Letters To The Editor
From Issue #161
Massad Ayoob's article was prophetic
The article "Defending against terroristic mass murder" in Issue #160 (July/August 2016) by Massad Ayoob was unfortunately all too prophetic. I fear that this type of massacre will increase rather than decrease. I'm glad that I live in a very rural area about 45 miles north of Spokane. Besides having a wonderful lifestyle, we live in as safe a place as one can find.
Several letters were published in the current issue criticizing the article about marijuana. I agree with those who expressed concern about marijuana even though it is legal in Washington. There is so much else that is more important to most readers than promoting drugs of any kind. As a point of interest, however, Stevens County is the poorest county in Washington yet it contributed about $1 million to the state tax roll. It is a very big business.
I just subscribed to Self-Reliance (BHM's sister magazine; see page 2 —Editor) and donated a subscription to someone in need for either magazine. I try to do this once every year or so ...
Improving a rural economy with legalized marijuana
The recent article you ran on the impact of a legalized marijuana industry on a small rural community (Issue #159, May/June 2016) was well-researched and well-written. Claire Wolfe did an excellent job with the article.
The article was especially interesting to me as my farm is within eight miles of the community featured in the article and I have a grandchild in the local school system.
As Claire Wolfe wrote in the article, there have been virtually no negative impacts on the community and many beneficial ones.
Let me state for the record that I am not a marijuana user or grower, and I have no financial interest in the industry. From what I have observed, alcohol abuse has had a far more devastating effect on our community and our young people than marijuana use, and there is no evidence at this point to indicate that that is going to change.
Local police and politicians were at first dubious about allowing the cannabis growing and processing industry into the area, but for the most part they have become enthusiastic about the economic benefits without a negative social impact.
It was saddening to see the negative feedback to the article in the Letters section of your July/August 2016 Issue #160. Multiple letter writers demanded that you submit to their censorship.
There are always people who have nothing better to do than dictate how other people should live, how they should speak, what they should think, and what they should or should not do. People need to lighten up and learn to tolerate a little bit of liberty in our society.
I read your article entitled "Improving a rural economy with legalized marijuana" and found it very interesting. I think more communities would benefit from such forward thinking. Most people don't come unglued when profits are made from tobacco or alcohol, but some do fall apart at the hint of legalizing pot. Believe it or not, there are responsible pot smokers, as there are alcohol and tobacco consumers. As a matter of fact, there is more damage done to society as a whole from irresponsible alcohol and tobacco use than from marijuana use. Pot should be legal across the board and be a controlled substance as are alcohol and tobacco ...
I am so disappointed in Backwoods Home Magazine. After seeing Issue #159 (May/June 2016) and seeing the 12 pages that you devoted to growing/selling pot I am thoroughly disgusted and will never subscribe or buy this magazine again. I seriously doubt that there are many heroin, crack, etc. addicts that didn't start with this happy time "safe" gateway drug.
If you are going to sell it for medicine, then dispense it from a pharmacy and not the local head shop. So many lives have been wasted on this. So many have become parasites on society because suddenly they can't work anymore because they are high all the time. If somebody wants to waste their life being wasted then so be it for them but a lot of hardworking people pay for their permanent party time.
Please CANCEL my subscription immediately and refund my balance and if you can't do that then just throw my issue in the garbage.
I was amazed to read no less than FOUR (!) letters in Issue #160 (July/Aug 2016) ranting about legalized marijuana — one even in ALL CAPS!
Personally, I found your article even-handed and informative. Addiction is a real problem, and I do not deny this — but I also have to wonder if your magazine will receive an equal number of outraged letters about the Issue #160 article on "Simple country wine." After all, (tongue firmly in cheek) alcoholism is a scourge that kills thousands each year ... isn't it?
My own beliefs are fairly Libertarian on this topic: let everyone do as they like, as long as they don't do it in the street and frighten the horses. Let's all throw away those old copies of "Reefer Madness" and replace it with some perspective.
P.S. Do not cancel my subscription.
Nancy M. St. Cry
Deer Park, Washington
Some of the readers seem to fault BHM for the support of legalized marijuana ... BHM did not legalize the product, all they did was have an article explaining pros and cons! To the readers that don't believe in legal marijuana, write to the state of Washington. The belief of your selfish mentality will only breed a frame of mind that'll never advance with a 2016 society. If pot is that bad in your itty-bitty world, write the legislature, not BHM ...
... Please don't trick yourself into thinking that by canceling a great magazine, you'll save society. Wake up!
I didn't subscribe to BHM to read an 11-page article on growing marijuana. Print many more of those and you can cancel my subscription. I didn't know this mag was going "hippie" style.
Cedar City, Utah
Regarding Issue #159 (May/June 2016): I greatly appreciate your article on the support of marijuana cultivation. Exactly what I have come to expect from such a fine publication. I was dismayed but not entirely surprised to read the letters to the editor that complained. There were four letters against the article. Bravo for printing them, every voice needs to be heard. I noticed no pro letters. Here is mine.
I respect everyone's opinion. I too understand how difficult it is to reconcile that our government has lied to its citizens about the dangers of drugs in general but especially about marijuana for over 100 years. One reader writes, "Just because something is legal, does not make it right." The opposite is often truer. Just because something may be controlled by law or illegal does not make it wrong! The greater harm from marijuana has always been found in its prohibition and from the misdirected war on drugs than from actual use. Keep printing the truth for your readers to make their own informed choices.
If we have been lied to about this, what else has our Government lied to us about?
A. Peter Bingham
Camp Douglas, Wisconsin
Finding an article about marijuana in a homestead magazine is a real turn-off. And the amount of pages you devoted to the article could have been much wisely used with an article on goats, chickens, or something REALLY pertaining to the homestead. I doubt very much whether I will renew this magazine. Not exactly what I had in mind when I subscribed to a HOMESTEAD magazine. Maybe you think it's wise to have farmers and homesteaders high instead of tending to the animals? Why in the world did you print such an article?
PJ and I were in our sixties when we met — both of us probably wary of a new relationship — but it was close to love at first sight.
PJ had worked as a legal secretary in L.A. for years and had managed to save enough money to buy 40 acres (with a stream running through it) in extreme northern California near Alturas. She faithfully read your magazine over the years, daydreaming, and started acquiring some of the "backwoods home" hardware she would need for those acres upon retirement, which came in 2008.
We had an idyllic couple of years at our backwoods home — sharing the place with goats, chickens, cats, skunks, raccoons, and the occasional mountain lion. Reading your magazine over the years had provided PJ with a good basic foundation for country life and she was prepared to meet just about any challenge. Life was joyful and invigorating and there were lots of smiles and good friends.
But something wasn't quite right. PJ, previously sharp as a tack and in better physical shape than many people half her age, was slipping away bit by bit, and it took a couple of years for her condition to be finally diagnosed as "progressive supranuclear palsy."
She became severely wheelchair-bound soon after diagnosis and her weight gradually dropped from a fit 125 pounds to less than 80.
PJ was angry at this terrible malady which was taking over her, but I never heard her crying in self-pity or asking "Why me?"
She had a strength of character which handled it better than I did, and her heart was still full of dreams right up to her final days. I will miss this beautiful woman forever.
I have gotten Backwoods for several years and when you came out with Growing and Canning Your Own Food, I bought it and love it. I have misplaced mine so I am ordering another one. I tell people that you know how to even can dirt!
For those who are interested in buying Growing and Canning Your Own Food, see the ad on this page. —Jessie