Legalize it

Letters to the Boston editor, January 21, 2011
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  January 19, 2011

The next item on the civil-rights agenda should be medicinal cannabis, which is still not legal in the majority of states because of old, outdated dogma (see “Mass Pot Reform Blazes Up”). Medicinal cannabis is effective in a wide variety of conditions ranging from glaucoma to pain, to muscle spasms to nausea of chemotherapy. Cannabis lacks a documented physical withdrawal syndrome, and the so-called gateway-drug theory is invalid and was recently called “half-baked” by a scientific study. Medicinal-cannabis reform is not even a “partisan” issue, as the brave citizens of Arizona showed us by legalizing medicinal cannabis in their rather conservative state.

Cannabis prohibition is doing more harm than many people realize, as it encourages young people to indulge in experimentation with dangerous substances such as alcohol, opiate pain pills, cocaine, amphetamines, or heroin because those substances, dangerous as they are, are cleared faster from one’s system, and are not as likely to be detected on a random drug screen. When medicinal cannabis is fully accepted and widely used, we will be pleasantly surprised at how prescription drug abuse goes down. I really believe that all the fear mongering should be rejected, and cannabis should be legalized in all 50 states as soon as possible.

Leonard Krivitsky, MD

Swan song
Regarding your recent “A Dance Critic Takes on Black Swan,” I thought we’d put to rest the myth that artists can only succeed through self-destruction, a myth that’s all the more destructive when joined to another myth: that women can only succeed through tapping their sexuality, which will also prove to be their undoing. Women, apparently, can only triumph when they give up some essential piece of their humanity (or, in this case, their lives). And while I’m all about accepting the fantastical nature of this story, and the surrealism and all that blather, I could not suspend my disbelief for long enough to accept the fact that apparently Nina dances not one but two acts of Swan Lake with a piece of glass embedded in her belly.

Deborah Quinn
New York

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