Printed letters, November 25, 2012
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 be undertaken. European studies have shown marijuana to be less addictive, destructive and harmful than nicotine or alcohol.
I have professional friends in the fields of medicine, dentistry, insurance, law, engineering, architecture, film, art, ministry, music, real estate, financial management and retail who use marijuana, and it has not been a gateway drug for them, an addiction to overcome, or 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 $ 1 billion in annual profits.
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 benefits will occur. Traffickers’ wealth will be taken away; education, health and public works will see increased tax revenues; and a major source of violence will be removed.
Doctor correctly diagnosed societal ills of legal pot
What a great letter Dr. Sherman Straw had published in The Daily Sentinel Nov. 16, regarding legalizing marijuana. He covered both common sense and facts.
I was shocked when Amendment 64 passed in Colorado. What I heard must have been the majority of Colorado voters singing “California, Here We Come” on their way to the polls.
Ninety percent of what is to come from 64 will be very bad.
Union pushed Wonder Bread management to ‘tipping point’
When I was a child, I played a game I’ll call “tipping point.” I would carefully maneuver my sister into visible range of either or both of my parents and then tease and aggravate her until she exploded into violence.
Her observed conduct combined with feigned injury and complete innocence by me would usually bring her swift punishment. Voila! I won. She reached a “tipping point,” crossed the line and fell victim to my trap. It was shameful, yes, but nobody was ever hurt or lost a job.
That behavior, however childish, was a lot like the Wonder Bread-bakers union conflict. My game was fueled by juvenile selfishness. The jobs of more than 18,000 people were lost by much the same — juvenile selfishness brought about by a union’s demands.
Something finally pushed that company’s management past the “tipping point.” I’m sure union troubles weren’t the only factor in the company’s demise, but perhaps it was the last straw.
It’s eerily reminiscent of Ayn Rand’s book, “Atlas Shrugged,” in which fictional “captains of industry” reached “tipping points” for various reasons and simply walked away. Look around. I suspect her prophecy may be coming true.
Civil discourse is absent in current political debate
Why can’t those on the left and right have civil discussions on the proper role of government? A few weeks ago, I wrote a letter to the editor criticizing the present administration on its failure to protect our consulate personnel in Benghazi or come to their assistance when they were under attack on Sept. 11. I included my name and city of residence. In response, I received an anonymous letter in the mail.
Had the author of this response wanted a dialogue, he could have included his identity. He did not. He chose an anonymous and threatening response.
In the past, I have received communications in disagreement with my opinion and have engaged in an exchange of letters and/or phone calls with the author. And, although we were decidedly on opposite sides of a dialogue, we had a useful exchange of ideas and parted ways in a friendly manner. On occasion, I think I changed someone’s mind.
More recently, however, the pattern is that the response is threatening and anonymous, such as this most recent one — a cowardly response I can only imagine stems from the author’s inability to articulate a lucid argument.
Had the anonymous author had the courage to identify himself, we might have had the chance to understand each other a little better.
I suppose the point of the anonymous letter was to attempt to intimidate and silence me. He doesn’t know me.