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The U.S. is one of the few countries in the world that deny farmers the right to grow industrial hemp [Matt Coker's “A Friend in Weed,” Nov. 3]. Apparently government bureaucrats in Washington can't tell the difference between a tall hemp stalk and a short marijuana bush. Prior to the passage of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, few Americans had heard of marijuana, despite widespread cultivation of its non-intoxicating cousin, industrial hemp. The first anti-marijuana laws were enacted in response to Mexican migration during the early 1900s, despite opposition from the American Medical Association. Dire warnings that marijuana inspires homicidal rages have been counterproductive at best. White Americans did not even begin to smoke marijuana until a soon-to-be entrenched government bureaucracy began funding reefer madness propaganda. By raiding voter-approved medical marijuana providers in California, the very same federal Drug Enforcement Administration that claims illicit drug use funds terrorism is forcing cancer and AIDS patients into the hands of street dealers. Apparently marijuana prohibition is more important than protecting the country from terrorism.
Robert Sharpe, MPA
Policy Analyst, Common Sense for Drug Policy
Washington, DC

[Re: Nick Schou's “You Can't Call 911 When You're Dead,” Nov. 23]: The other day I was talking to one of my patients who had fairly severe ADHD. I said, “Do you have any siblings?” He replied, “I have a brother who's in prison for life.” “Why?” I asked. “Because he killed both our parents,” he stated. I was not surprised by his response. One approach to dealing with ADHD is from the direction that it is a hormonal disruption. In my medical practice I have had significant success in dealing with this disorder by re-balancing certain hormones. There is only one hormone that can create the kind of rage this young man has—namely, adrenaline. Adrenaline, also known as the “fight-or-flight” hormone, is entirely capable of creating the type of anger expressed by Laurel Williams' son. If her son is willing to do so, it may be fairly simple to eradicate most of his anger in a very short period of time without resorting to synthetic medications.
Michael E. Platt, M.D.
Palm Desert

I started off by reading the comments other angry people left and then I read the article [Vickie Chang's “Yellow Fever,” Nov. 3]. People need to stop being so politically correct and sensitive! I'm a Mexican-Iranian girl who's dated mostly white boys. I recently dated a black-Mexican guy . . . and I loved it! We've all heard, “Once you go black, you never go back.” Well I'm proud to say, I'm now into ethnic boys. I've dated another black guy since, and even Latino boys. I do find a difference between ethnic boys and white fellas. So what! I've also dated guys who are more attracted to Latinas, which was why they came to me. I really don't mind though, it's kind of cute!
Via e-mail

What struck me about your article was the extent to which your description of “Asiaphiles” brought to mind so-called “tranny chasers” (“transphiles”) [Vickie Chang's “Yellow Fever,” Nov. 3]. I think the “preferences” of both types of men can be traced back to a similar cause: the misrepresentation, objectification, and sexualization of both trans-women and women of Asian descent in the media and the underlying cultural attitudes which those portrayals represent. And there is an interesting intersection which I've noted here. I've heard people say something along the lines of, “Asian transsexuals tend to be much prettier, probably because Asian men look more like girls.” Not only would this likely be insulting to many non-trans men of Asian descent, it's also extremely insulting and hurtful to me and other non-Asian transsexuals! I'm pretty and don't look anything like a boy but statements like that make me feel like an ugly linebacker. Being in a relationship with “Asiaphiles” or “transphiles” is always an extremely painful and demeaning experience. Nothing hurts like finding out that the man who you thought was interested in you as a person is actually in love with the constructed image of you. I do have one qualm with your article, however: the use of the word trannies. While it probably didn't seem to you like it would be a big deal, it's no less dehumanizing than the words “faggot” or “dyke” or a racist epithet.
Megan Julca
Via e-mail

I'm so sorry you were bored in the Tridentine Mass [Gustavo Arellano's “Gloria in Exclusion Deo,” Oct. 13]. I'm bored in Bishop Brown's chintzy rock band Masses with aging hippies doing modern dance in the aisles. I prefer the rite that Catholics celebrated for over a millennium (until 1962). St. Francis, Michelangelo, Flannery O'Connor, Evelyn Waugh, Thomas Merton, Knute Rockne, Titian, G.K Chesterton, and JRR Tolkein all found the Mass anything but boring. By the way, there's this one thing that is largely based on the Tridentine Mass. You should check it out. It's called “Western culture.” Maybe you've heard of it.
Aaron Gigliotti
Via e-mail

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