Printed letters, September 18, 2013
The Grand Junction City Council made a wise decision in joining Mesa County in just saying “no” to marijuana retail shops.
The tax revenues the drug dealers have promised to share with us to build “shiny new schools” won’t benefit students whose brains have been fried on marijuana.
A 20-year study recently published and printed in The Daily Sentinel revealed that an average high school student smoking pot once a week for one year dropped his or her IQ from the 50th percentile down to the 29th.
This should not surprise us, since marijuana has been hybridized since the ‘70s from 1 percent THC levels (hallucinogens) to 30 percent or more today.
Even Amsterdam classifies anything more than 15 percent as a hard drug.
Police Chief John Camper told the council that any behavior you normalize becomes more widespread. Sadly, we have seen this come true with the sharp increase in marijuana expulsions in Colorado high schools since medical marijuana dispensaries opened several years ago. The “strict” regulations for dispensaries did little to stem that, and neither will the new regulations.
Councilman Bennett Boechenstein said he was eager to see how it worked for Denver (the only city so far to allow retail shops) and to revisit the issue.
He might want to consider how it worked in Alaska after that state legalized pot in the 1970s and its teen drug abuse doubled in a few years. Voters had the good sense to reverse the law.
How can we continue social experiments with our most precious resource — our youth?
Support group’s efforts to improve rural highways
Finally, a group, MPACT64, which includes Club 20 as a member, is leading an effort to secure more funds for our deteriorating state highway system.
Out here in western Colorado, we hear of millions of dollars being slated for freeway or urban improvements, and we wonder if our turn will ever arrive. Hundreds of miles of rural state highways lack shoulders, guard rails and passing opportunities, and they include poor curvature and dangerous intersections. Many miles have not been improved since they were constructed back in the days of Model A Fords and 1 1/2 ton trucks.
Some fall into the category of “paved wagon roads,” built originally with bulldozers and motor graders and later paved, never really engineered.
Earlier this year, boards of county commissioners were furnished a plan for modernizing the state rural highway system. First, a cost estimate for bringing all rural state highways up to current standards would be developed. Then, a program would be established to complete the modernization in a set number of years, similar to the way the interstate highway program was set up. The program would probably take 20 years or more, depending on how much money would be dedicated yearly.
Here in Meeker we must depend on State Highway 13 for shopping or visiting medical facilities in Rifle, Craig or destinations beyond. We have no choice of an alternate route. We must travel over long stretches of an obsolete and dangerous highway. Our situation is not unique; thousands of drivers over rural state highways face the same threats.
Residents of rural Colorado should support the work of MPACT64.
School children deserve nonpartisan school board
The children of Mesa County deserve nonpartisan school board members who do not intend to push their personal political agendas onto the backs of children if they are elected.
Without question, a school board election is the one election that should never be political. It should be about electing board members who care about kids, support teachers and do what they are charged to do — oversee the generalities of the district. In short, school board members must do what is best for students. Making the upcoming election one about political gain and the privatization of our entire district is repugnant.
I am confident that parents, grandparents, students of voting age and anyone else who truly cares about children will see through their agenda and will vote for the candidates who are running for school board who have no interest in making this a political race, but are pro-public education, based on accountability, transparency, responsibility and doing what is best for kids.
Mesa County has never been a wildly or even mildly liberal area, so making this a political race is sad. Please listen to all the candidates and consider what they are saying. If you care about the education of students in Mesa County, please listen and get the facts.
Do what’s best for kids and public education. Please vote in support of children, not politics, when you receive your ballot in the mail.
‘Gadfly’ Simpson praised for questioning spending
I thoroughly enjoyed the front-page feature article about Grand Junction’s gadfly, Dennis Simpson. He may have missed out when they were distributing the “tact” gene, but anyone who makes city councilors nervous when they are questioned about their spending and decision-making can’t be all bad.
Keep it up, Dennis.