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Home / Articles / Views / Letters /  Jail is not a pot deterrent
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Wednesday, November 25,2009

Jail is not a pot deterrent

(Re: “Medical association: Reconsider pot," In Case You Missed It, Nov. 19.) While I’m thrilled that the American Medical Association has finally urged the federal government to rethink its prohibitionist stance on medical marijuana, I can’t help but wonder about their disclaimer, i.e., that this should not be not be viewed as an endorsement of marijuana legalization.

Does the American Medication Association believe that jail cells and criminal records are appropriate as health interventions? They certainly don’t work as deterrents. In 2008, there were 847,863 marijuana arrests in the U.S., almost 90 percent for simple possession. The end result of this ongoing culture war is not necessarily lower rates of use. The U.S. has higher rates of marijuana use than the Netherlands, where marijuana is legally available.

At a time when state and local governments are laying off police, firefighters and teachers, this country continues to spend enormous public resources criminalizing Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis.

Robert Sharpe/Arlington, Va.

To err or not to err

(Re: “With love from Boulder,” Danish Plan, Nov. 19.) Get a clue! Hamlet didn’t live in Copenhagen.

Sidney Shinedling/via Internet

Editor’s note: Hamlet’s home was in Kronborg Castle in Helsingør, about 28 miles north of Copenhagen. The columnist was taking poetic license.

Thanks for hunting story

(Re: “My attempt to hunt was more harmful to me than the elk,” Nov. 19.) Great article! Well presented from the “organic” perspective. I was happy to go organic with meat, ’cause it allowed me to hunt more! Thanks for an honest and fair perspective on our sport.

Brett Valette/Superior

Keep it down at library

It seems times have changed when it comes to being quiet at public libraries. When I was a child, librarians used to “shush” people for vocalizing anything louder than a whisper. At most libraries these days (particularly at the Boulder Central Library), people talk to their friends or yap on their cell phones at full volume, apparently without any regard to whether they are disturbing other patrons. I’m sure most people who frequent this establishment would concur with my opinion.

Just the other day, I was using one of the Internet stations, with a child 7 to 8 years of age sitting right next to me. Another person sitting three chairs down from him was rambling on his cell phone about how much he enjoys the sex acts (in graphic detail) one of his acquaintances performs on him. Every imaginable vulgarity was probably used during the course of this 15-minute, fullvolume phone discussion.

Although as a youth, I was somewhat put-off by being “hushed,” I can now greatly appreciate the way things used to be, and I wish that the staff at the Boulder Library put a little more emphasis on keeping people quiet while they are in the building. I do appreciate how helpful and friendly our librarians are (no question there), but I just get the feeling sometimes that in these circumstances, no one wants to get involved.

So, just in case they don’t get a chance to read this, or decide it no longer falls under a librarians’ job description to police the activities of others, may I just say ... please, turn your cell phones off and keep them off while visiting a public library, and watch your language. I do hope that the library will choose to respond to this plea in some manner, for I must admit, I don’t think the people I’ve described here (the talkers) have the social graces to care one way or the other what anyone else thinks. Hence, a little enforcement is probably called for.

David Muhl/Boulder

Show us the birth certificate

Lou Dobbs is hardly what some in the media have derisively called a birther. In fact, Dobbs has stated repeatedly that he feels that Barack Obama is probably president of the United States. However, Dobbs is now $9 million poorer because he had the integrity and courage to ask a pivotal question that is unanswered, a question Barack Obama refuses to answer and a question that you apparently refuse to ask, namely, why hasn’t Barack Obama simply produced his actual birth certificate?

More to the point, why has Team Obama spent what may be as much as $1.4 million fighting efforts to compel him to produce his actual birth certificate, and why does Team Obama continue to contend that Obama has produced a birth certificate, when the document Obama has produced is not an actual birth certificate.

For years the media has excused egregious actions, invasions of privacy and outright lies by citing the worn-out adage, “The people have a right to know.” If that’s the case, the people have a right to know the answer to the question that Dobbs is $9 million poorer for asking. Is Obama resisting these efforts out of pure arrogance? Is he trying to hide something unrelated to his eligibility? Or would the release of his actual birth certificate bolster the argument that he might be ineligible to hold the office of president of the United States?

Shame on you for not asking the question. Asking such a question is not a conspiracy theory; however, your refusal to ask the question, and in Dobbs case, squelching the question, is cause for suspicion.

Margie LaFitte/Dayton,Texas

Editor’s note: We haven’t asked that question because it would be a complete waste of time. By continuing to pursue this nonissue, the roots of which lie in bigotry, you squander time and energy better spent on resolving the real problems facing this country today.

Why reduce nukes now?

President Obama naively suggests the world can be free of nuclear weapons if the U.S. and Russia commit to arms reduction.

Obama is negotiating a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia in December 2009 that could reduce the U.S. and Russian operational nuclear warhead arsenals from more than 2,500 to 1,500 warheads each. The treaty assumes we can verify the Russians destroyed their 1,000 warheads. The treaty will also reduce the number of longrange missiles.

The reduction in U.S. nuclear/missile capabilities jeopardizes our national security because a number of other countries maintain nuclear weapons, including China, Pakistan and North Korea. Iran is currently developing nuclear weapons, and Syria desires to have nuclear capability.

The world will never be free of nuclear weapons because countries like North Korea and Iran are led by dictators who lust for the threatening power of nuclear weapons and the capability to use their nuclear arsenal against perceived enemies.

President Obama’s lofty rhetoric sounds wonderful to himself and the Nobel Peace (In Weakness) Prize Committee, but I doubt he will satisfy his appetite for appeasement and get the leaders of the nuclear armed countries around a campfire to toast the elimination of nuclear weapons and merrily sing Kumbaya.

Donald A. Moskowitz/Londonderry, N.H.

Contact your representatives

Our federal government is out of control. Most federal representatives completely ignore our Constitution, which they took a solemn oath to uphold. The feds are responsible, but the real blame is that we, the people, have allowed it to happen. And it will continue to get worse unless we stop it.

We can start by contacting our senators and congressmen and demand that they make no changes to our health care. The current administration wants, over time, to take total control of our heath care.

Our dollar is no longer backed by gold or silver. It is fiat money made legal tender by the federal government. Furthermore, the unconstitutional Federal Reserve Bank, a private entity not responsible to anyone, determines how much money should be in circulation. We need to make a first true audit of this organization by urging Congress to pass H.R.

1207, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act of 2009.

If we can get enough people to contact Congress about these two items, we will be well on the way to reining in our runaway federal government.

Edward Milton Ventresca/Canyon Country, Calif.

Health care for all

Editor’s note: A portion of the following letter was inadvertently omitted in the Nov. 19 issue. Here it is in its entirety:

Do we care about each other? Do we care about the least of our brethren, the ones who have the least resources? Do we care that all of us have health care? Then we can do it. It really is that clear-cut. If every other technologically advanced nation in the world can do it (and they do), we can, too. However, the pending legislation, if not changed, could be amassive windfall for certain corporations and a huge loss for everyone else.

The good news: There is a way to have good coverage for all, spend less than our country is spending now for health care and have better outcomes. We can only do this by taking the profit out of the financing of health care. (No other country uses for-profit health insurance companies.)

This could be a publicly determined transparent system of private not-forprofit insurance companies that all play by the same rules.

Contact your local and national representatives (Congress.org and type in your zip code). At least tell them to allow individual states to create their own health care system. Colorado could then be a vanguard (perhaps with some other states) to show the rest of the country that it can be done. See HealthCareforAllColorado.org.

Beth Williamson/Boulder

Boulder Weekly

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