This letter is a response to one that her parents had sent her; apparently they had included a newspaper article, which I think may have been Frances Spatz Leighton’s sensationalized anti-marijuana article “The Thrill-Seekers,” which was published in several major newspapers on August 22, 1965.
I found the article at newspapers.com and saved it for posterity. Heady stuff. Sample anecdote: “In another case, a pot-crazed boy—three reefers—bit the neck of a stranger on the street.” The article ends with this: “It would be dangerous and foolhardy for American parents to say, ‘It can’t happen here.’”
(...The newspaper that I found the article in, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, follows the article with a half-page ad for Chesterfield (tobacco) cigarettes.)
tuesday, or wednesday, or thereabouts [pencil: 8/31 or 9/1/65] Hello Thanks for letter and article; a number of poeple have become very incensed about it; we (individual members of the drug seminar) are in the process of drafting a letter in rebuttal, since we are some of the few people in the country to be in a position to know about marijuana legally, having studied it for academic credit. The article was terrifying; luckily, Dr. Dixon was on vacation, or xxxx you would have heard his reaction all the way to Maine and then some....but enough of us x reacted vehemently and intelligently enough; the letter ought to be rather good, and our sources are certainly much more kosher and less biased than that goddamn Giordano....this thing is a real xxxx witch hunt, with Allen Ginsberg as chief witch, and giordano as latter-day mccarthy....I hear the FBN is arresting people all over New York and putting fantastic bail rates on them with the explicit promise that same will be lowered if anyone can come up with an evil enough "true" story about Ginsberg so they can arrest him on morals or something....sometimes it really gets to me that people in this country are so Brave and Innocent that they never suspect anyone in Our Great Government of being an evil bastard who is out for his greater glory and finds himself a Moral cause--communism, marijuana, witchcraft, spying, or dirty words--to champion and Defend Our Pure Children against......Further, Parents, I'm surprised that you don't recognize some of those same scare tactics and emotional words and deliberate false implications, half-truths, and downright rottten lies, as having been directed at things that were once important to you......some of it is so powerful I'd want to x keep my own kids away from this Evil Weed if I didn't know better....or, I'd want to xx go out and become a x marijuana user ("addict;" pardon me, Mr. Giordano, I would hate to refrain from using that phrase just becauste there is no such thing) myself, figuring that anything that bad must be pretty damn good or they wouldn’t go to so much trouble propagandizing against it.....if I have enough money to get copies made, I'll send you a copy of the letter when we finish it. Enough of that. Please send some more Ambodryls; need them desparately. Dr. at clinic said I could take more than I'd been taking with perfect safety, so I generally take about 4 during the course of the day and two before bed....also, I could use a little extra money, if you can spare some; end of quarter expendses and all--I'll have to borrow about $50 for traveling, since it looks like I'm going to LA, but don't want that around yet.....hope all's well, take care, [handwritten: love] [handwritten: Marcia]
Postmark: Sep 2, 1965, Yellow Springs, Ohio. Handwritten: “Rec’d this Sat. 9/4” and “Wrote to M 9/12.”