Letters for September 6, 2007

420 in East Sac …

Re “Chronic town” (SN&R Feature Story, August 23):

“Neighborhood Watch goes 420” cracked me up, and not just because I was high.

I’m a stay-at-home-mom and I live on 45th Street, smack dab in the middle of East Sac. Agreed, my neighboring shitzu-toting soccer moms have a knack for killing just about anyone’s buzz, but you’re overlooking the fact that there is a ton of weed being smoked in the 95819.

See, there are really two subgroups of East Sac-ers: the non-smoking, white wine sippers, and the ones who still burn. You know who we are, the ones you used to live next door to in Midtown 10 years ago that you see at Rubicon every now and again (and it’s almost always on a Tuesday) with our brood in tow. Or you might recognize us from McKinley Park, reaching our target heart rate after a session in the remodeled detached garage. Ever been to Big Spoon?

While it’s true that most East Sac residents are gonna drop the dime if a minority, homeless or mentally ill person dares come within sight of our parks or schools, there is good reason why we wear such fancy sunglasses.

Name withheld by request

… is too hip for provincial Midtowners!

Re “Chronic town” (SN&R Feature Story, August 23):

Hey, you provincial SN&R stoners should get outta Midtown once and a while and realize that you have completely mischaracterized East Sac in your little map as a red-state neighborhood where you wouldn’t want to be holding.

Although I never inhaled, everyone I know over here tokes up frequently. It’s much more blue state than Davis or Land Park have ever been.

In fact, go check the SN&R rack at Compton’s market. It’s completely empty, and the paper’s only been out for two days as I write this. Thinking that it might have been some right-wing Gestapoid that was offended and had them removed, I asked the checkout girl where they were. She said, “They’ve been flying out of here since the moment we got them. Everyone wanted one ’cause it’s such a cool issue about pot.”

Put that in your pipe!

Name withheld by request, of course

Disgraceful prosecution

Re “Cali-nullification” by Cosmo Garvin (SN&R News, August 23):

The federal trial and conviction of Mollie Fry and Dale Schafer was a disgrace. It is not justice when the accused are barred from telling the truth in their own defense.

By muzzling medicinal-marijuana defendants and denying them the right to present the whole truth to the jury, the federal government has unfairly cornered the argument in order to win its politically motivated marijuana trials. Without a doubt, the prosecution of Fry and Schafer reeks of injustice and brings the federal marijuana laws into further disrepute, if at all possible.

Harry Fisher
Woodland Hills

Pot story’s fresh air

Re “Half-baked notions” by Estee Lee (SN&R Feature Story, August 23):

This article was a breath of fresh air, and I couldn’t agree more with Lisa Mondiel. As a senior in a public high school, I can personally attest to the fact that there are a lot of kids who smoke pot almost solely because there is an intangible mysticism about it. It is illegal yet accessible, seemingly harmless and a “gateway” into many social scenes.

However, we are children of the ’90s: “Just say no” has been our motto since birth. This intense anti-campaigning and lack of education and awareness only makes pot more appealing to those itching to find out what the big deal is all about.

It frustrates me to see such an absurd crackdown on a substance like marijuana when it seems that alcohol abuse is a much more relevant and devastating problem, especially for teenagers. Kudos again to SN&R for bringing to light the “half-baked notions” our country has about marijuana, and for highlighting the people who are pro-actively working to change them.

Bianca Taylor
via e-mail

Dear Weedwhacker

Re “Ask a Weedwhacker” (SN&R Feature Story, August 23):

I have some questions for the Weedwhacker:

If I’m paying my bills, will SMUD rat me out to the feds or the county sheriff for using one or two 1,000-watt lights?

It is crazy that two joints or less a day makes me a criminal. I don’t drink any alcohol, no tobacco, no pain pills, nothing. I want to smoke a couple of joints at the end of the day.

How do I do it without going to prison or losing my job?

Yet another name withheld by request

The Weedwhacker replies: Since Homeland Security has such massive powers (dude, they can check your library records!), it’s possible they can get your power records. So make sure you balance out the power usage by turning everything else off. Completely. If you’re gonna grow at home, live in the dark. Sucks, don’t it?

Vaporizer buzz is hot air

Re “Ganja in the mist” by Geoff Johnson (SN&R Feature Story, August 23):

I find it interesting this almost spiritual worship of what is allegedly the final tool in the effort to legalize marijuana, which I support, so don’t get me wrong. But this vaporizer trend is complete BS.

I’m 40 and ill with MS. I have used marijuana as medicine for 28 years. I moved to the Netherlands in 1993 to live my life in peace, and before that I graduated from a university in Hawaii. I grew up on the edge of Northern California’s sinsemilla fields, and when in the U.S., I have access to the medical marijuana dispensaries in California. So I know my way around cannabis.

These silly vaporizers simply don’t work. I have purchased several models, from the allegedly cheap to the very expensive, and I have yet to actually get a buzz that exceeds that of one single use of a water pipe. And believe me, I wanted it them to work, as I use around two grams per day.

It takes forever to prepare and vaporize, approximately 30 minutes, instead of the one minute that use of a water pipe takes. And in that half-hour, a Marinol pill will begin to work, not to mention the pot brownie you mentioned, or, like the cops and politicians say, regular pharmaceuticals. One of the main advantages of marijuana as medicine is its quick-acting nature. Stretching out the titration over 30 times the “normal” time it takes for cannabis to work quickly removes this advantage.

So people who take marijuana seriously, especially medical users who use a lot, will find vaporizers offer them neither convenience nor efficacy. Consumers who buy these machines are essentially being had by a cynical group of entrepreneurs who dream up rocket ship-like designs and charge $300-500 for them whether or not they work. After all, there is no Underwriters Laboratory or Consumer Reports testing for them, as these are in fact illegal products: Google “Tommy Chong.”

Then there are the even more cynical groups who throw standard pot-/crack-pipe parts into a cheap briefcase along with a blow torch (dangerous?!) and charge more than $100 for them. This second type is not only ineffective, it is unsuitable for use by the old, the sick, the handicapped, and the non-technically oriented. In fact, the only group for which this latter type is suitable is men between 20 and 30 who like to work with their hands in glass and metal. And they could have purchased the blow-torch separately, likely at a cheaper price.

Vaporizers are not suitable for use anywhere but in a home where there is lots of room and privacy, as one cannot be discreet, as with a joint, which looks like a cigarette, or with any number of well developed pipes and water pipes designed for clandestine use. Vaporizers are simply esoteric toys for an elite crowd who eschew smoking and/or who want to be seen as cool or thought of as cool.

But they don’t work.

Eric Johnson

A month of difference

Re “Better off stoned” by Pat Lynch (SN&R Essay, August 23):

A few weeks ago, I wrote to complain about Ms. Lynch’s essay on Russian immigrants in the valley. I thought it was biased, poorly researched and poorly written. And then SN&R’s “Pot Issue” came out, and there was another essay by Lynch.

I read it and loved it.

Ms. Lynch told me of her life and the lives of the children she taught in a way that made me think about my teachers, my parents and my children. When I think about it, I guess I have a lot of explaining to do to my kids!

Another important idea Lynch made me see is that she was talking about our kids. I mean “our kids.” We are not their moms and dads, but these kids are ours. We all have to help raising them.

Nice job, Pat. Thanks SN&R.

Mike Kline

Bravo, Pat!

Re “Better off stoned” by Pat Lynch (SN&R Essay, August 23):

I really enjoyed the essay. It was funny and had a different take on things. I checked back and sure enough, this author wrote the Russian commentary [“What’s with the Russians?” SN&R Essay, July 26], another good one. This spirited writing and humor stands out.

Barbara Ruona
via e-mail


In “I don’t do advice” (SN&R Higher Ground, August 23), Science of Mind New Thought Center co-pastor Sandy Freeman-Loomis is misquoted. Recalling her advice that someone she was counseling take a class she teaches in forgiveness, Loomis’ quotation should have read: “The analogy from the book that the class is based on says non-forgiveness is like drinking poison [and] expecting the other person to die.”