Illustration by Jess Smart Smiley


RE: "Garth Brooks at the Moda Center, Sun April 12, 2015" [Blogtown, April 13], in which author Robert Ham reports on the country star's first (of five) recent performances in Portland.

Great review, well written and concise! Wish I had been there! Proud of my son, Robert Ham!

Carol Ham


RE: The Mercury Cannabis Issue [April 15].

HEY THERE—Thanks for a great 4/20 issue. There were many highlights—I particularly loved the long music reviews of the best albums ["Roll Another Number"]. On the downside, you're playing toward the "let's get wasted and stupid" side of things rather than the "let's get creative and think great thoughts" side of things. There are a thousand ways to use this medicine and I look forward to more lively discussions as we tread a new trail and marijuana replaces alcohol as the national pastime.

Albert Kaufman

DEAR DIRK VANDERHART—Hey youngster, Oregon may have "been penalizing its citizens for using pot for 80 years" ["Crystal Ball, Purple Haze"], but it was the first state in these otherwise great United States to decriminalize simple marijuana possession, making it a citation rather than an arrestable offense. Along with the easy route to voter initiatives, all beaches being deemed public, and legal hitchhiking on the interstates, these were, along with my admiration for Oregon author Ken Kesey, what brought this boomer out to Oregon. Long before Portland was cool, Oregon was cool.

 Brian A. Cobb

I am neither a Mercury reader nor a pot smoker, but when I did indulge in the leaf back in the old days my favorite album to listen to was Jethro Tull's Thick as a Brick ["Roll Another Number"]. It is essentially one whole song with the same musical theme appearing throughout the album. I don't know why that was so appealing to a stoned listener, but it was.

posted by Jack O'malley

One more essential album ["Roll Away the Stone"]: A Child's Garden of Grass: A Pre-Legalization Comedy. Back in 1971 when this album was released, who could dream that someday we would hear this question at our local over-the-counter store: "Flip top, flat box, soft pack, or bulk?" [It's] from one of the many funny sketches that permeate this gem that flew under the radar for decades...

posted by Al Zayha

There are some stellar albums on this list ["Roll Away the Stone"]. I would add: DJ Shadow, Preemptive Strike; Ween, The Mollusk; Johnny Cash, American Recordings; Novadriver, Void.

posted by Chumpteddy


RE: "Drunk on Power?" [News, April 15], regarding instances of overstepping on the part of Oregon Liquor Control Commission officers, including following a young woman walking home at night.

Says [Representative Ann] Lininger [D-Lake Oswego], "Nobody wants young people getting scared and intimidated by authority." I couldn't help but shake my head and laugh at this either incredibly naïve or patronizingly cynical response to this issue. Scaring and intimidating go hand in hand with authority figures in most people's minds for damn good reason. The two assholes responsible for harassing this young girl should have been held accountable somehow—maybe by firing them... out of a cannon.



RE: "Pushing for a Pipeline" [News, April 15], regarding attempts to locate a propane fuel facility at the Port of Portland's Terminal 6.

Wind and solar power could easily supply our power needs, but that won't happen unless we invest in renewable resources and building that infrastructure. Those kinds of investments certainly aren't going to be made by energy companies when we give them the green light to continue to profit on fossil fuels. That's just common sense. The last grasp for more profit with these dirty choices at a time when we are facing global climate crises is despicable.

posted by Amaya Sita Kalki

DESPICABLE INDEED, Amaya! All the more reason to enjoy life as we know it while we can, by using your two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater for winning this week's Mercury letter of the week! (Doomsday films are also frequently available.)


In the article "Bang a Bong" [Cannabis Issue, April 15], we incorrectly listed the price of a Rooster Apparatus. The model featured actually retails for $325. We regret the error.