DEAR ELLEN FORNEY: My students have recently completed their letters to you. As a class, we strongly believe in the core principles of the freedoms of speech and press. The sixth-grade students in room 9 at Bow Lake Elementary value those freedoms. At the same time, we also value productive freedom of press and speech. We ask our children to steer away from things like drugs, alcohol, and other choices that lead to negative experiences. So why, then, do adults write articles ["How D'ya Smoke Pot and Stay Out of Jail??" comic by Ellen Forney, Sept 27] informing people how to use drugs without getting caught? My students and I just couldn't figure out why someone would write an article supporting the use of illegal drugs.
We all know that many are already addicted to alcohol, prescription medications, and illegal drugs. Plenty of others are fighting other addictions, to alcohol and other drugs.
So why encourage the use of pot, Ellen? We just didn't think it was a productive use of free speech and press. We think it's not responsible to write articles encouraging folks to use pot and get away with it.
Jason J. Dodge, teacher of the wonderful kids in room 9 at Bow Lake Elementary School, SeaTac
[Ed. note: We were unable to print all of the students' letters due to space constraints.]
DEAR ELLEN FORNEY: What is your purpose? Are you trying to make people get addicted to smoking so that they can get addicted and later on "die"! I think that you should stop writing such nonsense. I don't think you would want to ruin the next generation's kids. If you wrote this in a different country, you would get your hands cut off and be sent to jail forever.
A Concerned Sixth-Grader
IF YOU KEEP writing this article lots of people will get addicted to drugs. Lots of kids like looking at comics and if you keep writing this article kids will use drugs too. If you don't stop we will have to write to you again.
Ken, a Sixth-Grader
MY TEACHER HAS brought in a newspaper a couple weeks ago. I don't think it is appropriate to help people who smoke pot to get away with it. If you keep writing articles like that the people who smoke pot will start to increase just by your unacceptable article. I don't think you should do this again.
WHY IN THE FIRST place are you writing an article "How to Smoke Pot and Get Away With It." That is so stupid. I'm not trying to be rude.
WHAT WERE YOU thinking? I mean, it's bad enough that so many people do drugs in America but you are encouraging it! You know that kids love to read comics and I don't think that you should have the right to freedom of the press you should have the right to remain silent in this instance. No offense.
I FELT VERY worried. When I saw your article on how to smoke pot and get away with it. Like when you smoke it in the backyard and leave the door closed. When the house reek of pot. I am a sixth grader and I do not want to grow up and smoke pot.
IF KIDS START reading this and think drugs are cool they'll start doing drugs and get into a lot of trouble and it'll be all your fault. You don't even care about peoples futures. You're just a cruel person. Just stop writing this stuff please. That's all I'm asking for.
Marjot KharbandaP.S. My last name is an Indian name.
DEAR EDITOR OF THE STRANGER: Not trying to be mean, but writing that article was a big mistake and kids might read that and smoke pot. Well here's a idea why don't [you] write a different nice interesting article and when they read it they forget all about smoking pot.
IT'S BAD ENOUGH that people in the world already smoke drugs, and now a lot of people will start doing drugs now that they can get away with it. I mean if you had a child in 6th grade, and you send him/her to get a newspaper and finds the article you wrote. Don't you think it would change his opinion on drugs.
You know what would have been better than writing how to smoke drugs and get away with it. Would be, if you wrote how to tell if your friends, families, etc. were doing drugs. I'm not trying to be rude, but maybe you could write something to tell people that they shouldn't listen to your article. You don't have to if you don't want to it's just a suggestion. And I'm not saying your a bad writer or that you don't care about anyone but yourself, it's just what you wrote.
YOU SEEM TO be a creative person, but you should put your creativeness for better use than one for people encouraging them to do drugs. I hope that it will make [you] think about what your writing about, if not you will hear from me again.
The Next Generation, Esayas
DO YOU KNOW that drugs can take away 20 or 30 years of your life. Also they can kill you or can become high and drive and kill other people, and they can become addicted.
I hope that you didn't give that to a young teenager because I see kids that are only in middle school and they are smoking. I am not going to write any more because I'm so disgusted. What were you thinking?
NicoleP.S. We are way smarter then you think we are.
DEAR ELLEN: I am going to break it down to you right quick, and tell you what I think. I think it is a poor use of your god given talent to write. Yesterday, I saw a paper that said that Whitney Houston was dying because of drug use. Her husband Bobby Brown is messed up too. Jason Williams for the Vancouver Grizzlies (NBA) got kicked out of college for possession of Marijuana. Now your add is shattering young generations dreams of becoming a football, basketball, soccer, rugby, secretary, poet, actor/actress, singer, dancer, or even "the president of the United States," but they started to use drugs and they got messed and now we can see them on the streets smoking pot, but they could of made something of themself, but they got messed up.
Future Football Star
YOUR MESSAGE WAS unclear because I was concerned. Your message was fuzzy and I think it wasn't nice. You see, other people probably are concerned, I hope, about your article. I hope others write to you that they are concerned about your writing.
A Concerned StudentWHAT IS YOUR purpose of writing this? I think about this article that is bad because it is helping people how to pot smoke but I think it's bad to pot smoke. When you read this letter I hope you stop writing articles that we don't have to read to that helps you get away and did you ever think that some kids like to look around the newspaper or read articles like comics or something else. I'm think that you know parents care for their children but you just wanted to write something good but it wasn't good. So when you read this I hope you stop writing bad article that can help people to get away from something.
Josh, a Sixth-Grader
YOU HAVE FREEDOM of press but this article went too far.
We both know at least 26 people who don't think that this article is funny. In fact we bet that only a small percentage of people think the article is even funny. Another fact is that we despise this article. Basically we want to know why you let this article get printed in the first place. Please write back?
ELLEN FORNEY RESPONDS: KIDS--Thanks for your letters. I agree. Marijuana is not for kids. JASON--What were you thinking, bringing my comic into your classroom? It was intended for adults, and published in a paper for adults. Millions of tax-paying, flag-waving citizens enjoy a joint now and then, many find pot's medicinal qualities invaluable, and many fight hard for its legalization. www.NORML.org has plenty of information on their site; check it out.
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
In our November 8 issue, the photo for "Domestic Front" by Amy Jenniges was taken by Fel Pajimula. And in our November 10 issue, the photo of the Paradox Theater in the Club Directory was taken by Annie Marie Musselman. We regret both photo credit errors.