From pot to Puffy to Bush to Arnold

Readers respond to the week's People stories.

By Salon Staff

Published February 2, 2001 8:00PM (EST)

Read the story "Doctor's Orders: Get High" by Chris Colin

Chris Colin hits the nail on the head when he states "its threat lies in its utter ungovernability." Imagine if pot were legal. The pharmaceutical companies (the richest companies in the nation, I believe) wouldn't be able to corner the market, and their bean counters would calculate all the money they were "losing" because people would be growing their own, instead of buying from them. The government wouldn't be able to tax it for the same reason.

I don't believe for a second that the government is concerned that it's a gateway drug, or that it's addicting. Even if it is addicting, what's the harm? If you need to smoke a joint each night to relax, how is that any different from drinking a glass of wine each night?

Everyone who smokes needs to be open about it, whether for medical use or recreation. The taboo must be broken. When we are at a party, my boyfriend and I wish we could just announce, "Hey, we've got a joint -- who wants to smoke it?" without the fear of being ostracized.

Perhaps pot smokers should form a foundation. We all join and pay a reasonable annual fee. When one of us gets busted, everybody chips in a share based on the need divided by the membership. This way, we will all have the backing and support needed to clearly state, "I've got pot here -- who wants to smoke this fatty?"

-- Sheila J. Burnham

Two years ago, I was stricken with an extremely serious case of salmonella poisoning. For the first two weeks, I thought I had just a bad stomach flu. The high fever and constant diarrhea eventually led to severe dehydration and a trip to the emergency room.

After I was misdiagnosed at the emergency room and given incorrect medicine, the infection entered my bloodstream.

For almost two months, I had constant agonizing pain, vomiting and diarrhea. I was later correctly diagnosed by an internist. She put me on heavy-dosage antibiotics and gave me a prescription for an anti-nausea drug.

These medicines didn't seem to help; after another week of no improvement, I became so debilitated and exhausted that I felt that I wanted to die.

That day, a friend came over and convinced me to smoke a joint with him. If I could only convey how much better I felt after I smoked it! The pain retreated, the nausea disappeared and for the first time since the beginning of my ordeal, I was able to eat solid food.

Anyone who says that marijuana has no medicinal value is wrong, wrong, wrong. Nothing else I was prescribed during the nightmare I went through even came close to the relief that marijuana offered.

If the people who are saying that marijuana is evil could go through what I went through, they'd realize that marijuana is no more evil than any other plant or herb that grows out of the earth. If they had a family member who was suffering the pain of chemotherapy or a host of other debilitating afflictions, they would be singing a different tune about medical marijuana.

They'd realize that marijuana is a powerful and promising tool in the treatment of chronic pain. It's not evil. What's evil is following the irrational but politically safe path of demonizing a plant that offers so much relief to so many sick and suffering people.

-- Maria

Read the story Bush II: Smells like the '80s! by Carina Chocano

I agree with nearly all your points, but must take exception to the hyphenation of "nut fuck." Nut fuck, whatever it is, is clearly a compound noun, and as such should not be hyphenated, just as you would not hyphenate other compound nouns like White House, Supreme Court, Anthony Scalia, coup d'etat or screw job. I am also confused by the use of the term "stupid cocksucker." Why would anyone denigrate someone performing such a wonderful function in such a nasty, vituperative way? In this regard I would counsel your correspondent to remember the words of Casanova: "Praise the beautiful for their intelligence and the intelligent for their beauty." You wouldn't catch Casanova dissing someone for polishing his knob ...

-- Mark Gisleson

After reading your Cheap Shots piece, I'm struck by the arrogance of your writers. Making fun of grammatical errors in informally written missives is easy to do, but the exercise is pointless and only serves to show how some liberal elitists really do think they are superior. I wonder what would happen if one were to conduct a scientific study of the correlation between literacy and voting preference? I'll bet anybody on your elitist staff a paycheck that the results wouldn't look good for Democrats.

-- C. Kim

Read the column If he don't tip, the dude ain't hip by Amy Reiter

I am shocked -- shocked! -- at your harsh treatment of Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs in today's Nothing Personal.

If you had read yesterday's New York Times, you'd know that the reason the Puffster has to stiff hard-working waitresses is because he's doing what he can to keep his momma flush so that she can buy nearly life-size panther statuary for her drawing room. And stiletto-heeled ankle boots, too. Puffy's a good boy, a real good boy. (Did you think to ask that waitress how long it had been since she's called her mother?) You done him wrong this time, Amy. I weep.

-- Shelley McKinney

One thing to point out: The bailiff caught me and tossed me out while I was trying to whisper it to you, but Puffy's reaction to the Möet was really interesting. When Ms. Caban said that the entourage had been drinking Möet, Puffy turned to Brafman, emphatically shook his head "no" and scoffed, apparently insulted to be known as a Möet drinker! Brafman leaned in and must have reminded Puffy to stay in character, because instantly the high-living, waitress-stiffing Puffy disappeared and the meek, polite and falsely accused man returned. Too late, though -- one of the jurors saw Puffy's obvious horror at being associated with Möet, frowned and looked around to see if the other jurors had noticed. And for what it's worth -- Puffy didn't scoff when the waitress said that she wasn't tipped. I guess for Puffy, stiffing the waitress isn't as insulting as being known as a Möet drinker.

-- Troy [fellow court-goer]

A longtime fan of your Nothing Personal column, I must commend you for bringing Puff the Magic Daddy's lack of tipping to the public eye. The only people he could possibly impress are those with even less class than he has.

I myself was stiffed by a certain David Bowie several years ago. He and his entire entourage drank on the house for a couple of hours at the Chicago nightclub I was tending bar at. Needless to say, they had a grand old time (and I worked my butt off!) but left me not a cent. I'm sure Mr. Bowie (gin and tonics) assumed that someone else was taking care of things. That's how it is when you're royalty, I guess.

-- Thom Ayres

Read the Arnold Schwarzenegger story by Christina Valhouli

I would love to see Mr. Schwarzenegger be a single parent for just one day! What right does he have to give his thoughts on single parenting and to say the things he says? I used to like him, but not anymore. Most of us regular, non-Hollywood people do not choose to be single parents. Do you think we like to be the sole caretaker of the children? Do you think we like to be the sole disciplinarian of the children? How about the sole provider -- financially and emotionally -- do you honestly think us regular people want that on purpose? NOT ME! But sometimes life is not fair, and you have to learn to adjust, to deal with it. Mr. Schwarzenegger, I hope you never know firsthand about single parenting. I love my kids more than anything in the world, but that doesn't mean I would chose single parenting on purpose.

-- Vicky Cramer

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