to me, though he made some rather outrageous statements. He did admit this to me: has has smoked pot in his life when he was younger. Also, his brother was a coke dealer who got his probation violated when he was caught with a joint, another victim of prohibition. I mainly tried to tell him how marijuana prohibition was no more effective or sensible than alcohol prohibition. He disagreed obviously, but it was still fun to tell him that there are people who disagree with his prohibitionist attitude. His attitude is common, blame the drugs for people's personal problem, then try to solve things by attacking the drugs. Fortunately, this will never work because people LIKE drugs (esp. marijuana) and will always continue to use them. Let us all work to create a legal framework so that adults can responsibly use marijuana without fear of the law.