Month: August 2014

Another drug

To the Editor: I know it is too early but come November we will be asked to vote for or against the legalization of marijuana (cannabis) for recreational use. At one time, I was in favor of letting adults determine for themselves what is good for them. Since then I have done some serious thinking. We have seen highly educated people such as doctors, lawyers and engineers getting arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs so some adults don’t know what is good for them. My research indicates marijuana is a psychoactive drug and medicine and should be allowed for medical use to reduce pain just like Vicodin and Percocet. Of course Vicodin and Percocet need a doctor’s prescription. The recreational use is another matter. Marijuana comes in different strengths and different forms. It can be added to cookies and given to unsuspecting people including children. Marijuana has some positive effects such as euphoria and relaxation. Some of the side effects are short-term memory loss, impaired motor skills and feelings of paranoia or anxiety. I have not seen enough research results to determine several things. First, is the smoking of one joint enough to prohibit a person from driving a vehicle? Second, how long after smoking one joint is a person able to think clearly and have quick reaction necessary to drive a vehicle? Third, what...

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What does Bill of Rights protect?

To the Editor: The time is upon us again when we all go to the polls, cast our votes, return to our centered lives complaining and placing weight of all issues upon those we have elected. This is the process, is it not? No! We all may think it is, but only our ignorance allows this. George Washington, in his farewell address to the nation warned us all of political parties, “Lest they be like fires untended will consume.” He did not trust political parties of any kind because of their danger to people’s freedom in a republic. I’ve heard people say with great sincerity, “Our Constitution protects us” from this or that. Once the seed of ignorance is planted it cultivates and grows stronger than the truth. The truth is, our Constitution is a set of laws by which this republic and her three houses of power, (judicial, legislative, and executive), must conduct their business. I have heard people say, “The Constitution protects my right of free speech.” No, it does not. Before our Constitution could be ratified, some states had questions, such as, “What keeps our new federal government from saying I have to go to that church, when I like to go to this church?” Of course those who wanted the Constitution to pass answered, “We would never do that.” But again,”What if someone later said...

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Our disinterested and AWOL governor

It is funny how a memory from childhood can connect so directly with something at the present time.  Hans Christian Andersen’s The Emperor’s New Clothes was brought to mind by the trials and tribulations of Governor John Kitzhaber and our disappointments therein.  Read that story again; you’ll be reminded of the emperor, naked but refusing to acknowledge it, as he marched in a parade. Kitzhaber’s seen as nakedly incompetent, good only at tooting his own brash horn and blaming others for what’s gone haywire. His pals and position-holders want to keep their jobs so they won’t openly admit that he cannot dress himself to tend to gubernatorial responsibilities.  Meanwhile, pundits say the voters, too often inclined not to look long and hard to see what’s up with name-familiar candidates, will turn a blind eye to Kitzhaber’s unclad managerial inabilities…and re-elect him. But just look at Kitzhaber’s litany of inattentive limping along.  Education reform got his expensive hand-picked first state chief education officer, Rudy Crew, a better job in New York City while a “retired” Oregon school superintendent took Rudy’s place at one-half a million dollars in pay per biennium with nothing to show for it.  Cover Oregon’s a bust that keeps bursting with one of the latest scandals a huge bonus to every Cover Oregon employee who’ll promise to stay aboard the sinking ship.  Then there’s that Columbia River Crossing (CRC) boondoggle that’s spent millions never to drive a pile in the river or hang a bridge girder, just a lot of crony payouts. Where does Kitzhaber spend his time?  Not in Salem much, we’re told.  He may be...

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Marijuana prohibition doesn’t work

By DEBRA J. SAUNDERS The New York Times has seen the light. On Sunday, the paper editorialized in favor of an end to the federal ban on marijuana. According to Tony Newman of the Drug Policy Alliance, The Gray Lady has become the first major national newspaper to support legalizing marijuana. The Times did not celebrate marijuana use; it simply addressed the downside of prohibition—658,000 arrests for marijuana possession in 2012, with a disproportionate representation of young black men. The editorial also laid out a rational view of marijuana. While research suggests that marijuana can have adverse affects on adolescent brains—hence the paper’s support for a ban on sales to those under 21—it’s not as hazardous to health as alcohol and tobacco. The paper also made this commonsense but rare assertion: “Moderate use of marijuana does not appear to pose a risk for otherwise healthy adults.” My guess is the editorial board wanted to appear relevant instead of late to the party. In 2012, Colorado and Washington voters approved ballot measures to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Last year, a Gallup poll found that 58 percent of respondents support legalization. I think The New York Times wanted to speak out before voters in Oregon, and perhaps Alaska, pass similar legalization laws in November. Editorial board member David Firestone urged President Obama to order Attorney General Eric Holder to...

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