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Reefer Madness, 1994

March 20, 1994

So the Orwellian-monikered Freedom Alliance wants Sony to stop distributing Cypress Hill's recordings because the racially mixed rappers are exercising their First Amendment freedoms to advocate the legalization of marijuana (Pop Eye, March 6).

Just who is kidding whom? If these people are so concerned about freedom, then why do they want to take away the freedom of Cypress Hill to speak, create and make a living, just because they dare to question the orthodoxy that government and law enforcement have established on the drug issue?

While I do not share Cypress Hill's views that everyone should smoke pot, the group has just as much right to say them as preachers who say that everyone should accept the literal truth of the Bible, for example. By the very nature of its ethnic makeup (Cuban, Chicano and white) and through its raps, the group discourages the sort of divisive racism that left much of this city in flames two years ago.

If Cliff Kincaid of the Freedom Alliance cared about real freedom, he would be commending rather than attacking Cypress Hill, just on the grounds of being against racism and the destructive war on drugs that has cost too much in crime, dollars and--indeed--freedom.

MICHAEL SNIDER

Rancho Park

*

Regarding Chris Willman's negative review of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' video "Mary Jane's Last Dance" (Sound & Vision, Feb. 20), I believe he missed the point.

The surface images of necrophilia may be creepy, but they are metaphors for the story of a marijuana addict who outgrows the habit. He returns to "Mary Jane" for one last dance to "kill the pain," but it no longer works. The effort is futile, much like trying to re-create the romance with a dead date. It only tires him out, so he finally releases his hold on Mary Jane (as he releases Kim Basinger into the ocean).

A '70s rocker has entered the 12-step '90s, and his healthy message should be noted.

BRIAN A. ROSS

Encino

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