Regarding your editorial “Coming to the aid of the Gulf of Mexico” (Our Views, Dec. 5), you are absolutely correct that the RESTORE Act presents an exceptional opportunity for Florida and other Gulf Coast states to invest in projects and infrastructure that support the coast’s interconnected ecology and economy.
But this is just an opportunity — not a guarantee. To ensure that the funds are spent effectively and as intended, it is critical that the funds be allocated and spent in a fully transparent manner, with benefit-cost analyses posted online long before decisions are made. Further, funds must be spent effectively on public goods, not on pet projects and lining the pockets of special interests.
The RESTORE Act shows great promise for the Gulf of Mexico. Whether it delivers on that promise will be up to how it is implemented.
Daniel M. Rothschild
The writer is senior fellow at the R Street Institute.
Just a thought
Regarding “Glimmers of a Cold War” (Our Views, Dec. 5): It is a very thought-provoking article. West Ukraine vs. East Ukraine is much like it was during the Cold War, as you say, when it was West Germany vs East Germany. If they can’t get along, perhaps the best thing to do is to separate the two. Then build a wall, if necessary, as a peaceful solution as opposed to the way it was in Germany, and separate the two since they embrace different political and geographical philosophies.
Just a thought for a country that hasn’t known much peace in the last 100 years.
Dysfunction in Tampa?
Regarding Kevin Wiatrowski’s article on Dec. 2, “D.C. woes leave void in Tampa tourism”:
The article states that “dysfunction in Washington, D.C., blew holes in the calendar and the bank account of the Tampa Convention Center in 2013, prompting city officials to explore ways to broaden their revenue stream in the coming years.”
Oh, the humanity! We were led to believe that the repaving of Bayshore Boulevard, the planting of fig palms, listing all seven ways of writing “La Septima” (all on the same sign) in Ybor City, and billboards proclaiming this was all thanks to Tampa’s Democratic “leadership” during the Republican National Convention in 2012 would pretty much preclude such a thing from occurring!
Now what party is the current administration in “dysfunctional Washington, D.C.,” again? Oh, wait.
Marijuana and liability
If there is anyone who thinks legalizing pot is without its evils, they had better look to Washington state and Colorado. Washington state has experienced an influx of organized crime, including biker gangs and cartels. This also is taking place in Colorado,where dispensaries are being used as distribution centers by these same groups.
Take a dose of reality along with John Morgan. Morgan never fails to point out in his commercials distrust for the insurance companies but doesn’t seem to be able to present a clear, simple initiative proposed on a ballot. How many bereaved families will he represent when some pothead he helped put on the street kills someone while DUI?
Does the government become liable for endorsing pot smokers who develop lung cancer when it promotes eradification of smoking tobacco?
Poor public policy
Responding to Richard Craig’s “A war on people” (Your Views, Dec. 5), I hope he was not as poor a detective as he is a purported authority on marijuana. Abstracts of thousands of peer-reviewed articles available on PubMed attest to the fact that cannabis is indeed addictive. Marijuana has been shown to have profound, negative effects on the cardiovascular, respiratory and immune systems; on neurocognitive function and IQ; and on the brain’s delicate neurotransmitter systems, including the endogenous cannabinoid system. Furthermore, marijuana use dramatically increases the lifetime likelihood of being diagnosed with severe mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depersonalization, and it exacerbates existing affective anxiety and depressive disorders.
As for comparisons to alcohol, the two substances and their use patterns couldn’t be more different. Most consumers of alcohol do not drink to the point of intoxication, and those who do on any regular basis are considered problem drinkers or alcoholics, and are (rightfully) urged into treatment. With marijuana, the primary reason users ingest it is to become intoxicated, as a self-indulgent form of escapism. It is the acceptance of this culture of so-called “recreational” drug use that is really the problem. Condoning the practice of becoming intoxicated under the influence of a powerful, mind- altering euphoriant such as marijuana will lead to higher incidences of traffic and other types of accidents, diminished workplace productivity and higher rates of absenteeism, and to an overall societal malaise. Giving in to those who simply want unfettered access to their drug of choice is poor public policy and is the wrong path for our society to go down.
Stay out of our concerns
In response to the legalization of medical marijuana, who is anyone to question how someone would react to the medicinal effects of medical marijuana? Who are people to question how someone would react to any drug for that manner? It really aggravates me to hear how people think they know how someone would react to anything that is prescribed by a medical professional. You all have your right to your opinion, but do not try to lecture people about how they would feel after taking any medication that helps them. Stay out of other people’s medical concerns — period.