Regarding Nina Hoffmann’s cover story about the war on weed:
I just finished reading your story and I am reminded of a problem that I see as an inefficient and ineffective use of law enforcement and MY TAX DOLLARS. While fining people $200 is better than locking them up is that even cost effective? How much is spent to operate this process? I understand that having members of our society addicted to drugs is not a good thing and sometimes this leads to crimes other than buying or selling illegal substances. I personally am for legalization—the U.S. needs more industry and more tax revenue, that’s for certain. I cannot claim that I know what the answers are, I haven’t studied the best practices and what is happening in other countries or states. I just know that it is my opinion that what we are doing is not working and it is disproportionately affecting young, black people who also suffer from poor education and lack of job opportunities.
LORI OLK via email
Great job with the cover story. I enjoyed it very much and have passed it on to others. The most engaging and well-written article Philadelphia Weekly ’s done all year. On a whole, PW has really stepped it up this year. I used to only read it if I passed a yellow box and was catching the 21 (it can be a long ride from Center City to West Philly). But now I look forward to each new issue. I’ll be sure to look for your future articles.
GARY LIME via email
As a member of N.O.R.M.L. and a firm believer in legalization I have to say to all the potheads out there: Your public tokings are ruining any chance of legalization. The public doesn’t care when it’s done in private. As the article should have told you, it’s not a black problem it’s a dumb-ass pothead issue. I’ve smoked freely in private for over 20 years as a stoner who respects the fact that what the public doesn’t know it doesn’t perceive as a threat. Your public displays are not cool it just shows how stupid you are, take it inside and we can all smoke legally a lot sooner!
MILO CRONOS via philadelphiaweekly.com
Regarding Michael Alan Goldberg’s recent story about required religious reading in an English course at CCP:
Nice piece on the situation at CCP. I found your piece very even handed and objective. What shocked me about this piece was not so much the books or the proselytizing, but the presence of Ellen Levinson. I am a freshman writing teacher here in the area, and I cannot express how offensive it is that a mother should dabble in her daughter’s class. It has always been my understanding that a teacher cannot violate the privacy of an adult student by discussing classroom issues with parents, and Giddle should have kept the mother out of the dialogue. To be honest, if the student is a 23 year-old freshman, I question her side of the story. I feel like there is an underlying story here about post-adolescent syndrome and the over-involvement of parents. There are very clear and simple avenues for students to take in these types of situations. The student should go to the director, and the director can mediate between the two. If the teacher continues to proselytize, then there is a problem that involves the student, college and director. In that case, the parent is more than within her rights to tell her daughter to contact the ACLU, or inspire her from the sidelines, but frantic mothers running onto the field does nothing but hinder our educational system.
TOM FITTS via email
The most hilarious part for me is when the professor offered Jubilee as a substitute for Gianna , when this is perhaps the type of real literature she should have been teaching in the first place!
MEGHAN DONNELLY via philadelphiaweekly.com
Although remedial, this was an English class. Even at a high-school level, English classes normally teach literature and critical thinking. There is a huge amount of bona fide literature suitable for students who need help with reading and writing. This is not a case where the only choices are the Iliad or religious/self-help claptrap.
The CCP administration has been negligent in allowing this situation to exist. It’s not about academic freedom (unless one believes that instructors in the Biology department should be able to teach creationism if they fancy it). This concerns an educational mission at a public institution. Ms. Levinson should not be put in a coercive situation (the instructor holds the power of grading) or forced to transfer to a different section.
GERVASIA via philadelphiaweekly.com
Savage Love: Sondheim is solace