Week of September 26-October 2, 2007

Bad Brains and Bad Vibes

Oi!: Fuck the Bad Brains! Their homophobic acts of violence and vandalism against the late, much-beloved Randy "Biscuit" Turner and the Big Boys will never be forgotten. Sadly, Dave Pehling attempts to excuse their behavior as one member's idiosyncrasy ["Contents Under Pressure," Sept. 19]. Shame on anyone who patronizes their efforts. Bad Brains deserves nothing less than our contempt and should be consigned to the dustbin of history along with other hate-spewing so-called "punk" bands like Skrewdriver.

Mark Jerome

San Francisco

Up in Smoke

Dispensing justice: Matt Smith's article titled "Leno's Hemp Screen" [Sept. 12] on the Web site severely misses the mark on medical cannabis. The state's medical marijuana patients are no more "stoners" than the millions of people who voted for Proposition 215 (nearly 11 years ago) are lazy, as Smith suggests. The fact that most patients in California rely on medical cannabis dispensaries suggests that we should prioritize their protection. That priority is further underscored by the millions of dollars the state has already received from taxing the sale of medical cannabis.

In 2005, the State Board of Equalization established a policy to tax medical cannabis and, in so doing, placed a significant financial burden on patients and their providers. State Senator Carole Migden's bill, SB529, did not attempt to end the sales tax on medical cannabis; it did provide relief from onerous back taxes. The requirement to pay back taxes — up to six years before the actual policy change — stands to undermine many of the same enterprises from which the state was hoping to begin obtaining revenue.

Rather than the being a "subsidy," the back-sales-tax amnesty bill was a means to mitigate considerable and unintended damage in the form of bankruptcies and closures of medical cannabis dispensaries, resulting in less revenue for the state. More importantly, the closure of these facilities means a lack of safe access for tens of thousands of patients in California.

Not only is Smith in error to discourage the legislature from passing SB529, it is also time for the governor to recognize the benefits of dispensaries, financially and medically. The governor would be appealing to a majority of voters in standing up for California patients and their providers by warding off hazards like back taxes and federal interference.

Kris Hermes

Americans for Safe Access

Oakland

Good Will Ambassador

Defending the Bouncer: I don't usually read the letters page of the SF Weekly, but this time I saw "Ms. St. Clair" in big quotes and I had to read the letter [Sept. 19]. I was aghast with what the writer, John Brown Jr., wrote about Bouncer's visit to the Ambassador.

As I was reading Brown's letter I was thinking, "Damn, he's ignorant!" (which is harsh of me to say), and I wanted to blast Brown for what he said. WTF was that all about? Criticizing her personally! Has this guy even met Katy? Did she rip him a new one in some previous bar review?

Although I do have to respect that he is free to write what he wants, it is a letter.

I enjoy Katy's writing style. I am a confessed fan-boy of hers. Not just because I enjoyed reading "Scammin' and scrammin': in search of modern love at Jade Bar'" published on Aug. 18. I got whole lot more than I bargained for from that one. Wow, a lot of [not-safe-for-work] visuals.

So, I wanted to write you to show my support. I simply heart Katy. And I drink Pabst now because of her.

Harrison [last name withheld]

San Francisco

 
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