PRO ON POT
"Banking on Bud" [July 15], and "Dispensary Daze" [July 8] in CityBeat's Upfront News section personify the social and legal barriers marijuana advocates still face in the wake of national support. A Pew Research Center survey found 53 percent of Americans now favor legalization. Yet, as you reported in the former article, Zachary Lazarus of A Green Alternative, our city's first permitted dispensary, can't write company checks and has to take extreme security precautions because of bankers' fears of federal drug laws' fiduciary implications.
In "Dispensary Daze," a budtender's soliloquy about working in unsanctioned dispensaries as told to Alex Roth, neither the speaker's name nor any of the business' names are revealed, presumably out of fear of retribution.
In a country where, if legally obtained and not tied to a crime, it is legal for a Los Angeles resident to own 1,200 guns and 2 tons of ammo and beer drinkers don't have to feign medical need, I am an outlaw for smoking a joint purely for recreational purposes? Reportedly, alcohol is involved in 40 percent of violent crimes and 75 percent of spousal abuse incidents.
Lunatics like Dylan Roof are free to openly purchase weapons and ammunition. A recent University of Texas at Dallas study found no link between pot smoking and violent crime. Since Colorado legalized marijuana consumption, The Denver Post has published articles citing decreases in burglaries and robberies to that city's dispensaries.
Of the 47 percent of Americans favoring continued criminalization of cannabis, the most popular justification is the danger marijuana poses to people and society. Hello, I'm not Jesse James; I'm your neighbor.
Thank you Aaryn Belfer for writing such an amazing article on how to be an "interrupter" [A white person's guide to activism, July 22]. I am a 56-year-old African-American woman and saw your article posted by a friend on Facebook. I have found very few written pieces as powerful as yours over the last year of never-ending cases covered in the media of police brutality, corruption and racism. Of course, I know these crimes against humanity are not new but I am glad that voice has been given by people like you to those who can no longer speak for themselves.
Your article touched on so many important ideas of how people can make a difference in their behavior, their speech, their awareness and their efforts to teach others. I was just overwhelmed at the clarity and the necessity of this "guide." You cut through a lot of distracting language and cloudy ideas that even the most well meaning people hide behind to present the most cogent and direct suggestions on how to make a real difference now and in the future.
I could go on...in gratitude...about how your piece touched my heart. But I mostly want to say "thank you" for taking the time to think about, recognize and synthesize these most important ways to contribute awareness, sensitivity and human decency to the national crisis at hand.
Cecelia Hobbs Gardner
THIS ONE HIT HOME
I normally do not enjoy Aaryn Belfer's Backwards And In High Heels, column because I just simply do not understand her writing style. It's either over my head or under my feet. I can't tell which.
Her ["A white person's guide to activism"] column on July 22 really hit home for me. I remember, year by year, throughout the '80s and into the early í90s watching Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have A Dream speech in mid-January every year. I even own a copy of the speech on a pamphlet that was given out to anti-war protesters in San Francisco in 2003.
I took it for granted as a child that this speech was as important and taken as seriously as any great speech from any American throughout U.S. history.
Sadly, as I learned as I grew older, few white adult parents of children sit and distill this kind of wisdom to a younger generation. I'm grateful to my parents for doing so. When was the last time anyone broadcast that speech on T.V. or radio?
I also want to quickly comment on the "Hooked On A Hook Up" letter from July 15. Randy, man, I also do not enjoy Aaryn's column but your ranting letter is so close to the hate-speech that Belfer has dedicated her column to that one has to wonder if you're just another racist, woman-hating, half-brain sporting a Trump for V.P. t-shirt. You Suck. You are just a mean person.
Benny A. McFadden,
Downtown San Diego
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