Letters to the Editor

Letters from March 14, 2001

Name Withheld
Berkeley

Not so simple: For as simple as you make free-market, supply-and-demand economics appear, do you really think it works that easily, or that government never has a hand in meddling with the formula? I don't have an interest in debating your opinions. But I do suggest you step back a little and consider whether the playing field has truly been even through the last three-plus years of the development "boom." If not, as many contend, then stopgap measures like the live-work moratorium provide a little time to craft good planning and development policy. I think you'll find few supervisors or policy advocates who are against your suggestion of increasing housing supply. However, the questions of what housing, where, how, and for whom should be addressed. "Elementary economics" is too elementary of an analysis for a complicated issue.

Peter Cohen
Lower Haight

The boom is over? Why weren't we told?: So what's the deal with this Matt Smith dude? Pro-dot-com, anti-pot, pro-development, blah, blah, blah. Isn't his shtick getting a little tired? I know you think the city's demographics are changing and that you have to appeal to the SUV and tapas crowd, but haven't you noticed that the dot-com boom is a bust and that your target demographic will soon be pawning its IKEA furniture and moving back to live with its parents in Walnut Creek?

Wayne Caneen
Western Addition

This Bud's for You

Backhanded compliments gladly accepted: I am also a longtime proponent of cannabis legalization ("Burning Questions," Matt Smith, Feb. 21, on abuses at medical marijuana clinics). I smoke pot maybe once a week, and I voted for Proposition 215. I'm happy it passed because my friends with "back problems" and "insomnia" can get good weed very easily and share it with me (a perfectly healthy individual).

That said, I found myself thoroughly agreeing with you. My problems with the cannabis folks have always landed squarely on one principle -- they are focused only on pot. The facts are as cut-and-dried as a 2-foot bud crown: When you ban something that many people want (and some people need), they're just going to figure out another way to get it. Bang, organized crime. I don't blame the Cannabis Buyers Clubs: They're filling a need, nonviolently, participating in a federal disobedience. Good for them. The drug war is stupid and evil, and people should defy it.

The thing is, if I want to, I have the right to slam heroin, snort coke, and smoke PCP all at the same time. I have a right to indulge in sodomy and prostitution. I have a right to kill myself. I can do whatever I want with my own body.

Which is why, Matt Smith, you surprised me -- I did not figure that you, being the moderate Democrat and free-market booster I've taken you to be, would advocate the legalization and regulation of drugs, as opposed to the half-assed compromise decriminalization we have with pot now. I was pleasantly surprised to see that you were logical about the issue. No, everyone will not be drug addicts if drugs are legal. Not everyone wants to spend their whole lives watching Cheech and Chong movies and battling sexual dysfunction. Plus, unlike drug dealers (Philip Morris, Starbucks, and Anheuser-Busch included), if the government distributes the drugs, they are (at least in theory) accountable to us -- the citizenry. So, Matt Smith, I gotta hand it to you: You've got a little bit of heart amid the darkness.

Name Withheld
Oakland

As bootlickers go, he is kinda cute: Don't you just love his public-mindedness, though, in defending the "progressive" public servant [Marin District Attorney Paula Kamena]? But let's not forget this "progressive" public servant is wasting valuable public resources prosecuting marijuana offenses. If she were truly progressive, she'd Just Say No to drug prosecutions; but, instead she's Just Doing Her Job.

Matt Smith can't see the obvious contradiction in either her attitude or his own. But that's all part of what makes him such an adorable little statist bootlicker. Grovel on, dude!

Name Withheld
San Jose

Corrections

In last week's Free Will Astrology, the horoscopes for Libra and Pisces were mistakenly reversed. To see the correct versions, visit the Free Will Astrology Web site, then click on Horoscope Archives.

Also, in a Feb. 28 review of a CD from the band Spoon, the name of the group's lead singer was misspelled. He is Britt Daniel.

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