Letters for November 7, 2002

Randy memories
Re “Portrait of an Artist” [RN&R Pulse, Oct. 31]:

As a comic who started doing open mics with Randy some three years ago I was utterly shocked by his suicide. Having missed my chance to say a few words in your wonderful piece on him, I wanted to do so now. Randy and I weren’t best friends, but I considered us friends or peers at least. Randy and I didn’t always see eye-to-eye concerning comedy, but the one thing that I always admired about Randy and the one thing that made me envious of him was his passion. We certainly had our arguments and though in the last year I didn’t see him regularly, I will miss him. His talent pushed me to be better, and I am only sorry I never got the chance to tell him that.

Randy, I hope you’re somewhere kicking ass on the big stage …

Dave Mencarelli
via e-mail

More memories
Re “Portrait of an Artist” [RN&R Pulse, Oct. 31]:

Thank you for the article you wrote about Randy. I have known Randy for about 10 years and miss him every day. You captured all that I feel: Randy was smart, kind, very big-hearted. I live out of state now and was not able to make it to Reno, and so it was nice to feel connected somehow. I love him and miss him. He was a wonderful man.

Pamela Schlenker
via e-mail

Medicinal Marinol
Re “Wonder Drug Cover-up” [RN&R Guest Comment, Oct. 31]:

The statements made by Dick Gammick regarding the medicinal use of marijuana show him to be either highly delusional or woefully ignorant. Aside from the many articles sited by Dennis Myers in his commentary, there is one big reason to refute the “no scientific use” claim that marijuana has no medical use. The proof comes from no less then the FDA in its sanctioned use of Marinol, an anti-emetic derived from—can you guess where—marijuana! The active ingredient in Marinol is tetrahydrocannabinol.

The problem many critically ill people face is that in order to treat the nausea of their illness they must force one more thing into an already upset belly. When marijuana is inhaled into the lungs it is absorbed quickly into the blood and relief comes without further assault to the stomach. Allowing people to smoke marijuana seems much more reasonable and compassionate.

By the time this letter is printed, we will know how the vote on Question 9 went. We will know if a majority of reasonably well-informed voters ruled the day or if more were swayed by the misleading, misinformed sound-bites of politicians with their own agendas.

Mark Dodson

Dopey drivers
Re “Wonder Drug Cover-up” [RN&R Guest Comment, Oct. 31]:

I love it when journalists go from quoting opinions to reporting on actual facts. Please have Dennis Myers tell your readers what the scientific studies say about marijuana and driving. There are plenty that have been done in the last 15 years. I’m sure he can find them if he tries.

Patricia Schwarz
via e-mail

Nice Mencken quote
Re “Drug Czar” [RN&R 15 Minutes, Oct. 17]:

Truth to tell, the drug warrior politicians, officials, media and civilians (secretly) don’t list victory as an objective in their expensive and oppressive trillion-dollar war. When they do spout their “zero tolerance/total victory” rhetoric, how many of your readers actually believe them? How many actually believe that this year’s multi-billion dollar drug war budget will be the one that will achieve total victory after decades of billion dollar budgets have totally failed?

Just remember that the drug czars’ and warriors’ jobs depend on the perpetual prosecution of, but NEVER a victory in, the drug war. Also, remember that the politicians depend on the drug war and its rhetoric to scare up votes (by scaring voters). The politicians also rely on the drug war to sustain their constituent industries that depend on the economics of prohibition in order to make generous profits and campaign contributions that keep the drug warrior politicians in power and, therefore, keep themselves in business.

Remember what H.L. Mencken said: “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

Myron Von Hollingsworth
Fort Worth, Texas