Right from wrong: The article ("Homefryin' with Fred Baron") published last week has so many false statements that I can't respond to them all in 300 words or less. But an example is illustrative. The Observer trusted information delivered by Ken Treuter. Yet, only six years ago, the Dallas Observer discredited Treuter in a separate story involving a criminal lawyer and alleged courthouse corruption. In the Observer's words: "Credibility...is not Treuter's strong suit." There are many other errors in this 4,000-word fiction, but the foregoing demonstrates that accurate reporting is not high on the Observer's priority list.
For the readers, please see our "advertorial" in this week's edition of the newspaper. (It's on page 8). You understand that the media, especially now, get it wrong...really wrong. They would rather "get the story" than "get it right."
If you have any questions or share our sense of alarm about the "story" published last week in Dallas' alternative newspaper, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our phone number is (214) 521-3605.
Frederick M. Baron
Baron & Budd
In memoriam: In response to a story printed in your publication the week of March 1 ("Forget Me Not"), I want to thank and acknowledge two men. Jim Parsons stepped out of his comfort zone, spoke out and is now committed to being actively involved in obtaining justice in reference to a crime that was perpetrated against Harrison Ocie Jones. [Staff writer] Charles Siderius obtained evidence, attempted to understand the rules of the criminal justice system and reported his findings. As a niece of the deceased Harrison O. Jones, in my attempt to say thanks for bringing to light one of the traumas my family experienced, I am filled with a range of emotions. I have a newfound respect for my family for their ability to endure extreme measures in an attempt to provide for the safety of the family.
I have often spoken of my concerns for my mother and her sisters as they have been traumatized by the conditions they suffered as children. None of them are able to recall happy times as children growing up in Ladonia, Texas. As this story unfolded, Harrison Weldon Jones, Harrison Ocie Jones' son, and I spoke with several of our aunts. They remain fearful and often reply they cannot remember what happened. As I read sections of the article to my mother, she listened intently. Being a woman of few words, her silence was not surprising. I informed her that the secret was out, printed in a major newspaper. She finally breathed a sigh of relief and spoke about the incident. She also spoke of other terrifying experiences her family endured over the years. My sister and I listened in disbelief. My sister, being much younger than me, asked our mother about police protection. Another silence fell over the room. My mother and I know 50 years ago, law enforcement often sanctioned such crimes against citizens. For a few minutes, my sister was able to experience a loving mother who suffered in silence to protect her family.
Forget me not. Harrison Ocie Jones' family almost forgot him out of fear of repercussions. As citizens, do we remain silent and wait for a crime to occur against us, then expect justice?
Thank you once again to Jim Parsons and Charles Siderius. I will not forget you.
Our pleasure: I would like to express my deepest thanks to the Dallas Observer and Mark Donald for the extremely well-written and unbiased portrait of the fight for medicinal marijuana (and eventually legalization) detailed in the article "Joint Effort" (March 22).
It is not just a fight for our personal freedom but for the alleviation of suffering and an end to the persecution of the innocent in this great but faulted country of ours. Your article has surely opened many eyes to the struggle of people who live in debilitating conditions and are denied what in many cases is the best and most sound medical option they have, marijuana.
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In place of marijuana, legal alternatives are offered that many times prove much more destructive to the patient in the long run. A recent study printed by the New England Journal of Medicine detailed that legally prescribed medications kill 106,000 Americans every year, 20 times the number that illegal street drugs do. In many of these cases, marijuana may have been a much safer alternative to the legal medicines prescribed.
As well as the suffering of medical patients, there lies the inherent suffering of innocent people unfairly demonized in this failed "war on drugs."
The persecution of this plant does not stem from scientific studies detailing its detrimental effects or from arguable evidence to its inherently "bad" nature. It's persecution lies solely in the interests of politics and big businesses, such as petroleum and lumber companies that, if faced with the competition of the much more available hemp, would be quickly bankrupted--thus the persecution of hemp, and consequently, marijuana. This Gestapo-like persecution will continue unless the general public is made aware of the real facts pertaining to marijuana and its uses. Due to blatant lying on the part of the government and the never-ending pockets of big business, a great injustice has taken place and only now, slowly, are people beginning to see the light.