Mark Souder Can't Stop Accusing People of Being Drug Legalizers

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Remember when Sen. Joseph McCarthy (R-Wis.) went crazy and started accusing all his enemies of being communist spies? I don't because I wasn't alive yet, but I hear it was hilarious. McCarthy was eventually discredited and spent the remainder of his days in a drunken stupor.

Today his spirit lives on in the body of Congressman Mark Souder (R-Ind.), whose virulent compulsion to expose "drug legalizers" is equally troublesome and distracting. I discussed Souder last week, but the story of his festering paranoia just grows more compelling all the time.

As I reported last week, Souder recently attacked a large coalition of mainstream public health, education, legal, and policy organizations because they opposed his law denying financial aid to students with drug convictions. The incident provoked amusement and unfavorable coverage from the Washington press, due to the absurdity of accusing groups like the National Education Association and the United Methodist Church of trying to legalize drugs.

Today, The Politico published the following letter from Souder questioning the integrity of their coverage of the incident:

Out of fairness, it is incumbent on your newspaper to disclose when a potential conflict of interest occurs with one of your reporters.

IN the Nov. 13 article "Drugs and Money," Ryan Grim stated that the facts in a "Dear Colleague" letter I wrote were incorrect. Your readers ought to know that Grim was previously employed by the Marijuana Policy Project, a drug legalization group. Grim is hardly an objective reporter.

Given his past employment, I fail to see why you would assign him a story on an issue that he had advocated for as recently as 2005.

You newspaper's mission statement includes the following: "There is a difference between voice and advocacy. That's one traditional journalism ideal we fully embrace. There is more need than ever for reporting that presents the news fairly, not through an ideological prism." It's time to ask yourself whether you're meeting that objective.

Rep. Mark E. Souder (R-Ind.)

Editor's note: Politico reporter Ryan Grim's previous work for the Marijuana Policy Project is disclosed in his professional biography at
In short, The Politico published an article about how Mark Souder loves accusing people of supporting drug legalization, so he sent them a letter accusing their staff of supporting drug legalization.

There is just nothing else he could have done to better illustrate the validity of their claim that calling people "drug legalizers" is something he loves to do. Even in a case like this, in which his letter would inevitably be perceived as hilariously ironic, Souder still could not stop himself from writing and sending it.

Even more revealing is the fact that Souder's letter makes no attempt to challenge the facts of the story. It seems that the prior affiliations of The Politico's Ryan Grim are the only noteworthy point Souder could think of in response to story covered in three major Capitol Hill newspapers. So if Souder doesn't dispute the facts of the story, and Ryan Grim's employment history was already detailed on The Politico's website, why did Souder bother writing this letter in the first place?

Easy. Because Mark Souder loves writing letters accusing people of supporting drug legalization.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Mark Souder is one strange

Mark Souder is one strange bird.. Sort of like The Simpson's Ned Flanders on meth. If there's anything to reincarnation, then he's probably a reconstituted Spanish Inquisitioner; he certainly has the religious zeal and certainty in his own moral rectitude to feel safe in lecturing others about theirs.

dguard's picture

Misrepresentation is not Christ-like


I'm glad you covered this -- you are right, Souder is so paranoid.

What's more is that, to the disgust of many, he wraps himself (perhaps "cloaks" is a better word) in evangelical Christianity yet acts differently than what one would expect from someone professing Christian values. It is not Christ-like to misrepresent people or organizations -- the religious organizations supporting full repeal should be particularly irritated.

In 2004, I wrote an op-ed exposing Souder's lack of Christian values with regard to the HEA drug provision that ran in several newspapers in Souder's home state of Indiana -- check it out here Unfortunately, they did not use my proposed title of "WWJD Mr. Souder?"

- David

David Guard

Thank you, David.

You handle the Sword of Truth very well.

He should accuse Ron Paul...

...and see what answer he gets. Vote Ron Paul 2008.

Lol he should definately try

Lol he should definately try and accuse Ron Paul


I prefer to be called a drug war abolitionist, thank you.

he just proved your point

Mark souder only proves the point that he is paranoid. In his letter thinking just because of your reporters ties, you guys are drug "legalizers" whatever that means. And the worst part is he thinks he is right.


I think this guy knew it would be hilarious to accuse the writer of the article a supporter of drug legalization, it just was too easy to do as the guy actually was already documented as one

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