Letters for May 10, 2001

Don’t be a victim

Thank you for your informative article about Michelle Vierra, “Just Another Homeless Death” (SN&R Cover, May 3), as it is a classic case of the evil effects of the entire culture of addiction coupled with homelessness, which resulted in her untimely death and being gone from life too soon. If your article helps to save one other potential victim it was well worth it, despite homeless issues not being popular among the general Sacramento population. Indeed, there are many other Michelles out there under different names in assorted situations.

The key lessons for us are to avoid drug and/or alcohol addiction as such behavior often leads to homeless situations; plus, no one should ever tolerate spousal/boyfriend abuse whether mental, physical or spiritual. A dysfunctional family-of-origin routinely results in dysfunctional family members. The sins of the parents can actually result in the deaths of their own children. Michelle’s tragic death is actually not unusual and that itself is so tragic.

I help lead a Christian recovery group called CASA (Christians Against Substance Addiction) at the downtown Salvation Army and at Loaves & Fishes. Indeed, the harvest is fruitful, but the helpers are few!

Peter S. Lopez
Christians Against Substance Abuse,
Sacramento, California

Cultivating complaints against the general

Re “The AG On How Much Pot Is Too Much” by California Attorney General Bill Lockyer (SN&R Letters, April 26):

Whether or not there is any proof, anywhere written, that it is your job to develop standards for Proposition 215—I don’t know. Back in 1999, you as Attorney General must have taken responsibility for it since you appointed a task force of patients, police, sheriffs, narcotics officers, district attorneys, doctors and local government officials to help develop recommendations for guidelines for Proposition 215. Now it is 2001, and none of the guidelines have been put into effect. What a waste of a lot of professional people’s time and taxpayers’ dollars.

The most devastating issue we need guidelines for is cultivation. Every county handles it differently; most counties are unapproachable when asked for guidelines. If you would have implemented the third recommendation that your task force came up with on “cultivation,” our state would have thousands of less cultivation cases to fight each year—a huge savings of California taxpayers’ dollars, both in the court trial costs and the huge cost to incarcerate. Can you imagine the impact it would have had on our population in our overcrowded prison systems?

By you politicians burying your collective heads in the sand and ignoring this issue, it is a great injustice to your Medical Cannabis community and a huge tax dollar burden to your taxpaying citizens. There are thousands of these trials happening per year. As a businesswoman with a big tax burden every year, I despise my money being wasted that way. As a Medical Cannabis patient, I abhor the prejudice shown by politicians and law enforcement. So while law enforcement is running amok, pulling and ruining medicine for the patients, the cost to the patients stays high. Demand is high and supply is low. Again we plead with you—we need guidelines implemented.

Sharon Sharpnack
via e-mail

Book ’em, Dano

Re “Wag that Dog” by Dan Wick (SN&R Book Review, April 5):

Allow me to briefly correct the record on several points.

Although a supporting member of The Independent Institute for the past three years, Microsoft no more “paid for ads and partially subsidized” our widely-acclaimed book, Winners, Losers & Microsoft, any more than Tower Records underwrites Mr. Wick’s book reviews.

Furthermore, even if Microsoft had wanted to influence the content of Winners, Losers & Microsoft, the research by economists Stan Liebowitz and Steve Margolis contained therein predates the software maker’s support of the Institute, the Microsoft case, “browser wars” and even the Internet industry itself by nearly a decade.

Moreover, the Independent Institute is not “conservative,” “liberal,” “moderate,” or in fact any kind of political organization at all. Unlike Mr. Wick’s review and the book he praises, our work as a nonprofit, non-politicized research and educational organization is based solely on peer-reviewed science.

The issues of protectionism, corporate welfare and corporate statism more broadly in the United States are indeed serious and widespread ones, but it has been our work that has uniquely set the standards of excellence for such analysis pertaining to antitrust and competition in high-technology markets. It is also instructive that our work has not set too well with either those powerful interests who have pursued antitrust protectionism or those who serve as apologists for such corporatist ambitions.

Those interested in an in-depth discussion between the authors of Trust Us, We’re Experts and me on this issue can find one at MediaChannel.org, using my last name as a search term, or contact the Institute directly.

David J. Theroux
Oakland, CA