Printed letters, October 17, 2012

Mail-in ballots are coming out this week and voting will begin. Why will I be voting against Amendment 64? Here are a few reasons.

It would amend our state Constitution to legalize marijuana (in opposition to federal law) for a person over 21, no matter where they live. This would make Colorado a vacation destination for marijuana users.

Do you really want the person on the ski slope with you to be high? What about rafting or kayaking? Do you really want Colorado to be known for skiing, rafting and pot? That’s not what I want.

Another thing: Where are all these people going to get their marijuana? Amendment 64 does provide for licensing of cultivation facilities, manufacturing facilities and stores, but do you really think these will keep the drug cartels out of our state?

With my own hands I helped dig the grave and bury a lady who was murdered by drug runners. I have seen with my own eyes the horrors that accompany the drug trade. Please don’t bring those horrors into our state.

Please vote “No” on Amendment 64.

BRADLEY BARKER

Grand Junction

Regulate marijuana market 
to curb dealers’ influence

As we get closer to Nov. 6, rhetoric is heating up on Amendment 64 and opponents of regulating marijuana like alcohol say the effort must be stopped to reduce youth marijuana consumption.

The logic here doesn’t add up. With our underground market, kids’ access to marijuana is maximized. According to a nationwide Columbia University 2009 survey on drug abuse, 23 percent of kids ages 12 to 17 reported being able to obtain marijuana within an hour. The same survey found that kids believed marijuana to be as easy to get as cigarettes and the majority believed it easier to obtain than alcohol.

The most recent NIDA survey, after medical marijuana was adopted, indicated that Colorado bucked a national increase in teen marijuana use and actually decreased use from 24 percent to 22 percent. Does regulation work? Apparently, yes.

Conversely, an illegal market, while well intentioned, creates ease of access for kids. It’s likely the person who is selling weed will also be selling meth. Considering the naïveté of youth, kids are sure to be drug dealers’ main targets. The seemingly attractive lifestyle of getting high and hanging out making money with a bunch of partying high school girls seems great. The reality of violence and degeneration begins after it’s too late.

Our illegal marijuana market is youth’s gateway into the abyss of underground drug dealing. This must be stopped. We should prioritize establishing a regulated market for adults while ensuring that penalties are severe for those who transfer marijuana to minors. Pretending that the illegal market restricts access to marijuana for teens fits with our intentions but contradicts reality.

Lastly, but perhaps most importantly, Amendment 64 legalizes hemp production in our state and directs the legislature to create a regulatory infrastructure to take advantage of our currently imported $450 million hemp market. Vote “Yes” on 64 and support dealing with reality.

DAVID L. COX

Palisade

 

Sentinel was right 
to endorse Robinson

We wanted to add our voices to those who consider Dan Robinson’s work in the community as admirable and exemplary. While many in the community may not understand, it is wonderful that Dan Robinson abides by his moral, ethical and professional responsibility in accepting and doing pro-bono work.

The recommendation of Robinson by The Daily Sentinel shows well the work Robinson has done for the benefit of many in the community. It is refreshing to be able to vote for a candidate willing to work with those on all sides of the political spectrum for the betterment of our community.

JOSE and BLANCHE LUCERO

Grand Junction

 

Scott deserves second term 
for work on seniors, jobs

Seniors owe Ray Scott a second term, children of seniors owe Scott a second term and grandchildren of seniors owe Scott a second term. Friends of seniors owe Scott a second term. Why?

Scott successfully fought to protect seniors’ property rights by restoring the Senior Homestead Exemption that gives seniors a reduction in their property taxes. The reduction allows seniors to stay in their homes and remain independent. Love those individual rights!

Another reason to re-elect Ray Scott is his ability to persistently ask Gov. John Hickenlooper to do the right thing with respect to opening up more oil and gas exploration on the Western Slope.

Scott believes the best social program is called a “job. ” So did Ronald Reagan.  It is with great pleasure I recommend re-electing Ray Scott to Colorado District 55.

He has made a difference and will continue to do so by creating jobs in the private sector, which will improve Mesa County’s economy.

DR. BARBARA ANN SMITH

Grand Junction



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