Drug Lobby Strong: White

Drug Lobby Strong: White
Posted by CN Staff on May 19, 2003 at 19:30:38 PT
By Trudy Beyak
Source: Abbotsford News 
A strong American pro-drug lobby group is manipulating the media with an organized and effective letter-to-the-editor lobbying campaign, said Langley-Abbotsford MP Randy White. The purpose is to sway public opinion to support legalizing drugs, he said. The MP noted that the Abbotsford News, and many other newspapers, publish letters from authors who live all over North America in the opinion pages. Newspaper opinion pages are a hot target spot for this lobby group, said White.
“Many of those letters to the editor are not truly representing the public opinion of residents in our area,” said White. “Those letters are basically providing free advertising to this lobby group that wants drugs legalized.” The Media Awareness Project (MAP) is headquartered in California and states that its mission is to inform the public and promote “balance” in media coverage about drug policies. The Web site offers an extensive “letter-to-the-editor” archive, which claims that the estimated value in free advertising of those published letters, since 1996, is $12.7 million. Drug activists can click on these published letters, retrieve them and find the e-mail address of the newspaper they want to target. The MAP organizers on the Web site explain how activists can be more effective. “A letter a month – that’s all we ask,” suggests the group, adding that many people publish in major newspapers in the country. “Each of these published letters are effective ads for reform” – and, combined, are valued at millions of dollars in advertising – “See -- -- and you can do it, too!” “A single published letter often has the advertising value of many thousands of dollars.” The newspaper targets include such diverse publications as the Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times and The Maui News and three of the most successful letter writers identified with MAP include: Robert Sharpe (962 letters), Alan Randell (234) and Kirk Muse (223). This newspaper has published a number of letters, according to the MAP Web site. Letter writer Alan Randell, who lives in Victoria, for example, was published in the April 19 issue of this newspaper. His letter was entitled: “A media-driven conspiracy.” Sharpe, of Washington, D.C., published a letter called “It’s prohibition that’s deadly” on Feb. 6, 2003. White said the public needs to be aware that this lobby group is very powerful and influential. “That’s what’s going on,” said White. “Those letters are the opinions of people who do not necessarily represent the majority of the population. These guys are very effective and they’re foisting it upon an unsuspecting public.” Source: Abbotsford News (CN BC)Author: Trudy BeyakPublished: May 17, 2003Copyright: 2003 Abbotsford NewsContact: editor abbynews.comWebsite: Articles & Web Sites:Media Awareness Project News Canadian Links Slams Chretien's Pot Policy Critic Unhappy With Pot Changes's Marijuana Control is Going Up in Smoke 
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #19 posted by FoM on May 20, 2003 at 16:53:53 PT
Hi Richard
There's an old saying that even bad publicity is good publicity. So even though Randy White didn't mean for good to come from his article I know it will.I'll wait to contact Matt. I don't even want to bother him if he is having computer problems. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #18 posted by Richard Lake on May 20, 2003 at 16:43:09 PT:
Thank You Everyone! (Even you, Randy White)
Yup, it is always nice to see a mad dog prohibitionist make a fool of himself. The LTEs back to the paper that I have seen have been just superb.The article resulted in all kinds of nice comments across the net about the work of the letter writers, for sure!Just so that the next reporter may better understand, if they are smart enough to figure it out, Doug Snead added a little to our published letter opening page, showing what ONDCP has spent on ads so far this year. See: Russo said a few words about our small gathering at the NORML conference. He is pictured on the far left in the top picture here: FoM, Matt is in computer hell right now, trying to get his main computer running right. So if you don't hear back from him quickly please understand.
PUB LTE page updated with ONDCP ad $ spent clock
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #17 posted by malleus2 on May 20, 2003 at 08:30:46 PT
MP White's mouthting came straight from the 
US antis playbook. Namely, the hugely obese fat man (Uncle Sam's prohibitionists), continually stuffing his face with incredibly rich food (our tax dollars), takes a few seconds from stuffing his mouth and points to the 98 pound weakling (MAPINC) and informs all who would listen that the poor anorexic eats too much and should be put on a diet. one the fat man would be happy to supervise...The last time this was tried on TV, was a debate between Kevin Zeese and some mid level bureaucrat on C-Span. Said bureaucrat had obviously been served up as hors de combat, as his bosses were no doubt scared to go one on one with Zeese, with good reason: Zeese ate the baby-faced bureaucrat alive. The bureaucrat then tried the last card he had from his slime-smeared deck, and that was the 'outside groups with money' lie...and Zeese effortlessly handed the rube his head when he said that he wished his organization had JUST the money the ONDCP has for just it's publicity machine.White has just done the same thing...made the same mistake...using the exact same wording as antis use in their playbooks. Now, knowing that antis are an unimaginative lot (why else use an advertising agency to spread their lies?) and that they share 'information' as well as rulebooks, what does this say about Mr. White's allegiance to Canada? Is he a de facto US civil servant, working for the ONDCP on Uncle's dime? Or is he Canadian?Were I a Canuck, worried about the increasing unwarranted influence Washington seemingly has with Ottawa (why did Cauchon go to Washington before he went to Parliament?) I believe that I'd want that question of Mr. White's loyalties settled before I'd let him speak for me again...
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #16 posted by FoM on May 20, 2003 at 07:29:33 PT
I'm not sure actually. I'll send this thread to Matt today and see if he can figure it out. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #15 posted by 2Spooky on May 20, 2003 at 07:10:17 PT
FoM and emailing the editors
Nice plan with the email page....any way to put in a direct link to such a form at the bottom of the article so that you can click on it and it has all the info in there already and all you have to put in is your email and comments?I know you can cut and paste it, but was thinking of a macro so lazy people can up thier participation by pointing and clicking ;)Oh, and nice rebuttal letter lower down!
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #14 posted by Ethan Russo MD on May 20, 2003 at 06:41:26 PT:
My $0.02
First, JR, great letter. The 1923 law in Canada was precipitated by Emily Murphy, AKA Janey Canuck, writing a book called the Black Candle, which vilified cannabis and ignored its pharmaceutical uses, including its endorsement by the father of modern medicine, Sir William Osler, who happened to be Canadian! Canada had no great Mexican population and certainly no problem with that ethnic group. The Canadian Senate Report in 2002 acknowledged the racist underpinnings of the law.As to Mapinc, I am extremely proud of their record, and that the principles saw fit to invite me to their reception in San Francisco last month. If the readers of the Abbortsford News could have viewed the scene, they would have witnessed a group of very affable, intelligent, everyday folks with very active social consciences. Such an insidious and perfidious bunch! The tragedy for uncloseted neo-fascists such as Mr. White is that Canada and the USA still ostensibly are based on fundamental principles that the people should have a voice. He and his brethren would like to gag us all. The irony is that he is scolding us for our power, when in fact we have only our tongues and our word processors, and not the billions of dollars in funds derived from our own taxes that the governments of our nations deploy to persecute the sick and keep the common woman in her place. He and his brothers in arms are the North American Taliban. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #13 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on May 20, 2003 at 03:59:48 PT
History question
Just contemplating cannabis history... If memory serves me right, Canada criminalized it before the USA did. But the common reason given that the USA did it is out of racist reasons - to have a law to use against the Mexicans. Did Canada really have a large Mexican population in the 1910s, or did Canada's reasons for criminalization differ from the US?BTW, love the Bush Neighbor thing. A bumper sticker I adore, but would never put on a car I was driving in DEA-land: "Regime Change Begins At Home."
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #12 posted by JR Bob Dobbs on May 20, 2003 at 03:49:49 PT
Sirs,  Randy White is on to us. Yes, I found your article online and I am replying via email, just like thousands of visitors. But when he claims that “Those letters are the opinions of people who do not necessarily represent the majority of the population," he is being misleading. Look through the archives and you will see people from all places and walks of life expressing their opinions. keeps any published article or LTE on the subject of the drug war, regardless of opinion. Yet the overwhelming majority favor drug-law reform. These people are volunteering their spare time to write letters on a subject they believe deeply in. If Randy White chooses to ignore this, then it is he who is not representing the majority of the population.  Yes, I live in America. If America were having a debate like Canada is, I would be writing letters in support of reform to the American press. However, just like with alcohol prohibition, I think the paradigm will not change until Canada takes the lead and shows the USA that there is an alternative. There are already Americans telling you what they think about the issue - drug warriors like John Walters and Joseph Califano have had editorials printed in Canadian papers telling you to stop questioning the rationale of the drug war and to mindlessly continue imprisoning your own people. Fortunately, most Canadians are able to think for themselves, and can see that these drug warriors are terrified of Canada's reform because it will expose their decades of lies. If John Walters is going to tell you what he thinks, then I feel fully justified in telling you what I think. Just because I have to contribute to Walters' salary does not mean he speaks for me.-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=At the bottom of every LTE I include my full contact info as well as a brief "Thank you for considering this letter for publication. If it is selected, please omit my contact info." I'm not sure how this would work with your suggestion, RevHappy, as I like the anonymity of CNews and my slackful identity. FoM already gives us an email link to send it off to the paper. I know if there was an article which mentioned ME in here, I'd check back regularly to see the comments... but I'm a regular anyway.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #11 posted by Prime on May 19, 2003 at 22:41:59 PT
Sorry... GCW... <eom>
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #10 posted by Prime on May 19, 2003 at 22:40:34 PT
Nice post GWC...
I have neighbors like that.Only I just tell them that I dont like them, and to deal with it.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #9 posted by Virgil on May 19, 2003 at 22:39:43 PT
I am high and tnink of CANADA
As a student of our current crisis, my belief is that there is a bigger threat. If it is easy for Americans many people would advantage the fact that medicine is cheaper in Canada. What would happen the first time a bus heads out for the contaminated Savanna River Plant that has radiated cancer upon the populous as it probably produced more Uranium than Russia did in some years. How are they going to inspect them when they go through one way with say 50 senior disability-drawing and retired people usually between 50 and seventy with nothing better than take a tour of Canada and while buying Canadian medicine. Are they going to inspect the hundreds of med bottles going in and the thousands going out.. Guess so. What happens when they tear of the labels on purpose or what if the are swapping pain pill and everything from Oxy on down. They do not want people to go to Canada and see a doctor and let that money get out of the country, much less what might be several thousand dollars. The opill people can not let people take a nice ride to and around Canada, What happens if there is drive thru on entry to Niagra Falls. If I wanted to enjoy the cool Canadian weather, I good exchange it for a bus pass to Niagra Falls and a night in the land of the Free with two bowls of soup and 3 meals and a couple of soups to go. Are they going to inspect my soup?The cheapness of Canadian medicine, is a why not spend hundreds and enjoy an air-conditioned bus down here NC on a 100 degree day in a hot, humid, hazy from pollution day heading to Niagara Falls and swim in a Canadian pool and why not save thousands and what do you mean I cannot stay alive argument. My twin sister has MS and one pain medicine is $90 a day. Say they allow only 90 days supply and the doctor is generous with pills per day so that she really has enough for 6 months. So the U.S is going to lose 180 days times $90 is getting pretty near two thousand. What if I or a friend has the same need A busload 50 at $2000 gone from US spending. $100,000 What happens when people die when they pull out the drug dogs.The pill people would love to stop the illegal shipment of Canadian medicine that sprang from Internet sales. If they could they would but they are old people with children and grandchildren that vote. If they did the buses would have enraged the issue. The argument would be why say here verses a cool ride away from the three H’s.when I could save $200 in pills. My sister could go once a month and save money. What happens when a small city sends a busload of employees to help with the budget crisis. Then again what if they take some cars since they all need to get around and know each other. What happens when a generic pill company invest in buses in a union against oppressive policy and prices? How would a person who had 15 grams of life saving herb in his belly that he got as what is called a bonus ball at the favorite soup shop in Niagara Falls. Encrusted with solidified hemp to protect them from the soup. It could get messy with MMJ but the pill cannot let $100,000 get in a bus and go to Niagara Falls. If I were young I would go to Canada .The college kids need perspective and experience to round out some and complex up. It would make a great graduation gift. The pill companies are saying to the misadministration, you gave the military-industrial complex and the oil companies what they wanted and we want our money and it better not get to Canada. People will not buy pills in America when it is buy one and get one free on the first storefront across the border.What happens when General Motors buys a Buffalo Ranch just inside Canada that the Indians called The Middle of Nowhere and has a resident doctor. How far are Dearborn and Windsor? Ford will want a place in Windsor for the Dearborn employees. Does Ford like being gouged. The Pill Racquet has its enemies and 2 for 1 in Canada could be too illuminating to the death of an open market. What would happen if things were right and the $200 billion pill industry becomes a $100 billion and all of it profit squeezed away with a free market. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #8 posted by FoM on May 19, 2003 at 22:30:30 PT
Would this work? This would send comments too. Do you mean that you would be able to send your own personal comment with the article? If so I'll ask Matt about it. Thanks for the suggestion.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #7 posted by RevHappy on May 19, 2003 at 22:08:51 PT:
Get On Board!
This may be a tricky one, but where ther is a will, there is a way.Can you alter so there is a "e-mail this comment" checkbox, and we can chose to mail our responses from our own E-mail address to those that apply.Example, this story. You could send your responses to the Abbottsford News, and possibly the interested parties like Randy White and MPP in this story.That way cannabis news becomes a part of the LTE process, a source of positive pressure. The reason for the check box, or boxes, is some things are comments, and some are LTE's, and some are letters to reps, and etc.
Michigan Marijuana Marches
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #6 posted by freedom fighter on May 19, 2003 at 21:14:42 PT
Where's the coffee shops?
Good god! Just heard it on the news.
News seems always bad.. A man went to a bar and sat and had too many... Bartender says it is enough buddy... It's early in the afternoon.. The man said," alright sir, I am not here to cause any problem." He walks off the bar.Only to return to the bar with a gun.. He shot the bartender's brother who took his place.. I wish it was just a fable, a fairy tale.. but It just happened today here in Denver, Colorado...Where's my coffee shop?pazff
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #5 posted by The GCW on May 19, 2003 at 20:37:05 PT
Oh, and congratulations.
Robert Sharpe (962 letters), Alan Randell (234) and Kirk Muse (223). Randy White reminds Me of the old bumper sticker: “The Moral Majority Is Neither.”
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by The GCW on May 19, 2003 at 20:07:20 PT
Column: Can't Keep Saying No To Bushes
Everyone... BOOM CHICKA BOOM.'s say you have some next-door neighbours. Let's call them the Bushes. They've got a thing happening on the weekend. They say: "Listen, are you doing anything Saturday?" And your wife, who's standing next to you in the kitchen, mouths the words: "Who is it?" And you mouth the words: "The Bushes." She makes this face, crossing her hands back and forth in front of you. She can't stand the Bushes. Neither can you, for that matter. "Hello?" the Bushes are saying. They wonder whether they've been cut off. "Sorry," you say. "What day again?" "This Saturday. A few of us on the street are getting together and we're going to invade a country and effect a regime change." Your wife is whispering: "What do they want?" You put your hand over the receiver and whisper: "A bunch of neighbours are going to invade a country." Your wife frowns. "I hate those kinds of things. Tell them we're going out of town. To a wedding." So that's what you do. A couple of months after that, the Bushes call again. "Hey, how ya doin'?" they say. "Whatcha up to on Friday night?" "Gee," you say. "Did you say Friday?" "A bunch of us, we're going to go round the neighbourhood, beat up kids who are using marijuana, call the cops, get them thrown in jail, make criminals out of them." This isn't your idea of a good time, so you say: "Friday? Oh, Friiiiday! Oh man, nearly forgot. That's my wife's office party. Gosh, we'd love to join you, but we can't." The Bushes sound really disappointed, and after they hang up, you feel horribly guilty. You say to your wife: "This is getting more and more awkward. I can't just keep saying no to them. I mean, they live right next door." Your wife is sympathetic. How many times can you get out of something gracefully? The two of you devise a plan. "Whatever it is, next time they call," she says, "we'll accept. We go once, we patch things up, everything'll settle down for a while. We'll do our best to enjoy ourselves." "I think it's the only way." A couple of weeks go by. The phone rings. It's the Bushes. "Say, you guys got any weddings or staff parties or anything going on this Sunday?" they ask. "No!" you say. "The schedule is clear! Whatever you got on, we'll be there!" You feel the weight of all that guilt lifting off of you. "That's super!" the Bushes say. "We're going to spend the afternoon deploying missile-destroying satellites in space. It's a Star Wars party." "Really?" you say. You feel your heart sinking. "Man, this is great, you finally getting together with us on something. I was beginning to think there for a minute you guys weren't our friends any more." "Heck no," you say. "Sounds like fun." Your wife is in the kitchen now, and before she knows what kind of event the Bushes are holding, she whispers: "Ask them what we can bring." "Uh, what can we bring?" "Glad you asked! A few hundred billion dollars to cover the cost of this unproven technology would be absolutely terrific. And maybe a salad." "Sure thing," you say. You get off the phone and explain to your wife what it is, exactly, you've gotten the two of you into. "I can't believe this," she says. "Why did the next thing they asked us to have to be something like this? What if we call back, say we've made a mistake, but we accept the NEXT thing?" You think about that. You say: "But what if the next time is something even worse? What if we say no now, and next time, it's charades?" 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #3 posted by FoM on May 19, 2003 at 20:07:05 PT
You're very welcome. Thank you too! I said a long time ago that Mapinc. has helped me to be able to do what I do. I told Richard a while ago that I only use Mapinc. as a reference in what I do here. I find articles and try to stay in a flow of what is happening. The news is a funny thing. You never know which way it will go from one day to the next. It's constantly changing. I get different newsgroups ( I don't think they're called that though ) from Map. I use them as my balancing point. What I just said here is only a small portion of how I feel about Mapinc. I guess you could say Mapinc. is my teacher. 
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #2 posted by The GCW on May 19, 2003 at 19:56:27 PT
MAP = Headquarters.
Boom Chicka BoomBoom Chicka BoomBoom Chicka Lick A Dicky
Boom Boom BoomGotta Get A Rat TrapBigger Than A Cat TrapBoom BoomCannibal CannibalSix Boom BahHeadquarters HeadquartersRah Rah RahThank You MAPThank You for helping Me... helping save the world. Thank You to all the Green Collar WorkersThank You FoM, for You are in the same boat.You guys all help Me be The Green Collar Worker! You help Us all be The Green Collar Workers! This guy Randy White must actually be an American politicain. Perhaps with the official urine stains on His person.
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #1 posted by FoM on May 19, 2003 at 19:31:53 PT
Woo Woo Mapinc!
Way to go!!!
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment