Your Letters |

Your Letters

I would like to respond to a letter from the reader who was comparing crack, cocaine and heroin to the use of medical marijuana.

I would have to ask the cynic that seems to have this vast knowledge of drug use, have you ever experienced any of these substances?

In comparing the man-made drugs that studies have shown may cause debilitating side effects and, sometimes, even death, I challenge you or anyone to find any medical, not opinionated, study that proves medical marijuana is in the same group as crack, cocaine and heroin.

My second point, of which I believe everyone should be aware, is that during this harsh economic time, you are trying to slander one of the relatively few businesses that are creating job opportunities, bringing money into our cities and boosting morale.

Judging from your narrow and uneducated view on medical marijuana, I can only deduce that you were speaking out of ignorance and that your chamber is now empty.

Shalynn Hofert

Glenwood Springs

Abraham Lincoln said our democracy is a government “of the People, for the People, and by the People”. Wouldn’t it be great if that were true today. It is now a government of the special interests, for the special interests and by the special interests. The influence of lobbyists on Congress is totally out of control. There are 41,000 registered lobbyists in Washington, D.C., 75 for every member of Congress. Their clients spend billions for influence through personal contacts and political contributions.

It is almost impossible to get a bill through Congress resulting in any meaningful change. A bill is in Congress now to change the way banks operate to prevent another economic collapse. The chairman of the Banking Finance Committee in the Senate is Chris Dodd, who has received political contributions in excess of $6 million from the bank lobby. If a bill even gets out of his committee, it will be watered down and have so many exceptions in it that it will be meaningless although it will appear on the surface to limit the bank’s ability to create another economic crisis. His current term expires in 2010. If he is not re-elected or chooses not to run, a safe bet would be to expect him to be hired by the banking industry as a lobbyist. We need a law that prohibits members of Congress, or any person of influence in the administration, from becoming lobbyists for a period of 10 years after leaving office. In addition, we need a law that prohibits congressional members of a particular committee from accepting political contributions from the industry they are regulating. I have to admit, since most congressmen are looking out for their own interest, not ours, it would be difficult to get any bill introduced in Congress, let alone passed.

Our democracy has been taken over by the lobbyists, and since the Supreme Court decision allowing unlimited expenditures by corporations supporting candidates, it is bound to get worse.

One third of the Senate and all of the House members are up for election this year. Let’s replace those members who are beholden to the lobbyists, and support those candidates who will pledge not to accept political contributions or other help from lobbyists. Those candidates should also support a bill with the criteria mentioned in the above paragraph. Nothing less than our future as a democracy is at stake.

Bill Barnes

New Castle

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