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Dignity and respect

Dear Editor:Suicide and the damages of drug abuse are obviously extremely important issues, but this is no excuse for recent efforts to mangle the truth in order to reconstruct Hunter S. Thompson into a poster child for the latest “Drugs Kill” campaign. (Aspen Times editorial, June 17).As anyone familiar with the facts will tell you the amount of drugs, legal or illegal, that may or may not have been “coursing through his mind” had absolutely nothing to do with his decision to end his life. Perhaps contrary to what the public finds convenient to believe, the truth is that Hunter made important decisions in his life only after careful consideration and only after accumulating all available knowledge, and it is most likely that his final act was years in the making. These facts were certainly known to those public officials who made the decision that subjecting his body to the indignity of drug testing was neither appropriate nor required by law, and would be the ultimate insult for someone who had consistently fought for everyone’s constitutional rights. The memory of Hunter Thompson is entitled to the same dignity and respect that the law guarantees to everyone, and the purpose of an autopsy is not to simply satisfy someone’s curiosity, nor to provide fodder for community discussion. As important as drug abuse and suicide may be, a twisted exploitation of Hunter Thompson’s life and death is not the pathway to enlightenment.John Van NessWoody Creek


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