ISSUE | MEDICAL POT

For the children

The arbitrary classification of cannabis as a prohibited drug because it is habit-forming prevents children with ravaging diseases from pursuing the happiness promised by the nation's founders ("Desperate to get pot for ill kids," Dec 22). Isn't it more humane to exchange a child's suffering from dozens of seizures daily for a child almost seizure-free when the only price is having a marijuana habit? The public must demand the national legalization of medical marijuana.

|Rod Meyers, Bryn Mawr, rodmeyers@aol.com

ISSUE | BLOOD DONORS

Rules on gays

Even though the Red Cross' former blood bank director stated that there was no scientific basis for separating blood donors by race, the Red Cross bowed to Army pressure in 1941 and segregated blood supplies ("U.S. moves to allow gays to give blood," Dec. 24). The policy was changed in 1960. Let's hope that we do not have to wait 19 years until gay men can give blood.

|Paul L. Newman, Merion Station

ISSUE | IMMIGRATION

Not at their feet

A letter writer's attempt to blame immigrants for low wages and violence diverts our attention from the real problem: politicians who are bought and paid for by business interests that benefit from low wages ("Huddled against the huddled masses," Dec. 25).

|James Cole, Chalfont

ISSUE | OBAMA'S YEAR

Tough decisions produced yule gifts

In observance of the holiday season, I just wanted to point out some significant gifts the American people have recently received: 89 and counting days of lower gas prices; a Dow Jones average that hit 18,000 for the first time in history; joblessness at an all-time low; and consumer confidence at an all-time high, as evidenced by a brisk holiday shopping season and sales of big-ticket items like automobiles in record numbers.

The economy is on a steady course of improvement, and hot-button issues like affordable health care, immigration, and normalization of relations with Cuba are being addressed.

So, many thanks to President Obama and his administration for making those tough decisions and bringing American back from the brink and into the 21st century.

|Jesse Galloway Jr., Cream Ridge

A president clearly desperate for a win

The Cuban people may well be ripe for change, especially to a democracy ("Cuba's ripe for change," Dec. 21). But this will never happen until the last Castro dies. Fidel is 88 and Raul 83. We, and the Cuban people, have waited for half a century for them to go; we could surely have waited a few more years. But no, President Obama is desperately searching for something - anything - as a positive legacy.

|Nick O'Dell, Phoenixville, nickodell16@yahoo.com

ISSUE | MOVIE CONTROVERSY

Unwise investment of time and money

Believing the Inquirer review of this abysmally unfunny, juvenile movie, I spent a hard-earned $5.99 to waste almost two hours seeing The Interview - most of which should have fallen on the cutting room floor. It was not funny. It was not creative. It was the poorest example of political comedy I have seen and should be limited to viewing by those under 16 who thrive on no-brain action films. If this is the best Sony Pictures can do, then it has a short corporate shelf life ahead. Actually, the back and forth of Sony in wondering do we run it or don't we run it was funnier than the film. I wonder who actually invested money in producing this relic of juvenile idiocy. If you know, please tell me, as I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale.

|Harold R. Berk, Ambler

Cyberattack was a publicity godsend

The reported North Korean cyberattack to suppress The Interview was a perfect example of the "Streisand Effect," the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor information has the unintended consequence of publicizing it more widely ("Creative arts cannot be hostage to cyber bullying," Dec. 21). It was named after Barbara Streisand, whose Malibu home was photographed in 2003 as part of a coastline survey. When her attorneys demanded that the photo be removed, it had been downloaded only six times. But once it was made public, over the following month there were over 420,000 visitors to the page with the image.

Obviously, The Interview will enjoy far more exposure and economic success than if the reported cyberattack never occurred.

|Albert Whitehead, Philadelphia, philapa312@aol.com

Korean man in the street may not be amused

I served in Korea with the Army from 1974 to 1975 and am increasingly concerned as the rhetoric, threats, and actions over The Interview and cyber-hacking escalate. The Koreans I met were kind, creative, fun-loving, and proud, and I have no reason to think the average North Korean is any different - despite living under a very different system for 68 years. In light of our possible involvement in the past in removing foreign leaders we did not like, and the layers of distrust that have built up over the years, we may perhaps have some understanding of how a movie joking about the assassination of North Korea's leader may be perceived. North Koreans may well fail to appreciate the humor.

There is a form of Korean poetry called a sijo, which has three lines, almost like a logical syllogism with a statement, antithesis, and synthesis. One called "Return to the Capital" by Ch'oe Namson (1886-1957) speaks of nails in the doors of abandoned houses and nails in the hearts of men. The final line is, "I find myself turning over in my mind all these nailed-up things."

|John Haigis, Darby

ISSUE | HOLIDAY SPIRIT

Delivery brings a family closer at difficult time

Two days before Christmas, I learned that my 30-year-old niece had fallen off a ladder, was severely injured, and was in a rehabilitation center in Philadelphia. Being in Wisconsin, I knew it would be impossible to get a package to her by Christmas. I called all the gift basket companies I could think of and was told no by all of them.

I looked on the Internet and found a new little grocery store called South Terminal Market at 306 South St. A guy there named Mike said they didn't deliver that far, but when I explained the situation, he immediately said he would make it happen. He made up a beautiful basket with fresh fruit, dried fruit, nuts, and candy, and delivered it in time, without a delivery charge - restoring my faith in humankind and making my Christmas (and, I hope, bringing a little happiness to my niece).

|Sandy Maloni, Hartland, Wis.

ISSUE | COMMUNITY ACTION

Hateful act provides occasion for united stand

A heinous anti-Semitic act in Yardley may have inadvertently accomplished more good than evil, although, at this time, the victims probably do not think so ("In Yardley, group decries anti-Semitic graffiti," Dec. 27). Anti-Semitic graffiti spray-painted on a garage door has galvanized the community to denounce hate actions as an antithesis of everything this community believes.

At an event sponsored by State Rep. Steven J. Santarsiero (D., Bucks), two rabbis, a nun, a Presbyterian pastor, and a representative of the Islamic community took issue with hate-mongering - providing unanimity of goodwill. While this was reported in the local news section of The Inquirer, it should be on the front page, proclaiming that this is what this country is all about.

|Ralph D. Bloch, Warrington, ralphdbloch@yahoo.com