Last week's story on attorney Bruce Margolin, Proposition 19 and the possible legalization of marijuana ("Proposition 19: Dreams of Legal Weed," by David Futch, Oct. 22) brought a sensible, muted and — dare we say — rather laid-back response from people prone to quoting the famous and near famous, from Abraham Lincoln ("A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded") to Terence McKenna ("If the words 'life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness' don't include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn't worth the hemp it was written on").
A reader who goes by the moniker Truly is excited: "Great story. Thank goodness for the foot soldiers in the war against ridiculous marijuana laws. I can't wait to vote for Prop. 19."
But American Citizen (ahem) has an answer for Truly: "Potheads are such dolts, it's like they all have some memory problem that makes them forget 7th grade Civics class. Federal law trumps state law, therefore it doesn't matter if the proposition passes by unanimous vote of the electorate, it will still be ILLEGAL. The US AG has already sent us a warning letter, so do we really want to escalate the war on drugs to a street war with the feds? Grow up and get a job, stoners."
Do we have an answer? Yes, from Paul Lacques: "One fact that seems to be overlooked in the marijuana debate is that weed is a weed, and a tough one. The most inept gardener can produce killer pot with almost no effort. And unlike alcohol, coffee, tobacco and sugar, it requires zero processing. Its potential price if you can walk into your backyard or onto your deck and snip off a bud is — let's see now — zero! Change is always messy, and Prop. 19 is not perfect. But it knocks a big hole in a surreal law and its ever more surreal and destructive consequences."
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Stickman, meanwhile, sees an interesting future for Los Angeles if pot is legalized: "I agree completely that tourism will be one of the big benefactors; once there are smoking lounges and clubs and spas devoted to servicing marijuana users, they will expand as fast as the dispensaries did before L.A. reined them in. Given an actual free market, Prop. 19 could change CA in many, many ways."
BEAUTY VS. THE BEAST
It's difficult to get a read on the myriad responses to Tina Daunt's story on the attorney general's race, pitting L.A.'s hard-nosed Steve Cooley against San Francisco's easy-on-the-eyes D.A. Kamala Harris ("Hollywood Backs Harris as Cooley Pulls Away," Oct. 21). So we're simply going with the letter we like, even if we don't really understand it: "This is the most overtly racist article I've read in recent memory," writes ChuckB. "Then again, unlike the 'smart,' 'youthful,' 'chic,' 'beautiful,' 'lovely' and 'perfect' Ms. Harris, I am a 'stocky,' 'grumpy,' 'crotchety,' 'rumpled white guy' who'd really like 'another drink.' America might be post-racial, but you are not. Thank you, L.A. Weekly, for once again giving me my money's worth."
DAMN, HENRY, THIS SHIT IS DEPRESSING
Our special music columnist Henry Rollins is back in town and really, really feeling it. In his column ("L.A. Blues," Oct. 21), Rollins notes that L.A. "is a hungry stranger of a city that fascinates, attracts, horrifies and repels minute to minute. It allows one to live in it for years and never feel like they have lived here for any period of time. I have been all over the world, and no place makes me feel so incredibly alone at times as L.A. does."
Reader Richard writes to say, "Some Indians say the Pacific ocean does not have memory. Or, being near it makes you forget. The only place I've felt this being true is L.A. L.A. makes you forget, it sucks you right into its realities, its Kodachrome light, and after a while you're not sure if you were born there or if you arrived at LAX just three days before. I haven't set foot in LALAland for over a decade now, living in 'East California' (Catalunya, Spain), but somehow it's always there with me, like tomorrow I (being European) can hop on the first plane to L.A. and feel like coming home. It's a drug called true loneliness, a touch of truth, which puts us right back to where and what we are: a bunch of lonely creatures in a theater without a director. ..."
BURRI'D ALIVE IN SANTA MONICA
L.A. Weekly art critic Doug Harvey and his piece on the Alberto Burri exhibition at Santa Monica Museum of Art ("Burri My Art in the Hollywood Hills," Oct. 22) got some love:
"It is a pleasure to read criticism that addresses the object with fresh eyes," writes William Sheehy, "and an acknowledgment of the limitations of language. Well done."
"Nicely turned," says J Gold (our very own, wethinks). "As a young student at UCLA, I was always stunned when Burri would stop by — what he said was completely different from what we were hearing from the sexier conceptualists, but no less compelling. And of course his densely fissured piece near the parking lot was stunning."
Lyra gets all wicked on us: "Thanks for upping the standard of writing for the L.A. Weekly — a rag I have felt ashamed to carry since the cover story on the characters in The Hills a few months ago. This is thoughtful and challenging criticism for a complicated and beautiful exhibit. The quandary between abstraction and use of language is very hard to write about. You nailed it."
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