Laying it on: Thank you for such a well-researched article. What should arrive yesterday, but an annual fund appeal from the MFA ["What's Wrong with This Picture?" by Jennifer Mathieu, January 17]? I typed my response to Mr. Marzio as follows, the first clause repeated from the fund letter: "If creativity is one of the finest attributes of humanity, perhaps your generous board would fund, in the name of creativity, a $3,000 contribution in my name. My husband and I would then be eligible and delighted to attend the special Gallery 2002 April dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Lay. If they're in the country. This country."
Seeking High Office
Up in smoke: Cannabis has no lethal dose, and its pharmacological effects have never caused a single death in over 5,000 years of recorded history ["Grassroots Campaign," by Wendy Grossman, January 10].
The (unseen) driving force against medical (or unrestricted adult) legalization of cannabis is the fact that cannabis can't be patented. This precludes the need for big business to be involved, and that fact makes cannabis commercially unattractive to the pharmaceutical, tobacco and alcohol industries (lobbies). It seems that if it can't be profitized successfully, then the government can't justify legalization even for the sick and dying.
Furthermore, the war on cannabis drives the war on drugs. Without cannabis prohibition, the drug war would be reduced to a pillow fight. This is the politics and the economics of cannabis prohibition.
Maybe the corrupt politicians and media are required to adhere to the party line of cannabis prohibition because law enforcement, customs, the prison and military-industrial complex, the drug-testing industry, the "drug treatment" industry and the politicians can't live without the budget justification, not to mention the invisible profits, bribery, corruption and forfeiture benefits that prohibition affords them.
Myron Von Hollingsworth
Fire + Ice = Folly
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A lesson to stomach: My fiancé and I loved eating at Fire + Ice and found it the perfect mix of fattening food to suit his tastes and healthy food to suit mine ["Too Hot to Handle," by George Alexander, January 10].
Every time we went there, though, we would be one of only two or three couples in the restaurant, be it Friday night or Sunday afternoon. We always thought that next time maybe business would pick up -- it never did. Fire + Ice suffered a slow, painful death.
To charge $15 to $20 for a meal in River Oaks expecting the elite to (gasp) select and "cook" their own food is a concept I never understood, especially considering the restaurant's trendier neighbors. We also never went there without a "buy one get one free" coupon, and suspect that the ready availability of those coupons didn't help business pick up much. I, for one, enjoyed the food and the concept, but it truly was a lesson in how not to open a restaurant in Houston.