For some reason (and I do not honestly know fully why), I was greatly saddened to hear about the very recent suicide death of singer/songwriter Vic Chesnutt in Athens, GA. Many of you are likely scratching your heads asking: "Who the (bleep) is Vic Chesnutt?" The N.Y. Times did a very good job summarizing this individual:
Maybe it was his lifelong battle with depression - which he obviously lost. Possibly it was his ability to exceed beyond his physical (in)capabilities, but inability to deal with the stuff whirring in his head. It could also be that, back in my college days, I was a college radio DJ at a very influential station that had a long and good relationship with Vic Chesnutt. I always appreciated the artists that appreciated that station.
What readers may not know is that Vic was a vocal advocate and user of medical marijuana (truth be told - he also admitted to using it for recreational purposes). He sang on the subject, raised funds for advocacy as well, and was involved with NORML. Looking now at the fact that Chesnutt died from an overdose of his prescription muscle relaxers, this quote from him is all the more poignant:
"My doctors prescribe drugs to me all the time. These muscle relaxers cost a lot of money and they don't work the same [as marijuana]. There's no other prescription drug I know that would help me feel. I don't want to have anything to do with the Mafia, and if it was legal I could have a small little plant in my backyard and not have to deal with it. I want everything switched. I just can't understand that they feel it's so evil. Even beyond my medical reasons, I think for everyone else and for the country's sake that the time has come to change the laws."
By the way, Vic died owing $35,000 in medical bills on account of his medical conditions and legal prescriptions. As my 7th grade English teacher would say: "Too bad, so sad."