Marijuana and common sense

Recent letters in the Record remind me of the hysteria that followed the old film “Reefer Madness,” in which scare tactics and misrepresentations pushed a social agenda.

No product is without a downside. We operate with a social contract based on “ all things in moderation” being the relative goal of laws and recommendations. The same is true of something such as medical marijuana.

Abuse? Even drinking water may be abused with excessive intake.

It is the illegal flow of pot that produces the worst abuses — smuggling, armed robbery, usury, murder, bribery, intimidation, kidnapping, boats sneaking onto our shores. Does it not make sense to allow legal pot business to make the above crimes unprofitable to the criminals, while being controlled, regulated and taxed?

Partial and patchwork legality of marijuana across this country lately make it possible for people with painful disabilities and injuries — including thousands of veterans — to find some measure of relief and comfort using legal pot. If anything, access to controlled pot may reduce the use/abuse of addictive pain medications for these folks.

Local, legal and regulated pot sales could save travel time, transportation difficulties and gas for card holders, while making life difficult for illegal street vendors, for whom there is no control. Illegal street vendors cannot be trusted.

My sympathies go out to the 10-year-old girl and family who had a medical scare, allegedly from marijuana candy. That should not happen. Nor should household cleaning products be accessible, but mistakes happen.

Our City Council should get in front of this inevitable issue and discuss a rational policy to allow growth, sales and regulation for local small-business owners.

Patrick Clevenger

Lompoc

Trump stance is called out

German nationals, those alive during the war years and after, have had to explain and to endure the shame of having done virtually nothing to oppose the rise of Adolf Hitler and the bigotry, racism and brutality that his National Socialist Party (Nazi) stood for.

To be sure, Hitler had his adherents then and, unfortunately, has them today in the United States of America and elsewhere.

That our president is unwilling or unable to distinguish between neo-Nazis and kindred groups like the Ku Klux Klan and other so called white supremacist organizations, and organizations with the courage and conviction to stand in opposition is an outrage.

Stepping back from his immediate comments blaming both sides for the Charlottesville violence, President Trump’s disavowal of the neo-Nazis and their cohorts was made without a scintilla of conviction, and lacked only a wink of his eye and crossed fingers. He knows which side his political bread is buttered on and, with Special Prosecutor Mueller’s noose drawing tighter, cannot afford defections, regardless how abhorrent the defectors are.

Violence in opposition to the re-emergence of Nazism should be avoided whenever possible but can be excused when peaceful demonstrations prove ineffective. Let it not be said we stood silent while a would-be dictator convinced many Americans that only he can “make America great again.”

Robert Hoffman

Santa Maria

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