Printed letters, November 16, 2012
Now that Amendment 64 was passed by those who want to use or tax marijuana, we must consider the facts. I have practiced medicine in Colorado more than 28 years and will share a few highlights from the 117 medical texts and respected journal articles in my file.
Marijuana makes most people artificially happy and relaxed for a few hours, but not without consequences. When under the influence, it’s hard to focus, think clearly or remember. It impairs judgment and delays reaction time. This impairment lasts much longer than the “high,” making it unsafe to drive for over 24 hours after use. Users are two to seven times more likely to be involved in an accident.
Users demonstrate the signs of addiction: intoxication, abuse, dependence and withdrawal. Users are significantly more likely to drop out of school, use other drugs, be unemployed and commit crime.
It’s bad for your body. The smoke has three times more tar and 50 percent more carcinogens than tobacco and causes the same kind of chronic lung disease and cancer. Users are five times more likely to have a heart attack and develop psychosis more frequently. The immune system is suppressed.
Babies born from pregnant users show all the signs of withdrawal, and school testing shows deficits in attention and memory, plus lower scores on verbal and reasoning tests.
Chronic use can cause cyclic abdominal pain and intractable vomiting, and males become impotent and infertile. There is a well-recognized amotivational syndrome where users develop such apathy they completely withdraw from life. The old Cheech and Chong skit had more truth in it than we thought.
In Colorado, doctors aren’t allowed to use while practicing, even if they have a medical marijuana card. I can’t think of any occupation where it would be a good idea to markedly dull brain function. Can you? Marijuana is not a harmless amusement.
Until we realize the enormous mess we created and repeal this misguided legislation, it should be highly regulated and very heavily taxed to minimize this serious burden on society.
SHERMAN D. STRAW, MD
Chamber was premature in support of leasing
As one of the signers of the letter to the Grand Junction Chamber of Commerce recently, urging a reasonable, cautious approach to oil shale development, I felt compelled to respond to The Daily Sentinel’s Oct. 29 article
I am a third-generation rancher and farmer who has seen his share of droughts, booms and busts. Other producers and I are deeply concerned about the water impacts oil shale will have on our and way of life. To say that water is scarce and the Colorado River is already over-allocated is a gross understatement of the very real water challenges we all face in the coming years.
That’s why the chamber’s premature support for commercial leasing of our public lands for industrial-scale oil shale development makes no sense. Not only do we not understand the impacts to our water quantity, quality and local infrastructure that this would have, there’s not even a viable technology for extracting oil shale at present. Even reports of the companies themselves say this is not expected any time soon.
Fox News doesn’t air only one side’s opinions
In Jim Ciha’s letter, evidently he thinks the purpose of Fox News is to elect a Republican president. Yes, Dick Morris, Karl Rove and Newt Gingrich offer opinions, but there are plenty of liberal people there also: Juan Williams, Alan Colmes, Bob Beckel, Sally Kohn, Geraldo, Stossel and many others.
On election night, Karl Rove was questioning the same thing I was: How can you make a judgment when so many votes were not yet counted?
If you’re not getting other points of view, then you’re not watching very many of the programs on Fox News. In the evening, the shows are mostly opinion shows and therefore are not really news shows. However, if you watch the news programs during the daytime, you’ll hear both the conservative and the liberal point of view. Unlike most of the other “news” channels, Fox doesn’t just give one point of view.
I like to hear both sides, and then I can make up my own mind as to what I think is right based on my personal beliefs. It makes me think. If not for Fox News, our views of what’s going on in the country would be very one-sided.
TV viewer drops service due to plethora of ads
I have been contemplating dropping television service for some time. I am fed up with paying someone to supply me as an audience to advertisers. I have timed programs and found that a full 33 percent is commercials. By dropping this service, I will save $816 a year.
What do I lose? Many programs are available within days on other platforms. Sports are more fun to watch with other fans at a local establishment. News? Let’s get real. When a program called “Newsroom” editorializes more than it reports, I am giving up nothing but punditry across the board.
Almost $3 a day to be told what to think and what to buy. It took a while, but my eyes are open.