RE: "You Have to Come Out of the Pot Closet" [Feature, April 20], in which David Schmader examined how those who use cannabis can change outdated opinions about the drug. "If you are someone who appreciates marijuana, either as medicine or diversion or both, come out," Schmader encouraged. "You don't need to become a spokesmodel for weed, but stop treating your weed-based pleasure as a source of shame, which only props up the pot-vilifiying status quo."

Well, a lot of the people getting medical marijuana all those years just wanted to get high. Not all, by any means, but many. And everybody knew it.

posted by Todd Mecklem

Todd Mecklem, cannabis makes you laugh, relax, unfold, put things in perspective, and, believe it or not, it motivates (with the correct strain). That's pretty much the best medicine one could get. It's preventative!

Posted by Durango Artisinal Tours

It's more of a pot walk-in humidor.

Posted by jonesrich


RE: "Jessie Sponberg Will Win the Mayor's Race Easily—If It's Decided by Good Hip-Hop Tracks" [Blogtown, April 21]. "One candidate in Portland's mayoral race has by far the freshest theme song," Dirk VanderHart wrote, posting Sponberg's music video. "It's good, replete with many of the topics Sponberg has raised, well produced, and lyrically solid, with contributions from Al-One the Remedy, MY-G, Prologic, and Brown Caesar."

Maybe the candidates should have a rap battle royale. How about under the Morrison Bridge this weekend?

posted by FYI


RE: "The City's Getting Sued Over Its New Homeless Camping Policies" [Blogtown, April 20]. "In a suit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court," Dirk VanderHart reported, "the Portland Business Alliance, Overlook Neighborhood Association, Central Eastside Industrial Council, and others have asked a judge to end [Mayor Charlie] Hales' new policies.... In a city with thousands more homeless people than there are corresponding social services resources, these groups—calling themselves 'Safe and Liveable Portland' and hiring a PR outfit to shine up their effort—say Hales' approach is 'misguided' and 'irrational.'"

I have been working downtown for several years, and I think things are better now than they have been. Admittedly, we are getting warm earlier in the year, but the number of human feces I am stepping over has dwindled to almost zero. The number of homeless I see has dropped, and the number of people getting the help they need seems to have gone up. I talk with friends who work in the homeless community and do social work and they all think things are getting better.

posted by velvetackbar

Velvet, the reason you haven't been seeing them is that the city has pushed them out to the Springwater Trail. It has been ruined, but the city doesn't care. Residents in Southeast and Gresham are sick of it. That's why the suit was filed.

From '80 to '05 I worked in a field where I routinely came in contact with the homeless. Prior to that, I grew up (in the '60s) being babysat after school at my parents' cleaning shop at 18th and W Burnside. I can tell you that the homeless situation in PDX is the worst it's been in 45 years.

posted by Jarhead

I think the lawsuit might have less teeth if the city had enacted the bullet points under the section "Organized, City Sanctioned Camping"—a code of conduct enforced by a city-selected camp host, presumably as part of having "a clear expectation of what will and will not be allowed by the city." The Springwater Corridor Camp, as far as I know, has no such city liaison and no such code of conduct.

posted by Sok


RE: "The Weed Issue" [Feature, April 20].

It's fascinating to read this issue and see how far we have evolved. In 1970, I had a felony arrest in Portland for having a joint in my pocket. I could have received multiple years in prison, but was acquitted. In Texas at the time, people were getting 15 to 25 years. Evolution!

Paul Williams

Paul, your much-needed reminder that things DO get better has won you the Mercury's letter of the week! Enjoy your two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater, where you can enjoy a beer AND eat pizza WHILE you watch a movie. Evolution!