Email letters, Nov. 21, 2012

Proposed cycling race route disregards needs of private citizens

The Grand Junction USA Pro Cycling Challenge organizing committee recently submitted a proposal that includes holding the race in the orchards of Palisade and the farmlands of Loma.

Before they submitted the proposal did they seek the input of the areas affected? Did they contact the local volunteer fire departments to see if they could provide services? No, they did not.

In late August these areas are a beehive of activity, with semi’s and tractors scrambling to get crops from the fields. Growers have just hours to get their harvested crop to the coolers. In addition, there are no public parking or roadside shoulders. Spectators would have to trespass on private landowners property to see the race.

I’m not against any event that promotes the Grand Valley. It just seems that the organizers of this race are determined to have this race no matter whom they have to push aside or inconvenience.

In the future, organizers of this event and others should seek the public input of the affected areas before they submit plans.

SID VEALE
Palisade

Formula One reporting merits ‘pole position’

Do appreciate your Formula One article in Tuesday’s sports section. Now that we have a purpose built track in Austin, Texas, it should make it easier to build up the fan base here in the states.

Worldwide, TV audiences are estimated at more than 600 million per race. Next year, coverage moves from SPEED to NBC, so it should be easier for fans to follow. There is nothing like the sound of those cars screaming around the track.

Kudos out to you and your staff.

RONALD SIMPSON
Grand Junction

Managing MJ as alcohol could benefit society

In his commentary against marijuana Dr. Sherman D. Straw argued “from the 117 medical texts and respected journal articles in (his) file.” Note that he did not quote from peer-reviewed papers or from studies that withstood the test of scientific process.

Those studies should now be undertaken. European studies have shown marijuana to be less addictive, destructive and harmful than both nicotine and alcohol.

I have professional friends in the fields of medicine, dentistry, insurance, law, engineering, architecture, film, art, Christian ministry, music, real estate, financial management and retail who use marijuana, and it has not been a gateway drug for them, nor an addiction to overcome, nor a distraction to their careers.

Prohibition has increased values, making trafficking very profitable. This war has not been won because this multibillion-dollar industry didn’t want it to end. Even small-time individuals can earn more selling marijuana than by working a regular job for $7 per hour.

We enforce prohibition with guns, propaganda and prisons, spending more than $7 billion annually in shockingly cruel ways. But their efforts have not deterred marijuana use.

Traffickers have armed themselves to protect their profits, which represents $1 billion each year. This war has produced unnecessary violence, and our neighbors have been incarcerated, resulting in their lives being ruined.

State and local law enforcement made 97 percent of the more than 800,000 marijuana-related arrests in 2010. No state is under any obligation to criminalize an activity because the federal government does. Sadly, this war has already ruined millions of individual lives.

If marijuana is managed as alcohol, several beneficial results will occur. Traffickers’ wealth will be taken away; education, health and public works will be realized through increased tax revenues; and a major source of violence will be removed.

MARC FOSTER

Grand Junction

Now that GOP’s lost top job, Penry full of sour grapes

Never one to allow open wounds and salt to go untouched, I remind the Sentinel that on Sunday, Jan. 15, Josh Penry made 20 predictions. His last three were:

“… Mitt Romney is elected president of the United States.”

“Barack Obama gives his finest speech yet — a concession speech.”

“America listens to the president’s concession speech, then millions Tebow in thanks.”

Penry’s two essays since the election were simply sour grapes. Isn’t it time the Sentinel hired someone who really understands this country and can write accordingly?

D.D. LEWIS
Clifton



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