Mel Sembler Isn't Quite Straight
Mel Sembler founded Straight, Inc - a now-defunct institution where parents could ship their kids off to get 'fixed' - at its height of the "Say No to Drugs" era in the 80's. With the model being a bastardized version of the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, the propaganda claimed that kids helping kids was the way to go. Entire books and articles have been written (some by me), cited, and studied over how Straight Inc's model for 'drug recovery' destroyed minds, shattered lives, took lives, and even contributed to psychosis and familial disintegration. I'll offer some links as I go on regarding that.
Stopping Medical Marijuana
When Sembler says "Drug Free America," Medical Marijuana is no exception. From "Sembler Funds Anti-Medical Marijuana Committee" -
ST. PETERSBURG — The drive for medical marijuana in Florida has attracted prominent, organized opposition.
St. Petersburg developer and GOP heavyweight Mel Sembler donated $100,000 last month to establish Drug Free Florida, a political action committee dedicated to defeating a constitutional amendment that would allow pot use for debilitating conditions.
The committee is just starting to draft a budget and reach out to other donors, co-chairman Carlton Turner said Wednesday, "but we are going to be very aggressive in attacking this issue."
With a vote on the amendment six months away, public attention has centered on Orlando trial attorney John Morgan, who spent about $4 million to get the amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot. Conservative politicians, mindful of polls showing widespread support, have kept a low profile on the issue.
Drug Free Florida now gives the opposition a public face and seed money.
Drug Free America Foundation
Of course, I am not sure how Sembler feels about pharmaceutical manufactured drugs. When he founded the "Drug Free America Foundation" - what sorts of drugs is he desiring to free America of? Aspirin? Arthritis medication? Cancer? Pain management? Or just the "drugs" not currently prescribed by doctors?
According to their About page at dfaf.org here is what they're about:
Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. is a drug prevention and policy organization committed to developing, promoting and sustaining national and international policies and laws that will reduce illegal drug use and drug addiction. The Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. vision is nations that, through their leaders and their people, create an environment where citizens live lives free of illicit drugs. Drug Free America Foundation is a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
So it seems their primary concern is legality of drugs muddled with horrific logical error that illegality means addiction. Because, certainly, if a drug is legal there's no addiction component to it, right?
Mel Sembler and Straight, Inc.
The original article only gave a cursory mention of Mel and Betty Sembler's embarrassing attempt at "Drug Free" for Kids in the 70's and 80's...
"Sembler and his wife, Betty, are longtime crusaders against drug abuse. Decades ago, they founded Straight Inc., a controversial adolescent treatment program that eventually closed. They also started the Drug Free America Foundation, an umbrella group that supports antidrug programs around the country."
Controversial is one word for it: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Straight,_Incorporated
The former kids, now adults, of this Straight, Inc. that called itself a "Drug Rehab" bragging about "Kids Helping Kids" might call it something else like Lord of the Flies gone wrong, abusive or systemically torturous: bit.ly/googlestraightinc
The original article had (not) surprisingly little to say on Straight, Incorporated so here are a few articles of my own:
- Tortured Kids Surviving Straight
- Motivate This Straight, Inc - The Cult that Kept Me Imprisoned
- My "Cop Out" [Running Away] from Straight, Inc
- How I got to Straight, Inc in the first place and what happened while in there
Torture and Pain for Profit
It's not very surprising to me that a now 83 old man who's been so attached to his belief that "drugs he dislikes are evil" - or else attached to the money that arousing this belief can incite - would allow people who could benefit from Medical Marijuana to go without medical marijuana.
Why wouldn't he not spend $100K for it, if there's something in it for him?
This is the same man who thought "kids helping kids" overcome real or imagined drug addiction was a great idea. Or maybe the money he was getting was an even better idea.
The same man who knew that you could not only brainwash scared parents into thinking that without Straight, Inc., their kid would die, but who kept parents and kids from contacting each other until the cult-mentality of "Yes I am a bad drug addict" took hold.
From my article, Motivate This Straight, Inc. :
They kept me imprisoned for over 4 months. They denied me contact with my parents, medical professionals, education, sunlight, and nutrition; They belt-looped me everywhere I needed to go, did not let me outside except to transfer me from building to car - car to host home - host home to car - and car to building; They watched me shower, use the toilet, and I had to ask permission to use the bathroom, for over 100 days of my imprisonment."
The best part to consider is that I was not a drug addict. I was never a drug addict. At 15 years of age I was an alcoholic - or, if you prefer, I didn't feel good inside of my brain without alcohol - and Straight claimed to my parents that it could fix me.
It didn't fix me, not even close. They were destroying psyches with no idea how to put them back together but I guess because we were only adolescent and hormonal kids, who would know?
I began ripping my hair out while in there (literally; pulling it from the root and watching the silken strands drift slowly, ever so slowly down to the floor as I sat in the blue chair checking out from the pain, the mad cries of other kids...) and discovered the comforts of suicidal thoughts because whatever they were doing to me or with me regarding my dependence on alcohol was not better than the alcohol. I share more of my Straight experiences in the above links.
But it all was kinda brilliant in a mad hatter criminal genius kind of way: Non-Licensed Adults weren't abusing the kids in Straight, Inc.; KIDS were! Tell me that's not a certain kind of mad criminal brilliance to escape criminal charges and imprisonment.
So, no. It is not surprising that "Help At Any Cost" coincides with Mel Sembler and his strange to insane ideas of what constitutes 'help.' If you're in pain or could benefit from pot, weed, the ganja, he's not about it. And if you're a teenager - drug addiction or not - he'll take your parents money and let other kids destroy you psychically without interference from counselors, doctors or at least ADULTS 'better' (if not perfectly) trained or learned in the matters of 'troubled teens.' Which provokes the hugest question: How can anyone take this man seriously in anything having to do with a person's mental, physical or emotional well-being?
My Concluding Question
It does make one wonder. In the 70's and 80's Sembler had Straight, Inc. and parents shelling out large money to "fix their kid" - whether the kid had drug problems or not. And $100K is nothing to sneeze at. To fund a committee to STOP Medical Marijuana - that hurts not one other person and, in fact, can help and improve the quality of life of its user - I have to ask a very deliberate and meaningful ...
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