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ELDER ABUSE

RE: One Day at a Time, Ann Romano’s gossip and news column. In last week’s column, Ann made fun of Joe Biden (age 75) and Donald Trump (age 71) for threatening each other in a fistfight (“First of all,” Ann wrote, “both of you need to take your gout medication”), and used the phrase “Today in ‘Hurry up and die, old people’” in a blurb about how America’s teenagers are doing more for gun control than America’s adults have done in decades.

I was saddened but not surprised to read Ann Romano taking shots at those older than her. Joe Biden has gout. “Hurry up and die, old people.” I recently experienced ageism in my last relationship, when I was told to “act my age” (49) after a night of shots with my 30-something friends, and was also excoriated for eating so much fiber because, as my partner told her son, “Old people can’t use the bathroom like the rest of us.”

It’s sad to think that in an age where we can no longer make fun of one’s race, sexual preference, or gender that age discrimination is alive and well. I only hope that I live long enough to empty my future self’s colostomy bag onto Mrs. Romano’s wheelchair.

J. Cohen


SHOP, DON’T ADOPT

RE: “Your French Bulldog Is an Abomination” [Blogtown, March 30]. “French bulldogs are poor, wretched, flat-faced creatures whose short muzzles make them born to suffocate,” wrote Katie Herzog. “Frenchies, as every one of their owners refer to them,” she added, “may look cute in sweaters,” but they “just should not exist.”

I’m not a Frenchie owner. I am, however, a dog fancier and a proud owner of a purebred dog. I believe in breeders who work tirelessly to improve the health, temperament, and history of purebred dogs. As such, I made sure that my own dog was purchased from a responsible, reputable breeder.

I don’t deny that Frenchies are prone to health problems. But what your article failed to address is that you can mitigate these with information, science, and the hard work of preservation breeders. What’s truly “abominable” is people who purchase dogs without doing the proper research first.

Grace Zaikoski


WE MESSED UP

RE: “Secondhand Smoke and Mirrors” [Cannabuzz, March 28], Josh Jardine’s piece about cannabis studies conducted by Dr. Matthew L. Springer of the University of California, San Francisco. The story contained major errors, and has been significantly revised online; the Mercury deeply regrets the errors, and thanks Dr. Springer for providing correct information.

The article by Josh Jardine included some incorrect information that I would like to clarify.

First, the article incorrectly stated that we exposed rats to the diluted smoke for 30 minutes. In fact, we exposed the rats for one minute. Vascular function was just beginning to return at 90 minutes after the end of exposure.

Second, these experiments did not model active smoking. We were modeling exposure to secondhand smoke, as if you were in a party or at a concert, or some other gathering, where people are smoking marijuana, where you would be inhaling low-level smoke for easily longer than one minute. Importantly, this is also relevant to people who don’t smoke tobacco in their home around their kids, but assume that it is okay to smoke marijuana around them.

I agree with his point about the headlines appearing that “marijuana smoke is three times worse than tobacco smoke.” We never said that, and I have been attempting to get some of these headlines modified.

Lastly, regarding the quality of government-approved weed, it’s true that it has lower THC content than what people are typically smoking, and there have been some problems reported with mold, but our samples did not show signs of mold. The lower THC level is unlikely to have made a difference; we showed that the problem is caused by smoke from tobacco, from marijuana with these admittedly low levels of THC, and marijuana in which all cannabinoids were removed; that is, it is a result of smoke exposure, regardless of the source.

Matthew L. Springer, Ph.D.
Professor of Medicine
University of California, San Francisco


THANKS AGAIN, Dr. Springer, for correcting our embarrassing mistakes—and though it’s cold comfort after a screw-up this big, we’re giving you the Mercury’s letter of the week, plus two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater to use next time you’re in Portland. We’ll get you some higher-quality weed, too.