Up in smoke
Thank you, Metro Times, for once again taking a pragmatic, forward-looking stance on marijuana and hemp (Larry Gabriel's "Home-grown $$$," March 11). The war on drugs has been a dismal failure, yet, at the same time, a boon for law enforcement, providing them with seemingly endless, no-questions-asked funding for the "demons" they have successfully created. The scam of the century has been our long-running prohibition of marijuana and the direct assault on those who use it responsibly and peacefully.
Here in Michigan, we can cite our own "homegrown" Hall of Shame dignitaries — Carl Levin, Sander Levin and Debbie Stabenow — for their steadfast support of current drug policies. There's not a marijuana user around that they wouldn't see tried, convicted and jailed (unless perhaps it were one of their own family members). The latest evidence of this is their jubilation over the recent Byrne Grant funding they so proudly announced will be distributed to communities throughout the state — money used mainly for proliferation of the drug war, and having little if any measure of accountability. In other words, a handout with no strings attached.
The people generally now understand that we have traveled far down a dead-end road concerning our drug policies, but, as usual, our political leaders lag far behind in this realization. It would be foolish to think that they will suddenly awaken to the error of their ways. After years of trying to justify their positions to me, I'm convinced that a change in leadership is our best hope. —David Light, Saginaw
I'm not a religious person, but after reading Jack Lessenberry's column, "Why GM failed" (April 1), I shouted "Hallelujah." Mr. Lessenberry has hit the nail squarely on the head regarding the failure of GM. After working as a contract employee there for more years than I care to admit, I made my escape around the start of the new millennium. During my time there, I witnessed the rampant cronyism that he skewers in his column, and which they needed to discard if they expected to move into the new century. Sadly, it's taken a major collapse and the intervention of a new administration to effect any change. To paraphrase Danny DeVito in The War of the Roses, jettisoning Rick Wagoner is "a good start." Let's see how much of the remaining dead weight can be shed. —Gail Gilchrist, Royal Oak
Bone to pick
I just read Todd Abrams' article on the jazz club Cliff Bell's ("Class of its own," March 25). My wife and I are regulars at Cliff Bell's and I was very excited when they opened their new kitchen. (We really didn't mind going next door to get shawarma wraps and such, though. The price was always right.)
You're right about the food. My wife had the calamari and it was delicious, but I beg to differ on the oxtail soup. It was so thick it should've been called a stew, but real tasty and the meat so tender. —Gerald Underwood, Detroit
Send letters (250 words or less, please) to 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226; faxes to 313-961-6598; e-mail to [email protected]. Please include your telephone number for verification. We reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and libel.