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Calvina Fay vs. The New Drug War Politics

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The Drug Free America Foundation’s perpetually panic-stricken director Calvina Fay gave a speech at the World Forum Against Drugs that was so over-the-top crazy, I wish more people could have heard it. Pete Guither recounts and refutes it here, so I’ll call attention to the one thing she said that is actually truthful:

Just since the beginning of 2008, we have seen an extraordinary increase in drug legalization efforts and activities in the US.

Nice to meet you too, Calvina. Welcome to the future of the drug war debate, a bizarre upside down world in which you are the extremist and everyone else is talking about reform. That’s the only stop on this train, so I hope you brought some reading material. In fact, here, have a free copy of Drug War Facts. You'll need this where we're going.
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

World Forum Against Drug Users: Propaganda, Guns & Handcuffs

What is the significance of this event other than it having an international sounding name that tries to sound important and relevant? Everybody knows Calvina Fay (who has no children herself) only uses the drug problem to express her fringe ultra rightwing bigotry. Even people in the United States who do not support drug legalization realize that much and so now Calvina Fay and John P. Walters are trying to export their "propaganda, guns & handcuffs" message.

Calvina Fay

She actually does have a daughter.

drugs are a menace

The phrases: 'drugs and crime' (used domestically) and 'drugs and terrorism' (used in reference to afghanistan and sometimes colombia and mexico) sum up most of the reasoning that keeps drugs illegal. it's an amalgam of prejudice, racism, fear, and morality, combined with repetition almost to the point of brainwashing, that keeps people like Calvina Fay going like she is. The word 'drugs' has an association with 'public housing project', or 'the inner city', (which obviously has an association with 'black people', and also 'mexicans', 'puertoricans', etc.) and also with 'crime'. The word 'crime' in itself has an association with 'public housing project' and 'the inner city'. On a slightly different tract, the word 'drugs' also has an association with 'degeneration', or 'immorality' (just in case you want to make the case against a drug user who is otherwise not problematic).

All of that is what keeps drugs illegal. It's a merging together of many things that we're supposed to be afraid of. That's the only reason the public can keep seeing as logical that it's just as much of a crime to use drugs or be involved with drugs as it is to commit property crimes or violent crimes, and that we should be just as afraid of people using drugs, or selling drugs to people who want to use drugs, as of people trying to rob us or assault us.

and also 'slippery slope'

It's always about a slippery slope, too. People trying a drug once is a slippery slope to them abusing that drug. Using one drug is a slippery slope to using other drugs. One person using drugs is a slippery slope to more people using drugs. Truthful education about drugs (instead of fear mongering) is a slippery slope to telling people drugs are a good thing. Not seeing all drug use as abuse is a slippery slope to not seeing any drug use as abuse. Harm reduction is a slippery slope to 'condoning' drug use. Treating drug use differently from violent crime is a slippery slope to legalization. Not having mandatory minumums is a slippery slope to widespread drug dealing. Availability is a slippery slope to widespread drug addiction. It goes on, and on, and on.... and all of it is using the word drug with that heavy weight it has attached to it as a 'menace'.

So turn these themes on their head

How do you fight the prohibitionists:

Become anti-drug when it comes to kids having easier access to drugs from unregulated sellers who don't card.

Become anti-drug when it comes to making marijuana and other drugs available at 7-11 stores and tough on crime when it comes to allowing criminals to dominate a marijuana market of 25 million annual consumers.

We need to be against the prohibition (street dealers) and laissez faire (7-11) models to dealing with our drug market problems.

Don't be shy about saying the Netherlands made some mistakes in their regulation approach to marijuana and there are lessons to be learned from their work in progress.

When a politician says we have enough problems with alcohol and tobacco, agree with them and say we need to more regulation of those markets too but that shouldn't stop us from regulating drug markets dominated by criminals. Always remind them any failures in regulation do not mean regulation is a failed policy.
And be sure to point out the recent CDC study showing that past month use of marijuana now exceeds regulated tobacco use among high school students in all 28 major cities and local districts that participated in the nationwide survey.

Calvina Fay the perfect drug war foe

Calvina Fay appeared on the O'Reilly Factor two years ago to counter an earlier appearance by Montel Williams who supported Medical Marijuana.

When O'Reilly stated that Williams deserved and needed MM, Fay shot back "I don't even think Montel Williams should have Marijuana!" O'Reilly being a prohibitionist himself never challenged Fay but she came across an intolerant, narrow minded, drug warrior. She also appeared in VH1's "The Drug Years" praising the harsh drug policies of Ronald Reagan as a great contribution to society without ever having to explain how those policies were helpful.

I think Fay is persuasive to those people who might be on the fence on the drug war. But not in the way she would hope. She helps the drug formers' cause with her cold, detached reasoning and support of the drug war. She can preach to the chorus all day long. However, I am looking forward to seeing her interviewed with some tough questions from the media. Even though, that day is still far away.

Ambassador de Sade

Anybody "on the fence" must Google that. And DFAF get funds from TAXPAYERS?

That makes my blood boil.

Don"t leave out Betty De Sade Sembler

She is founder and chair of DFAF.She is still proud of,the defunct,Straight Inc."Successfully graduating 12,000 young people",is how they respond to the torture camp for kids. Changing the name to DFAF enabled the culprits to get away with it all.That ,and of course, plenty of donations to the Bush family funds.

Prohibition is a slippery slope to


The Speech

I found the speech to be a bit extreme

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