Smoke screen 

There may be light at the end of the tunnel vision after all. Despite continued braying from the likes of Clinton drug czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey and Attorney General Janet Reno about the dangers of "mixed messages," voters in five states managed to overcome anti-drug hysteria and closed-minded politicians by casting their ballots to legalize medical marijuana.

The feds continue to talk tough, however, saying the will of citizens in Alaska, Washington, Arizona, Oregon and Nevada doesn't really matter, because United States drug laws still supersede public declarations of common sense and self-determination.

It doesn't matter if you're stricken with cancer and want to relieve the nausea that comes with chemo, or take a toke or two to soothe that glaucoma, or inhale munchie-inducing reefer to combat the wasting effect of AIDS' later stages.

The right-thinking politicians -- and that includes pseudoliberals such as our commander in chief -- just want them all to suffer in drug-free silence.

You tell us: Who has the brain damage here?

Marijuana advocates see a grassroots rebellion in the making.

"The rising tide of public opinion in favor of reforming our nation's marijuana laws -- as was evident at the November elections and elsewhere -- will not go unnoticed by our state legislators," declares Keith Stroup, executive director of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws.

But it's not going to be an easy joint to roll, no matter how high the optimism may be. If you want proof, look no further than our nation's capital, that paragon of moral virtue, where citizens in November voted on a medical marijuana initiative.

The results?

Well, thanks to yet another right-thinking politician, we can't tell you. Seems a senator from Georgia, overcome by the '90s version of reefer madness, slipped into the federal government's massive annual appropriations bill an amendment prohibiting Washington, D.C. election officials from counting the ballots.

Ain't that America.

Exit polls, by the way, show district voters approving the measure by about 67 percent.

Maybe we should just roll up the Constitution, stuff that in our collective pipes and smoke it up. If they're going to steal our elections from us, the damn thing isn't worth the hemp paper it's printed on.

Mind-blowing madness

Stuff that knocked us sideways this year.


Medical marijuana: As outlined in the story on this page, five states voted to legalize medical marijuana. Let's go!

Weird weather: Hurricane Georges and Hurricane Mitch blew a lot more than our minds, but what really blew the records outta the water was Detroit's 70-degree day in early December. Who says global warming is a myth?

Big dust: Did anyone expect the dust cloud in the aftermath of the Hudson's implosion to be quite so immense? Those who gathered to watch from Grand Circus Park certainly didn't.

The new VW Bug: It was a best seller even before it was unveiled, which only added to its appeal. Mind-blowing that a car could have such a following. Even more mind-blowing that the following isn't bigger.

Home-run fever: Sammy Sosa and Mark McGuire's record-breaking number of home runs made the news as baseball season wound down. The number of balls hit into the seats doesn't blow our minds, but the multimillion-dollar salaries of these two heavy hitters sure do. —Metro Times staff

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