Ridicule, yes. But that’s different.
I don’t pretend to know all the details about the situation in Connecticut. Apparently, the head of the Connecticut NORML chapter sent (possibly by accident) an email threatening violence to a state senator. The national organization of NORML has dropped that chapter.
We are not the ones to use violence and threats. We are the ones who face violence and threats every day, from a drug war that treats its citizens like enemies and props up violent criminals.
We have to be better than them. And it can be hard, very hard. The frustration from decades of lies, and seeing our friends jailed or dying can make us want to snap. But to our credit, we don’t. We just continue to be… right. And that’s a very powerful force. As Ethan Nadelmann said “The analogy we have is this is like turning around an ocean liner,” he said. “What’s important is the damn thing is beginning to turn.” And it’s turning despite the lies and the war against we the people.
So no, we don’t need to use threats of violence against individuals who support prohibition. They are not worthy of violence, only scorn. That, however, we gladly do. Sure, I’ve photoshopped John Walters into a clown, and added a new word to the language to describe Mark Souder. And I have no regrets on that score. But even more intimidating to the prohibitionists is that we expose their ideas to the rest of the world, showing that the emperor is, in fact, naked.
That kind of intimidation just a natural consequence of our proper job.
Of course, the Connecticut incident has brought some of these folks out to claim that they have been horribly abused.
Dr. Andrea Barthwell, a prominent treatment professional, recently spoke of her experiences. ‹They are not above using misinformation, intimidation, and retribution to advance their goals. As a long time advocate for the prevention and treatment of drug abuse, I have been harassed and threatened in person and on blogs by people and groups who support the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) agenda,Š said Barthwell.
Of course, Dr. Barthwell is the queen of misinformation herself, having lied about the sponsorship of her Illinois Marijuana Lectures and having spread false information about drunk driving death rates. Both of these things were brought to light by a blog – this one. If that’s intimidation, then I own up to it proudly. If she thinks that’s retribution, then fine, but it’s not. It’s clearing up her misinformation.
Calvina Fay, Executive Director of Drug Free America Foundation (DFAF) concludes, ‹Advocates for legalizing drugs are known for attempting to silence their critics. We have been subject to all forms of threats and harassment by the pro-drug lobby. Drug legalization is a controversial topic, but we must keep the debate respectful. That the other side is resorting to strong-arm lobbying tactics tells me they don‰t have the facts to back up their assertions. They are desperate to win by any means, legal or otherwise.Š
“Silence their critics”? Au contraire! We relish your attempts to justify prohibition. We revel in the opportunity to shine a light on your words. We’ll whip out our facts any time, any place, and demonstrate just how small yours is. We are the ones who call for the debate. You are the ones who run from debate, who don’t want the open discussion.
I will publicly, and respectfully, debate you anytime, Calvina. Bring it on.
If there are individuals who go too far, and use physical threats, they are not recognized or encouraged by anyone in the drug policy reform movement. This attempt to smear all reformers as thugs is just another in a continuous line of misinformation efforts by Barthwell, Faye, et al