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Letters To The Editor

Letters to the editor: A bad mix

A bad mix

Regarding “Medical marijuana a step closer to ballot” (Metro, Jan. 16):

On our horribly crowded streets, roads and highways, currently saturated with drivers drinking or drunk, texting or cellphoning, the last thing we need added to this mix is a bunch of “hophead” drivers high on “medical marijuana.”

God help all of us nondrinking, nontexting, noncellphoners driving up or down U.S. 19 or any other roadway if this horrible constitutional amendment is passed.

Rex Rice


Drug available?

Regarding “Marijuana derivative is ill boy’s last hope, mom says” (front page, Jan. 19): Unfortunately, your reporter did not do his homework. There is the drug Epidiolex, recently approved by the FDA as an “orphan drug.” It is described as “an oral liquid formulation of a highly purified extract of CBD, a nonpsychoactive molecule from the cannabis plant.”

That is essentially the description the reporter used in describing the product from a Colorado company in the article. It appears the FDA-approved treatment product is already available for this boy.

The marijuana lobby for legalization will go to all lengths to achieve their goals. A humanitarian effort would be to fly this boy and his family to New Jersey for immediate treatment instead of spending millions of dollars on advertising marijuana for all and duping the reporters.

Larry Golbom


The sins of yesterday

Your editorial “King’s formidable challenge” in the Jan. 20 Tribune (Our Views) brings back vivid memories for me, having been born in the 1940s and living in the deep South — Savannah, Ga. — and seeing firsthand much of what you describe.

I vividly remember often going with my mother to Sears Roebuck and one day about to drink out of one of their water fountains and being admonished because it was the “colored” one. I remember having had a slight injury to my hand and going to the doctor’s office and being told I was at the wrong entrance. I remember walking in one of Savannah’s major parks and seeing the Klan beating a black person and no one coming to his aid — how tragic. I remember going to Woolworth and watching blacks being turned away at the lunch counter. I remember being on a crowded bus and giving my seat to an elderly black woman and receiving stares that could kill. When I recently saw the movie “The Help,” I realized I had lived it.

But most of all I remember in the first grade being chased home from school because I was Jewish. Prejudice doesn’t discriminate by color, religion, or ethnic origin, but the sins of yesterday can no longer be tolerated today, anywhere and in any place.

Martin Luther King Jr. was willing to stand up and be counted, to make a difference by his actions and his words, and your editorial sums it up best: “Whatever racial issues remain, the nation is a far better and fairer place because King and others risked their lives to peacefully challenge a deeply ingrained institutional racism.”

John Osterweil


The effects of smoking

Regarding “Huge tax increase on smokes poor way to fund early learning plan” (Other Views, Jan. 20): David Shepp’s premise that adding additional taxes on tobacco will be unfair to tobacco users and retailers and deprive our state of jobs and revenue fails to consider the medical burden placed on the state’s health-care facilities where indigent traffic from smokers are crowding doctor’s offices, clinics and rehabs to the very limit by those suffering from tobacco-related ills. Smoking has been scientifically acknowledged as the largest killer of humans by slow, voluntary suicide in the USA. Its debilitating effects on humans are horrible to watch, much less endure.

Our economy suffers not from lost revenue but from lost wages attributed to those whose will power and personal esteem are thwarted by the urge to inhale lung- and heart-damaging smoke to supposedly calm their nerves, not to mention the insidious destruction of their organs, esophageal tract, their home furnishings and their vehicles. Who hasn’t been waited on by a smoker whose foul breath quickly destroys your appetite, or been confronted by a customer service smoker whose odor hastens your departure without addressing your concerns?

For those who do not have the willpower to quit smoking, I suggest you purchase E-cigarettes. You’ll still kill yourself inhaling the fumes, but those around you won’t suffer from your second-hand smoke and foul odor.

Roger H. Oddson

Sun City Center

Common Core concerns

Regarding “Don’t waffle on Common Core” (Our Views, Jan. 19): I am trying to understand why you are such a proponent of Common Core. The fact is, “this is education without representation.” Everyone wants bipartisan agreement once in a while. In the case of CC you actually have this rare occurrence. The conservatives/tea party groups have been painted as the only groups against the standards, as if they are the lonely voice out there. That is not true. Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida President Susan Smith stated on Sept. 19, “Though our caucus agrees with other Common Core opponents, we reached our conclusions for very different reasons.” She goes on to say that implementation of CC is being rushed over the objections of school superintendents and principals. Sure sounds like bipartisan agreement to me.

I am thrilled our governor is “waffling,” as you described. He is in good company. Six states have pulled out of full implementation, and 22 are in the “let’s pause, look at this, and get more input on cost and viability” stage. On Nov. 20 our Florida public school superintendents asked for a three-year “pause” before the state fully implements CC standards in every kindergarten through high school classroom in the state. Are they waffling, or are they using good common sense?

Judy Wise

Plant City

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