Change marijuana laws
It is good to see serious discussion regarding the legalization of marijuana. It gives me hope that sanity could some day prevail.
Within this debate, pay particular attention to the reasons opponents to legalization give. The reasons are usually false facts proved wrong by multiple studies.
I would like to specifically address one of the more commonly used “facts” regarding the legalization of marijuana that it would increase access and thus use among our youth. Actually, the opposite would occur, and here’s how it works.
High school kids get their illegal drugs through schoolmates, but their legal drugs from adults.
When I was in high school (Lewis and Clark; Spokane: 1968-71), we easily got our marijuana, LSD and speed through connections made at school. To get beer or wine, we had to go to a grocery store and find a wino who would buy for us in exchange for a bottle of Tokay, or some college guy who still wasn’t responsible enough to not do it.
Our only regular access to hard liquor was to steal it from our fathers.
As I’ve aged, I’ve known teenagers through every decade, and this arrangement has never changed. They get their illegal drugs from classmates, the legal ones from adults.
Legalizing marijuana would decrease its access and use in our youth because it would become as hard to get as hard liquor. Teenagers would have to find someone older than 21 to go to the liquor store and buy their pot for them.
Steve Shanewise, Olympia
Washington needs a state income tax
In answer to the state budget and revenue shortfall, the simplest and most correct solution is to implement a graduated state income tax, and a tax on corporate profits.
I believe that the people of Washington state need this.
According to a recent study, Washington has the most regressive tax structure in the United States.
What is needed is to tax the wealthy and corporate profits. The astronomical wealth that is enjoyed by so few is already made upon the backs of the many poor anyway, (which is the ultimate in regressive taxation) — so it clearly only makes good moral sense to tax the rich.
I believe it’s wrong to profit from destructive activities. And I think taxes on income and corporate profits, combined with assertive and vigorous regulation against profiteering from harmful economic activities — outsourcing jobs overseas to exploit cheap labor markets — will go a long way toward making Washington state a much better place to live.
This is a consumer socio-economic-political system. Imagine a transition away from a materialistic consumer society and toward a society that is people and planet centered. After all, people deserve to be treated well, and so does planet Earth.
Our society rewards people for engaging in the most unscrupulous and harmful economic activities! Imagine, instead, if we had a government that earnestly sought to protect society against the ravages of an amoral for-profit system.
Robert “Berd” Whitlock, Olympia
Respect people with disabilities
Normal people have disabilities too, but disabled people are very smart. So how come normal people can’t realize that?
When people walk down the street and see someone with a disability, they won’t acknowledge them. That is so wrong.
All we want is someone to say, “Hi,” and smile. That makes our day.
When people have babies with disabilities, those babies should be loved and cared for and not given away. That is how I feel.
Unfortunately, some people won’t realize how we feel until some kind of injury happens to them and they become disabled, too.
Chris Slater, Olympia