As for my HIV, with clean living and modern medical care, I'm told that I may never get full-blown AIDS and that I can lead a nearly normal life. I'm hoping for the best.

I came from a good family, got a good education, and simply got involved with the wrong crowd at my first job after college. What you said is true: This isn't just a drug for trailer trash and bikers; it affects young people of all races from all levels of society.

I just wanted to write in and thank you for devoting your publication to the meth issue. I think many in the sober world will read your articles and understand for the first time that some other approach than jail must be employed to cure the meth epidemic. I'm not saying that I didn't deserve jail; it just didn't get me clean. I was able to score meth in jail, and as soon as I got out, I went back to the life full-time.
Name withheld by request

The "good" meth users: Your stories have made it seem that everybody who does meth will wind up in prison, or worse. That just isn't true! There are minor recreational methamphetamine users, just like there are minor recreational marijuana users.

Would anybody out there seriously contend that pot will make every user go to a life of crime to support his habit? Well, the uninitiated would, but nobody knowledgeable about drugs would.

I'll grant that there are more sad stories when meth is involved -- more people with fucked-up lives -- but by no means does everybody who uses meth turn out badly. Everybody doesn't have an addictive personality.

I, for one, have been able to use meth occasionally and not become addicted. I am a college graduate with a good job, who just happens to enjoy meth once in a while.

You can't paint everybody with the same broad stroke.

All that said, I still think your meth stories have been good at explaining what users go through in society.
Name withheld by request

Pat Us on the Back

Slathering praise: Stephen Lemons is a natural comic. I love the masterful way he weaves relatively esoteric pop culture references with dashes of French phrases and then follows through with the news event of the day. Trust me when I say I'll dutifully continue to slather praise about his cafe pieces all over town to my sycophantic best.

Also, the "Critical Fatwa" music column in New Times is a complete riot. The Ayatollah of Rock has drawn the attention of all [who're] juvenile, puerile and base! It is written . . .
Benjamin Golshahr, Phoenix

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