Printed letters, October 26, 2012

The old adage, “Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it,” applies to the current question voters are facing concerning Amendment 64 to legalize marijuana in Colorado.

Most people are unaware that the state of Alaska already tried this same “social experiment” in 1975 with disastrous results. Its teen drug-abuse problem grew to double the national average.

Fortunately, voters there had the good sense to make it illegal again in 1990. But who had to pay the price? Teens who have had to face a lifetime with damaged brains and diminished futures were the unlucky guinea pigs.

Hopefully, we can learn from that mistake and not gamble with thousands of young lives in the process.

It’s common knowledge that kids using marijuana lose motivation and interest in life’s activities, but did you know that 67 percent of kids in drug rehab programs are there for marijuana abuse?

Some people say we’re helpless to restrain the onslaught of the drug epidemic. That’s not true. In Colorado, marijuana use had declined for over a decade prior to the opening of pot shops in our state in 2009.

This present trend can be reversed. We know that when we push back against the drug problem it recedes. Colorado did it before. It can be done again.

Start by voting “No” on Amendment 64. Let the drug dealers and some greedy politicians know we’re not trading our kids and our state for a few tax dollars. Colorado doesn’t have to become the pot capital of the U.S.



Medical marijuana laws 
are unfair to the poor

Current medical marijuana laws are discriminatory against the poor.

It is common knowledge that anyone with $200 can obtain a medical marijuana license. No one I know has ever been turned down, regardless of his or her medical symptoms. This allows the license holder the protection to use marijuana without the worry of legal repercussions.

People with little money, who would otherwise be able to obtain a license, are prevented from the protection, even though their reasons for use as legitimate s those who can afford a license.

To its credit, the Colorado Public Health Department has implemented waivers of its fees for the poor, but I have never heard of any of the few prescribing doctors reducing their fees.

Additional benefits of marijuana for users, besides pain reduction, are stress relief and anger control.

It can also help people wean off more serious drug addictions such as alcohol, meth and heroin. Its use does not have to be looked at as a crutch or a defect, but rather as a coping mechanism. It helps some people cope with the tremendous stress presented by modern society. As a musician, I also know many artists, including myself, who use it to enhance their creative process.

Tom Tancredo has it right when he advocates in favor of legalization of the use of marijuana by adults. The fact that federal law is against it is not a reason not to vote for legalization. If anything, it is the very reason that Colorado needs to take the lead to put pressure on the feds to change these outdated laws.

The culture is way ahead of laws on this issue. I will be voting “Yes” on Amendment 64.


Grand Junction


Front-page ad raises 
doubts about objectivity

On Oct. 20, The Daily Sentinel made the decision to run a front-page advertisement for Mitt Romney’s campaign. This action left me extremely uneasy.

I was not disturbed because the advertisement was political in nature. I was bothered because the paper is now running ads on the front page. Furthermore, if the placement of this advertisement was so innocuous, why did the paper’s publisher feel the need to include a comment to readers explaining reasons for running it?

The tone of Jay Seaton’s remarks proved even more distasteful than the location of the advertisement. He took it upon himself to insult every independent reader of the paper with his condescending language. Why does he believe he needs to explain to readers their own sophistication?

Seaton was correct when he said his readers could perceive this as a dangerous step that crosses the line between news and advertising, especially after the paper endorsed Mitt Romney for president. The perception of bias that this created will remain, no matter how much Seaton tries to pander to his readers’ sophistication.

I consider myself a truly independent voter and have voted for Republican and Democratic candidates. However, the paper’s recent actions leave me feeling extremely perplexed about its involvement in the current election. Has it become so involved in this election that it has lost its perspective?

Can its personnel be trusted to report the facts without adding their own personal biases? Only time will adequately answer these questions. I personally see the wall between the business office and the newsroom crumbling.


Grand Junction


Daily Sentinel should sell 
separate ‘traditional’ paper

Guess I should have seen it coming. As if we aren’t already assaulted by commercialism and triviality at every turn, we were recently treated to a paid political advertisement for Romney/Ryan and a news flash about Honey Boo Boo, all on the same front page of our beloved Daily Sentinel.

It’s good to see that, as our last bastion of intelligent information, the Sentinel is at last falling in line with providing the “reality” fix we heretofore have only been able to hustle up from TV, the Internet or your online edition.

As it is, we’ve had to get back to about Page 5 to find any actual news of the world. Maybe you could take a page from the cell phone app people and print a separate traditionally organized paper and sell it to us distractible throwback types for twice the price!


Grand Junction


Daily Sentinel provides 
important opinion forum

Good luck to The Daily Sentinel and its future, and thanks for running “Letters” on the “Commentary” page. It’s one of the few places left where readers can express an opinion.

Working to stay on the leading edge of newspaper technology has made the Sentinel a local norm. But, as we know, technology has a way of uprooting norms. Newer, faster, cheaper innovations surface, dissolving the old.

Perhaps the most noticeable examples are the electronic wonders of the past and present. They’ve kept evolving, changing and creating the ebbs and flows of industries for years — radio, telephone, television, computers and the list goes on.

The Sentinel has shown amazing staying power in the face of competition from the many alternative news sources one day. This once-powerful community voice has been in steady decline for years, going from “the only news in town” to “just another way to get the story.” In hard economic times, it’s easy to see why fewer and fewer people are willing to buy a paper.

Look around. Very few things today are like they were once. Newspapers are no exception. Only now the Sentinel can only endorse or praise candidates and not sway public thought as it once could.

We all have opinions, and they’re usually worth what was paid for them. They’re one of the few things left that technology can’t change, and the Sentinel is still printing them. Thanks again.


Grand Junction


Obama soon to receive 
another ‘shellacking’

Here are my thoughts on why I think Mitt Romney will “shellack” President Barack Obama Nov. 6.

First of all, I don’t look at the polls. I look at results. I start with the 2010 midterm elections in which the president said he took a “shellacking.” The results were foreshadowing.

I look at all the gubernatorial elections since 2009, including Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s recall that he won 53 percent to 46 percent, and I observe a trend that started more than four years ago.

I’ve seen a groundswell emerge, consisting of unexpected committed voters. They identified out-of-control spending before this current administration took it up exponentially. They were against the 2008 TARP and the 2009 stimulus. This group got its name when CNBC’s Rick Santelli went on a rant in January 2009 on the floor of the Chicago Exchange. By tax day 2009, the tea party was in gear.

This group consists of conservatives, libertarians, independents and blue-dog Democrats. Progressive Republicans were nowhere to be found. They organized for the first time in their lives. They made banners, refreshed on civics, demonstrated and marched on Washington, D.C. They changed their voter registration to “independent.”

Once they voted and achieved their outcome, they were attacked and called racists and bigots for disagreeing with the president’s policy. The media attempted to put a figurehead on this group without success, because their leader is, well, themselves — we the people, if you will.

But where are they now? They have been little reported on. They are out there, quietly working, living their lives, not whining, but acting, engaging and getting results. They were, however, very frustrated in early 2012 with the process and outcome of the Republican primaries. Then a surprising thing happened at the first debate.

Romney showed up for work. He stunned the incumbent and media. The political atmosphere changed overnight. It’s no longer a slam-dunk. This change in air I link to the tea-party types finally galvanizing. Their participation will make the difference in this race. Just look at history.

The number 47 has been discussed lately. I think we will see this number again on the morning of Nov. 7 and it will be Obama’s share of the popular vote.


Grand Junction


Penry drew a blank in column 
about the president’s record

Regarding Josh Penry’s column, “The case for the re-election of Barack Obama: There isn’t one,” his tortured attempts at historical analogies are so puerile as to be worthy of his intellectual godfather, George W. Bush himself.

Too bad The Daily Sentinel did not grant him the blank column space he requested, because the blank space would have accurately depicted that which is between Penry’s ears.


Grand Junction


Independent candidate 
sees corrupt government

I am an independent woman running to represent the people of Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. I have owned a small business for seven years and have seen an increasingly difficult economy to operate in.

After earning two undergraduate degrees and a master’s degree in business, I believed that I should be able to work hard and earn a living – and I was wrong.

The economy is in shambles. Some of that stems from a corrupt and inefficient federal government.

Many policies of the federal government could be created at a state and local level, where there is more transparency and accountability to the people. We should keep some decisions closer to home, closer to the people who have to live with these decisions, policies and laws.

The federal government is charged with protecting the American people, and this starts with a sound currency. We must focus on monetary policy and an overhaul of our tax code and fiscal policy.

The amount of corruption in Washington, D.C., can be stopped and I want to be a part of stopping it. I want to earn your vote and represent the 3rd Congressional District. I am here for you. Please reach out.


Grand Junction


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