Letters to the Editor

Readers sound off on our Pot Issue, marijuana songs and more

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A toke too far?

Re: "The Pot Issue" (Nov. 3), it is with a mixture of at first amusement and now disgust that I watched Detroit's foremost free alternative news weekly — Metro Times — devolve, since the passage of medical marijuana legislation in Michigan, into little more than a weekly advertising circular for "the medical marijuana industry" (aka head shops, grow-room stores and quack doctors hawking $99 get-out-of-jail-free caregiver-patient cards). As I said, I was at first amused, as the subject of marijuana was, until last year, relegated to an occasional page or a column here and there. The placement and column inches devoted to the subject, of course, has grown (no pun intended) since then, and now, well, let's just say Metro Times has gone to seed.

By devoting commentaries, articles, news, features, "guest" columns and now a whole issue to medical marijuana — at the same time that its pages are filled with ad after colorful ad for the very same product — Metro Times has developed the innovative practice of product placement. However a reader feels about the issue, your coverage of medical marijuana, with the inclusion of ad after ad on the topic, has compromised any puff of objectivity Metro Times might have had.

Interested in reading about medical marijuana? Metro Times is your No. 1 local news source! Interested in (hint-hint, nudge-nudge) growing some plants hydroponically in your own basement? Or interested in ingesting something perfectly legal (if you're sick, that is — hint-hint, nudge-nudge)? Why not invest in a vaporizer, advertised in our fine periodical as well? Interested in doing both of the above but not being raided? See our news article on page 6 about police raids on local dispensaries!

With "The Pot Issue," Metro Times, no doubt in search for a "new high" in ad revenues, has, in my opinion, sunk to a new low. The issue, filled with the usual bad philosophizing from overrated and bad poet John Sinclair, completes Metro Times' devolution from an interesting and provocative alternative news weekly into a regional stand-in for the old marijuana gospel magazine, High Times.

I challenge you, Metro Times, in the immortal words of Nancy Reagan, to "just say no" to excessive pot-based advertising, news and features. You've really gone overboard with this issue. —Steve Pickard, Ann Arbor

Request line

I enjoyed your picks for "Pot songs through the decades," (Nov. 3). I'll add a couple of my favorites: "Down to Seeds and Stems Again" by Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen, and "Who Is the Lolo Who Stole My Pakalolo?" by Don Ho, which I used to play on my radio show at KPOI-FM in Honolulu back in the '80s. —Mal Lang, Allen Park

Against prohibition

As a retired Bath Township detective who worked the trenches of the drug war for 18 years, I would like to thank Mr. Guyette for his report on our disastrous, racist marijuana prohibition. As the "thin blue line" shrinks, chiefs and sheriffs are choosing to keep detectives in helicopters looking for a green plant. Meanwhile, the pedophiles in Internet chat rooms are making contact with my grandkids. This is nonsense; this is crazy but true. My profession is addicted to the money "earned" by chasing Willie and Snoop Dog. Sad and true. —Det. Howard Wooldridge (retired), drug policy specialist, Citizens Opposing Prohibition, Buckeystown, Md.

Tear down that fence

Just read the excellent article by Curt Guyette regarding the land that belongs to the city ("Bamboozled," News Hits, Nov. 3). It is so remarkable that this situation has gone on since the Dennis Archer administration! What was Archer thinking? Really! What was he thinking? Since the City Council didn't approve any transfer of property to Moroun, what is the fuss? Why doesn't the city just tear the fence down and send him the bill? Why does he think he should have something that doesn't belong to him. It belongs to the city! Period!

Thanks so much for keeping on top of these types of issues. —Ann Brown, Madison Heights

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