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Protecting our species

America needs a strong Endangered Species Act. Without such laws, hundreds of the nation’s wildlife species might well be extinct.

Congress must not weaken the act.

Anthony Montapert

Santa Maria

Drug addiction in teenagers

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) defines drug addiction as a chronic disease that involves compulsive drug seeking, even though it has terrible consequences.

In 2013, just in America, 9.4 percent of the population over the age of 12 “... had used an illicit drug in the past month. This number is up from 8.3 percent in 2002” (NIDA), and approximately 22 million people are addicted to alcohol or other drugs.

Scientists say drug addiction can be fostered by three main factors: genetic, environmental, and developmental. The genes that people are born with can make them more susceptible to being addicted. It can be passed down from parent to child. The pedigrees, or family trees, gender, ethnicity, and the presence of mental disorders may also influence risk for drug use and addiction (Genetic Science Learning Center).

A person’s environment includes different influences: family, friends, economic status, and general quality of life. Growing up surrounded by peer pressure, physical and sexual abuse, early exposure to drugs, stress, and parental guidance can greatly affect a person and increase the risk of drug use and addiction.

Although taking drugs at any age can lead to addiction, the earlier that drug use begins, the more likely it will progress to addiction. It is because areas in adolescent brains that control decision-making, judgment, and self-control are still developing. Use of drugs at an elderly age increases the probability that he or she will develop an addiction.

Early abuse often includes substances such as tobacco, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, and prescription medications, or sleeping pills and medications for anxiety.

Pedro Cesar

Santa Maria

President Trump not cruel or oppressive

I am outraged at many of the elements of a recent letter to the editor.

What is the point of waiving flags of division and fanning the flames of superficial hate and unsubstantiated accusations?

As respectful and respecting law-abiding citizens many local residents support my statement that our leading concerns are crime, which includes organized and transient perpetrators, and the financial strains placed upon local, state and federal government to support or manage illegal immigration to the extreme extent it has developed over decades of unchecked growth.

These two issues intersect in a very serious way when you consider the illegal drug trade and control of many elements of illicit crime happening every day here in our county.

We cannot overlook our needs to effectively protect our population from criminals who have already been identified as threats because of their own behavior historically. That can only happen through implementation of the legal immigration process at every level.

No citizen in their right mind should be campaigning for subjugation of our laws by liberal ideals. The fact is, criminals who immigrate here come here illegally and would not be able to otherwise. We cannot withstand the flood gates being left open any longer. We now have human trafficking happening regularly on our highways and throughout our communities. Is the writer actually trying to make a claim that crime is decreasing and there are not hundreds of criminals deported by ICE officials daily, along with many illegal immigrants who don't commit additional crimes?

The writer identifies mentally unstable mass-shooters as being similar to our President because they are usually white and male? Come on. Domestic "terrorism" is organized, not carried out by singly motivated mental cases.

A majority of our national representation in the Electoral College effectively agreed with the opinion of Hillary Clinton you attribute to now President Trump in the debates before the election. So do I, even though effectively my vote as a conservative rarely counts in my district during the national presidential election.

Karin Hauenstein

Lompoc

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