Letters to the Editor

Week of Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Out of Joint

What ever happened to laid-back pot smokers?:Your cheap shots about people who smoke pot ["Dumb as a Potted Plant," Matt Smith, April 6] are insulting and repugnant. Any time you are man enough to talk about it man to man, here is my number, XXX-XXXX. So why don't you go back to stalking princesses and peeping in keyholes, you rotten lying media whore. Thanks for your diagnosis, Dr. Smith, hater of the year and overall Mr. Compassion. You are just another salacious rumormonger hiding in his ivory tower, passing judgment on people. And I will inform the advertising department never to call me again.

Russell Kyle
San Francisco

Hemp, the tough cleanser:Read your article and got the impression that you don't really care for this hemp stuff. There's one thing I do know about hemp, and that's it's mighty tough stuff for things like clothing and backpacks. As a bicyclist, I'd rather wear that than just about anything, including leather.

But regardless of that, your name-calling about hemp and this Dr. Bronner soap brought back memories ... I haven't used that soap since the '70s, when I was a kid and my parents were hippies. And because of your scathing article about both hemp and that soap, I biked over to Rainbow Market and bought two bottles. Now I remember how good that stuff smelled, and how much better soap that is than anything I've used in the last 30 years.

Now I will get all my soap there, and that's what it's all about, isn't it? Building a customer base, as you said, right?

Jeff Webb
SOMA Hemp, which defeated the Axis:Failing to mention the wonderful benefits of hemp has led me to believe that you actually do not know what you are talking about. Without hemp, the U.S. would not have survived as long as it did in World War II. Not only that, but do you even realize the vast amount of products hemp can create -- over 25,000 products! From biofuel, paints, beer, and blankets, hemp can provide viable products without destroying natural resources. I believe that if the hemp advocates inform the public of what hemp can do, unlike you who bash it, many people will realize that it is not marijuana, and it can be vital to our society.

I apologize for your ignorance on the importance of hemp; someday I hope you come to the realization that Mark Leno is trying to pass the bill not only for the interest of the people, but the environment as well.

Katie Bielsk
Chatham, Va.

Hemp, solution to the tobacco problem:In addition to all its uses in textiles, ropes, and paper, hemp is a valuable ingredient in a myriad of natural food and body care products. It's quite good for people, providing very healthful omega-3 fatty acids. It is also a very hearty plant, requiring no pesticides to grow. What a wonderful alternative for tobacco farmers who are suffering from a reduction in tobacco use in the U.S.

You wrote a clever article, Matt [Smith]. You're just really wrong. Legalizing industrial hemp could really benefit many, many farmers.

Anita Fieldman
Seattle, Wash.

Catholic Reconsideration

And papal hopes:I am one of those Catholics who, despite 12 years of parochial school, didn't find my way in the church and decided as a young adult that I was probably agnostic at best. With the passing of Pope John Paul II, I felt a sadness that caught me by surprise. Perhaps I had been wrong to dismiss Catholicism in my life. After a day of watching media coverage relating to the pope's death, I found myself doing an Internet search on Catholicism and canon law.

My search revealed that my childhood parish priest, the same priest who would perform my wedding years later, was one of a few canon law specialists who drafted the official policy on sexual abuse for the Roman Catholic Church. It also turns out that he has himself been implicated in two sexual abuse cases, and that the church not only knew of the alleged abuse long ago, but continues to actively conceal any information pertaining to it from the public.

I am alternately in states of shock and disbelief, extreme anger and betrayal. How can the church continue to participate in this "code of silence"? How can the local leadership in San Francisco and San Mateo counties continue to endorse the church's "right to privacy" on these issues ["Legal Pirouette," News, Feb. 23]? I can only hope that Roman Catholics and non-Catholics alike continue to pressure the media to bring full exposure to these allegations until all questions are answered.

With a new papacy imminent, perhaps greater scrutiny will fall on those charged with structuring church policy on sexual abuse. Until then, the fox clearly continues to watch the henhouse.

M. Silvers
Seattle, Wash.

Who's Pranking Who?

Who do you think?: Your recent article on the "prank" pulled by members of the Senate on G.W. [Bush] is totally inaccurate ["Bush Outraged by 'Kyrgyzstan' Prank," Puni, March 30]. Kyrgyzstan does in fact exist, as does Bishek. Perhaps the prank was pulled on your readers by Dan Siegler, the author of the article?

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