Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor for March 11

State should sell and tax marijuana

Isn’t it time for a conversation? After reading about high-profile arrests of two pillars of our society on charges of marijuana growing and selling, maybe we should take a broader look at this issue.

I find it ridiculous that our state government sells enormous amounts of controlled dangerous substances like hard liquor and tobacco, yet has issues with marijuana sales and use.

I personally have known more than just a few friends over the years who have been killed or severely maimed because of someone handling their alcohol irresponsibly. We all know others also injured or killed by alcohol.

On the other hand, I do not know of anyone who has been killed or maimed by the effects of marijuana.

If the state of Washington were to take the same tact with marijuana as it does with alcohol, to license, tax and sell it, we could create a whole different and solvent economic system. Hindering young folks from acquiring marijuana from black markets that also lead to other more dangerous drugs also would be a positive change.

Taking a more reasoned approach toward marijuana use will also lessen the workloads of our criminal and justice systems, and afford them more resources to combat real problems we face like methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and underage drinking.


Obama inherited this mess

We can’t understand why the American people think that President Barack Obama is a magician or miracle worker. They expected him to snap his fingers and everything from the economy and jobs to health care would be fixed after a single year of his term.

Because of this, Sarah Palin and John McCain posit that if the elections were held today, Obama would lose.

That may be true, however, what the American public fails to remember is who orchestrated this catastrophe in the first place.

Obama himself said that he cannot fix the economy, the job market, the bankruptcies and foreclosures, probably by the end of his term, owning to the inherited state of the union.

We do disagree with some of his thinking, such as dispensing the stimulus money to the banks.

Perhaps he hoped they would use it, as it was intended, instead of, giving the high muckety- mucks bonuses that were clearly not deserved.

We don’t know the exact number of taxpayers, but we bet that if Obama had given us, say maybe $10,000 or $20,000 a piece, that he would have spent less than he did and saved the economy, because it’s the people who run the economy, not big business.

But as with all big business, the final reckoning always pertains to the almighty dollar.


Politicians don’t listen

I write regarding the height limits on the strip of land between Water Street and the west side bridge — the isthmus.

I couldn’t make the meeting because of a previous engagement, so this is my say: In 2008, at the meeting at The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, several people spoke in favor of building no more buildings on that piece of land. The majority of the people in attendance also called for the removal of the Capitol Center Building — the mistake on the lake.

Flash forward to a City Council meeting where it was decided to ignore the wishes of the people of the community and to put a 35-foot limit on the building heights requiring another public hearing. What does it matter? It doesn’t, just like the state, the federal government and other cities and communities.

The people who gain from the item in question get it their way. Too bad Bob Jacobs isn’t involved in government at this time.

Like the president said in The Olympian recently, “We’ll go it alone, don’t need the Republicans.”

And another quote from the same article, “This fall’s election would write the verdict on who was right.”

Even the president is telling you to, think before you vote.

J.R. "JIM" LANGE, Olympia

Time to rethink drug policies

Under U.S. occupation, Afghanistan has devolved into the world’s largest opium plantation.

Given the amount of weapons and control we have over the place, the only logical conclusion is that someone in the U.S. is profiting from this trade.

We have seen this in the past. During the Vietnam War, it was heroin from the Golden Triangle, during the Contra wars it was Colombian cocaine. The elites that control our political and financial systems are hooked on the money and invasive powers our drug wars give them.

At home, we tax ourselves to finance a hugely expensive and ineffectual drug interdiction bureaucracy, and yet we finance a significant portion of our government with taxes from the sale of two of our most addictive substances, tobacco and alcohol. The voices of officials ring with alarm regarding drug addiction and the need for even more vicious drug laws, and the problem gets worse.

Years of Draconian law enforcement have done little to solve the problem of drug addiction.

The force used against people like Olympia Councilman Joe Hyer for his foolish actions is a travesty of justice.

It’s time for a serious reconsideration about our current drug enforcement regime.