Your Views for January 9


‘Drug peace’

Hope springs eternal that President Obama will lend his pen to signing an executive order legalizing cannabis in 2013.

Pot prohibition has caused needless suffering and untold hardships on tens of millions of mostly minority and poor Americans. By ending the criminal penalties for cannabis possession by adults we will immediately:

— Save taxpayers millions in arrest, prosecution and incarceration costs;

— Make better use of police time and resources by freeing them to focus on serious crimes of violence;

— Increase tax revenue by regulating the legal sales of cannabis, like alcohol, and use the money to improve schools and infrastructure;

— Make our communities safer by eliminating drug dealers, thereby keeping drugs away from children;

— Deliver a devastating blow to the drug cartels that have killed thousands of innocent victims.

Short of legalization, the next best route would be for the president to order the Justice Department to leave it up to the states to decide for or against legalization.

The president has many problems on his plate now. However, the drug war has dragged on for more than 40 years. Something desperately needs to be done to right the great wrongs of the past 40 years.

One stroke of the pen would declare drug peace, so much needed at this time in our country.

Andrea Tischler

Hilo

Cloth bags work

I commend Mr. Bob Wahler for using 20-year-old cloth bags to carry his groceries (Your Views, Tribune-Herald). If everyone was as responsible as he, we wouldn’t have the problems we have.

The “bag ban” was presented as a means of protecting aquatic life, yet we have so many exceptions of plastic bags that it is difficult for me to understand how we are helping the fish. And we ban the bags that were the most useful, and thus most recycled, while giving exceptions to bags that have little reuse value. It just doesn’t make sense.

Our County Council spends all of their political capital and time banning a minor item, while more serious damage is being done to our land by waste that they could control but choose not to.

It’s like the council’s cellphone ordinance. It is ignored by many people, and it’s been great for the Bluetooth companies that make the devices we are required to use, but it does nothing to increase safety. Using a cellphone on your ear or a hands-free device is both equally as dangerous.

You use a cellphone while driving and you get a ticket; use a hands-free device while holding a cup of coffee and you are OK. What’s the difference?

The gentleman’s letter stated that both plastic and paper bags are just as bad. I agree, but the council didn’t ban paper bags, and paper use is going to increase.

As for cloth bags, they do wear out, and you need to wash them often. And, like paper bags, you’ll have to double-wrap potentially leaky items in plastic bags to keep them from making a mess.

Roger Schweitzer

Volcano

 

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