This week marks the fiftieth issue of The Week Online. It has been an interesting and exciting first year, learning as we've gone along even as the drug policy reform movement has grown significantly. The publication itself has certainly grown up during the past year and we are determined to continue on that course, bringing you original news, special features, and hard-hitting editorials from a reform perspective. We are also planning to offer more and varied options to those of you who would like to participate more actively; stay tuned for forthcoming announcements.
Two weeks ago, we announced that thanks to generous reader participation in our last membership appeal, we were approaching the 1,000 paying member mark, just as we had passed the 6,000 e-mail subscriber mark. Thanks to those of you who responded, DRCNet paying membership is now in the four digits!
This issue of The Week Online details how over the last several days, our "drug czar, retired General Barry McCaffrey and his staff have shown little shame in their willingness to dramatically misrepresent the drug policy record in The Netherlands and to hurl uncalled-for invective at drug policy reform advocates in the United States. Moreover, this issue also shows how the press is developing a healthy skepticism and is no longer letting the General's misinformation go unchallenged.
It also shows, however, that even when backed into a corner, the drug war powers that be do not intend to make a graceful exit. They will fight tooth and nail to preserve a destructive policy based on ignorance. And they will fight even on the cruelest fronts, blocking compassionate access of medical marijuana to patients and criminalizing the life-savers who provide sterile syringes to addicts to reduce the spread of epidemic diseases. They will fight poorly, as in the past week, or they will fight skillfully; and they will use our tax dollars to demonize this movement of reformers every step of the way.
Yet in the end, enough Americans care about truth and reason to hear us out. And in an open debate, we emerge over time as the victors, because facts, morality and reason are on our side. The last six weeks have seen an enormous opening of that debate, after several hundred individuals of unimpeachable credentials and reputation joined to condemn the global drug war as "causing more harm than drug abuse itself" (http://www.lindesmith.org/news/background.html). General McCaffrey tried to label these leading lights a "fringe group," but he failed to convince.
For victory to be achieved in the war over the war on drugs, however, large networks of participating, contributing citizens must be built. Grassroots political organization as well as potent public relations campaigns are needed to shift the levers of public policy in our direction. You, as part of DRCNet, are present at a unique juncture in history, where the power of the information superhighway allows movements to organize more rapidly than ever before.
The DRCNet 6,000 needs to turn into tens of thousands and then into hundreds of thousands. Will you walk with us on these first early steps toward a better world? Please pledge your support to DRCNet today, by using our encryption-secured member registration form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html. If you are already a supporting member, please consider renewing your support to help us take the effort to a higher level.
BUMPER STICKERS AVAILABLE
Thanks to the support and efforts of two of our members, we now have stopthedrugwar.org bumper stickers! View one at http://www.drcnet.org/bumpersticker.gif. We will automatically send one or more bumper stickers free of charge to all new or renewing members. Let us know if you need more than one; please only ask for more if you will really be displaying all of them. If you are nervous about placing a controversial sticker from this emotional topic on your vehicle, there are plenty of other places to put them -- a notebook, a dorm-room door, a bulletin board, you name it. Again, use our encryption-secured online registration form at http://www.drcnet.org/drcreg.html to join and get your sticker! We will also send stickers to anyone who is already a paying member, if you contact us and request one. And if you are financially unable to join, but would like to display a stopthedrugwar.org sticker to help us recruit new members, send us a note and let us know where you plan to place your sticker. Please address all bumper sticker-related correspondence to [email protected]), and be sure to include your full name and current mailing address.
Since our appeal a few weeks ago, participation in the eyegive fundraiser has increased dramatically, from 193 to 277 participants, and DRCNet earnings have risen accordingly. As mentioned before, we received the first checks from eyegive, last month, totaling more than $775, and the next ones promise to be much bigger than that. If you haven't signed up yet, you can automatically select DRCNet as your recipient non-profit by visiting http://www.eyegive.com/html/ssi.cfm?CID=1060.
Even here at DRCNet HQ, we know how hard it can be to remember day after day to visit the eyegive page and point and click to raise money. The easiest way to keep up is to set the eyegive home page, http://www.eyegive.com, as the default start-up page in your web browser -- use edit-preferences in Netscape or view-Internet options in Internet Explorer.
For those of you who didn't read the bulletin, here is a brief recap: Eyegive is a web site through which people can earn money for their favorite non-profit organization, just by clicking on a page of ads that appears when you visit the site. Clicking up to five times per day earns DRCNet valuable funds, if you have selected us as your recipient non-profit.
Your wrist and finger clicks can add up to earn DRCNet thousands of dollars -- money that can pay for part-time help, advertise for new members, any number of things. Please check it out, and those of you who have taken part already, keep up the good work!
A NOTE OF THANKS
We'd like to take a moment to publicly thank Nick Merrill and the Manhattan-based Calyx Internet Access Corporation for services they've provided us for more than three years, much of the time for free, and at all times motivated by their desire to help the cause. Calyx's help came at an important time, and was invaluable in bringing the online reform effort up to a new level. Calyx still hosts web sites and mailing lists for a number of drug policy reform groups, as well as DRCNet's own drug library search engine.
Some of the services that Calyx provides include: Dedicated Lines, Web Site Hosting, Server Colocation, Internet/ Intranet, LAN/WAN Consulting, Security Consulting & Firewalls, Web Design, Special Hosting Rates for 501(c) Non-Profits, and Secure Shell Accounts.