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Thursday, Jun 21, 2018
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Letters to the editor: Trial lawyers or physicians?

Trial lawyers or physicians?

Regarding “Doctors’ group: Medical pot risky” (Metro, Aug. 6): The Florida Medical Association (FMA) is to be commended for taking a stand against Amendment 2. It joins many national medical associations that have continued to oppose raw, smokable marijuana as medicine. These organizations include, but are not limited to, the American Medical Association, the American Cancer Society, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Psychiatric Association.

The FMA recognizes that there are safer and superior options available when it comes to cannabinoid-based medications. We already have THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, as an FDA-approved medication that can be prescribed to patients. We also have CBD available, which is a non-psychoactive ingredient in marijuana believed to help severe seizures. Additional formulations are under development according to FDA standards.

Legalizing marijuana, which has now been grown to contain in excess of 20 percent THC and has been strongly linked to extreme psychotic behaviors and other detriments to health, is clearly not necessary and certainly not safe for Floridians, especially for truly sick people.

Amendment 2 is not about medicine. It will open the floodgates to widespread abuse of the drug. The FMA rightfully labels it a public health risk. Other states that have legalized marijuana under the guise of medicine have overwhelmingly experienced the drug being fraudulently obtained for recreational purposes.

Amendment 2 was written by lawyers, not doctors. It is a scam that takes advantage of our natural inclination to want to help sick and dying people. It is about the legalization of a “Big Marijuana” industry, not about medicine. Bottom line: Who is more credible when it comes to determining medicine: trial lawyers or physicians?

Calvina Fay

St. Petersburg

The writer is executive director of the Drug Free America Foundation.

Just the beginning

I served on the Pinellas Citizens Advisory Committee for Transportation for years. During all those years the county bureaucrats and politicians tried to manipulate the committee to support light rail for Pinellas. After years of presenting us pretty pictures of trains from various trips the high-priced consultants took, the time came for them to present the cost of the light-rail project. We were allotted almost no time to discuss those costs. The committee objected and scheduled a special meeting during the summer to discuss the costs. Strangely, we were told that meeting was canceled. That was about seven years ago. I’ve been gone from the county for six years but just moved back. I see the county bureaucrats and politicians are still trying.

Now they claim this is really all about buses. Light rail is mentioned as an afterthought. But I believe light rail is what this big tax increase is all about.

Except for a few old Rust Belt cities where a city has a well-defined business district, light rail has been an expensive failure. Even in most of the old cities, a good bus system would be far superior.

Additionally, ridership rarely comes close to what’s estimated by the light-rail folks. And most of that ridership is simply riders who switch from buses.

So why does light rail have any support at all? It is because powerful and specific interests gain financially by the construction. Large contractors gain by all the overpriced construction.

Consultants will continue to draw big dollars because, of course, the county doesn’t have the expertise to build the project. Politicians will gain access to millions for campaign contributions and to get their names on plaques at the rail stations. The transportation bureaucracy will grow. For all those participants there is also a great chance for graft with all that money floating around.

Fittingly, the Tribune reported earlier this week what most people already knew: PSTA misspent funds so they could try to convince the taxpayer this giant waste of money is a good thing. That’s just the beginning of misspent money.

When the vote comes in November you should not only vote against Greenlight, you should call your commissioner and see where he or she stands on Greenlight. If they favor it, and most do, vote against them at your earliest opportunity.

They are not watching out for you.

Lawrence P. Marlin


The real criminals

It’s time to stop listening to anything Israel has to say. It cares nothing about peace, and its self-defense alibi is nothing but a red herring. All it really cares about is oppressing and killing Palestinians so it can steal more land (the West Bank, of course, and Gaza is simply an unwanted prison).

Imagine if America held the population of Florida prisoner and periodically started killing us because a few patriotic (or beaten-down) Floridians, who didn’t like being treated like animals, understandably retaliated. This is the real analogy to draw between Israel and Palestine — not the self-defense bull Israel is always spouting.

I can hardly believe that we continue to tolerate Israel and its wholesale murder of innocents. When will we see who the real criminals are? When will America start doing the right thing? End the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Louis A. Suarez


Boogey men

Is Douglas MacKinnon The Tampa Tribune’s idea of a conservative columnist? Seriously?

If MacKinnon’s views represent conservative thinking, when did it become so paranoid? He makes conservatives sound so intolerant of other people’s political opinions that they have all become delusional.

I don’t think he does represent the conservative population. I think MacKinnon still hears boogey men under his bed.

Do the conservative viewpoint a big favor and find a rational columnist.

Kathlen Urscheler


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