SB289 ignores scientific reality

SB289, a bill that would make it illegal to drive with any detectable trace of marijuana or other illegal drugs in the blood, regardless of the driver's actual impairment, is a mess. It ignores scientific reality and hampers police by dumping questionable procedures into police work in a gesture about zero tolerance and "drugged driving."

Statistics point to impairment from alcohol and prescription drug use as a vastly more common threat to public safety than people under the influence of illicit substances. Yet, we set tolerances for blood alcohol and trust people to diligently follow instructions on drug containers. Zero tolerance schemes fail to deal with complex and variable conditions.

This law would place at risk hundreds of thousands of medical marijuana patients who have safely integrated cannabis medicine into their lives. Because cannabis metabolites stay in fat tissue, a person could test positive for marijuana days or weeks after exposure.

When one considers what this law would require police to do, we wonder if looking for people driving as if they are impaired might be a better use of their time than looking for molecules.

Jim Hausken

Kensington

STOCK Act fraud OK with Congress

On April 15, a modification to the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act was signed into law. It removes the requirement for congressional staff members to report their buying and selling activities.


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While the requirements remain in place for elected representatives, this modification is an egregious slap in the face to the population at large, who would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law should they trade on inside information.

I wonder at the divisiveness and bickering in Congress, at their inability to reach a compromise on anything important. However, when it comes to lining the pockets of their minions, it seems they are all on the same page.

Tim Tomasello

San Ramon

'Resigning' from GOP is not a move forward

I am referring to Doug Snider's April 22 letter, "Resigning from Republican Party."

Moving forward in the wrong direction is not progress. When you're lost in the woods, they tell you to stop moving and hug a tree. As much as we want to get things done, we also want to get it right.

I'm sorry Snider is disappointed in the GOP being conservative. His pledge to never vote for a Republican again reminds me of a famous quote attributed to Winston Churchill: "The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter."

Mary Lee Sprague

Oakley

Subversive NRA in need of reconsideration

The Senate's defeat of a bill to moderately control keeping weapons out of the hands of the wrong people suggests a reconsideration of the National Rifle Association.

I believe the NRA is a subversive organization. A definition of subversion is an intention to overthrow the government.

Statements from the NRA emphasize the Second Amendment not only allows members to own deadly weapons, it strongly insists it gives them the license to overthrow the government, provided, in their belief, the government is tyrannical.

Given the intimidation from many members, as they boldly display their weapons for all to see at protests and elsewhere, they clearly advocate likely insurrection, with the conviction they're ready to act.

Many outbursts from NRA members reveal pathological behavior reminiscent of dangerous radicals. It's no secret NRA extremists are armed, operate in small groups, and rehearse for that insurrection.

Five members of the Supreme Court, in their fractured logic, support that conviction and, clearly, the senators who voted against the gun-control bill are enablers.

Allow me to inquire: "How long will the Justice Department give a blind eye to this mounting subversion in our country?"

Robert Schwendinger

Berkeley

Encourage play in Yosemite Park

Yosemite Park's proposed plan to prohibit rented bicycles, horses and rafts would take the aspect of play out of Yosemite.

The damage these activities (aside from horses) do to the park is negligible, while the benefit to people is great. In an ideal world, everyone who visited Yosemite would go to appreciate nature for nature's sake and be happy hiking and being inspired by the views. But that's not the case, especially for children. The rental activities are perhaps the most beneficial for children. They return as adults and preserve the park -- and nature as a whole -- for future generations.

We should encourage play in Yosemite. Just as it is natural to see squirrels playing in the trees, we should see ourselves as part of the ecosystem and be happy playing in it.

John Muir said, "Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where nature may heal and give strength to body and soul alike."

Laura Lawrence

Brentwood