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Due diligence before embracing marijuana

The Lompoc City Council seems to be pushing ahead with its plans to encourage marijuana retail stores in Lompoc without regard for the advice of the police department, the fire department, several doctors and churches, and individuals who have good reasons for opposing it.

Aside from the fact that already we have major drug and alcohol addictions in our country, our government has spent untold thousands of taxpayer dollars educating its citizens about the health hazards of smoking cigarettes. (This after subsidizing tobacco farmers for years and providing cigarettes to soldiers in the field.)

Have there been any long term studies on the effects of marijuana smoke on lungs (or brain)? There is legitimate concern about children ingesting candy and other sweets made with marijuana. Will children actually read a warning label on bags of candy? And will those same warning labels entice teenagers to eat the candy?

And how will police judge when a person is unsafe to drive a motor vehicle because of marijuana usage? Have any tests been established like the tests for alcohol to determine DUIs?

We live in a stressful and complex society and it is understandable that people want to be calm and relax, but at what cost? There are too many unknowns with marijuana, unlike other drugs and alcohol which we know about and pursue regardless of the individual and societal costs.

Enola Curtis


The 'little people' will lose out in tax bill

After the last national election, we were promised that ‘the swamp would be drained’ in Washington and that the undue influence of special interests would be history: since January that ‘swamp’ has grown into a huge cesspool.

Many voters assured themselves, with naiveté and skewed logic, that anyone of extreme wealth cannot be ‘bought’ and therefore has integrity beyond reproach.

We have a government packed with individuals of such wealth, catering to this elite, and it is mean-spirited, insular and corrupt. It represents the ‘buyers.’ The concept of ‘the public good,’ or ‘the General Welfare,’ is irrelevant and meaningless to these individuals.

The tax bill before Congress is the product of a wealthy elite, a minority who feel that, like the late billionaire Leona Helmsley gloated, “only the ‘little people’ pay taxes.’

Of course, we, the majority of Americans who do not have extreme wealth, are these ‘little people,’ and we are the ones who will lose, and will pay, if this bill is passed.

Donald Archer