Marijuana has harmful effects
With an increase in teen use of marijuana, awareness of its effects on the human body is a necessity for the protection of our youths.
Interference with motivation, memory and blood pressure, which can increase radically with regular use, highlight the need for parents and students alike to know more facts. Pot often serves as a steppingstone to other illegal drugs. Research has shown children who smoke pot are 85 times more likely to use cocaine, according to Joseph Califano, a former director of Columbia University's Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse.
Balance and coordination are affected. Pot does more damage to the lungs than cigarettes. Experts say that a pot user would have to smoke five cigarettes to do the damage created by just one joint.
Is pot addictive? It becomes "brain candy." The user craves the drug, and despite bad grades, continues to use it. That is addiction.
The republic of Singapore warns travelers with this statement: "Death for drug traffickers."
Our students deserve better than to enter the drug culture, which is prohibited by older societies.
Stanley J. Grogan
Want public services? Cut military spending
I was reading the Times, and the phone rang. I was asked to donate to a charitable organization that helps poor
I was just looking at an article that mentioned the new $600 billion-plus defense budget. I rather lost it. We do not have enough money for the medical care of our people, but we spend billions on the military.
We spend tens of millions of dollars annually keeping bases in countries that have been our staunch allies and trading partners for more than half a century, but we don't have money for medical care for our own people.
What is going on here?
Is this coming from the "military industrial complex" that President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about? Stop the profiteers.
Frank B. Nieman
Don't slash funding for children abroad
Lost in the gloom of daily news and the fear of impending debt doom is a startling statement from UNICEF: The number of children younger than 5 who die from preventable causes has dropped from 40,000 per day in 1983 to 20,000 in 2010.
That drop is the result of many developments in basic health infrastructure and in the delivery of lifesaving immunizations and health treatment around the world. Those developments have come because small-but-powerful citizen-led advocacy groups such as RESULTS, for the past 30 years have successfully moved governments of developed countries to divert a tiny portion of their tax dollars toward cost-effective, proven international health programs.
Though less developed countries are stepping up their internal funding to save their children's lives, now is not the time for the House of Representatives to cut international health funding to impoverished countries.
The Department of Defense and U.S. Chamber of Commerce agree that the House should at least maintain -- not cut -- that funding for our own security and economic well-being.
Concord Group leader, RESULTS, Contra Costa County
Everyone should read Social Security article
Haven't we all, young or old, left-leaning or with right-wing tendencies, read an article in the Times that we felt should be required reading for every voter? Then we could have some shared facts and analysis to make better decisions.
The piece by Michael Marlow on May 27 is one such example. He points out that the $2.7 trillion in the Social Security Trust Fund is nothing but IOUs to make good on future claims. If you believe it's money waiting to be spent, consider yourself misinformed.
Too many public safety details being revealed
Is our country turning infantile? It's a moment of incredulity when you read about how we tell our enemies every discovery, every step. Ha, ha we discovered your underwear bomb, now let's see what else you can throw at us. Are we constantly challenging our enemies?
Double agent halted attack, every detail was explained, how he got in, his disguise, all his secrets exposed, the man's life is now in jeopardy. Thanks a lot -- all because you don't know when to keep your mouth shut.
Doris L. Rilling