Cannabis getting a bad rap in letters
On June 4, your misinformed, incorrect-information spewing letter writer, Stanley J. Grogan, neglected to mention marijuana's worst effect -- more than 80 years of demonization and subsequent millions of dollars spent on mostly unjust incarcerations.
Even if a part of his statements (more damage to lungs than cigarettes, leads to cocaine use, brain candy, user craves the drug) had merit, wouldn't education, drug counseling and treatment serve society better than the war on drugs and its champions, such as the cited Joseph Califano, financially benefiting from years of anti-cannabis rhetoric? I do, however, agree with Grogan that as a recreational drug, marijuana is unsuitable for most teen use, as are many other products they consume.
Here are my views:
Cannabis is a nonaddictive substance that is milder than alcohol. It is impossible to overdose and die from its use. It has been used medicinally for more than 10,000 years, with increased applications recently, despite years of research suppression. Unfortunately, even its medical use is currently being unreasonably attacked by the uninformed and misguided, and especially by the unprincipled legal, judicial, penal, law-enforcement industry for their own financial gain.
Berkeley Pappas is a Berkeley medical cannabis commissioner.
I am referring to the June 8 letter from Teddy Knight, "The punishment should fit crime."
Come on, get a grip people. Does any reasonable person really think these kids won't be able to graduate or be unable to attend the college in which they have enrolled?
They will likely be allowed to take the final exams, although they weren't allowed to attend the formal graduation ceremony and celebrations.
I agree with Knight's ideas and suggestions for punishment. Those students were warned well in advance about the school's intolerance regarding pranks. Actions have consequences.
That's a good lesson to be learned in high school before going on their own out into the real world, which is not so forgiving.
It is truly unfortunate any senior in high school could actually think their actions were OK, especially after being warned.
Where were the parents? It is unthinkable that any parent would see an attorney to try to bend the rules in order to mitigate the consequences of their children's unacceptable behavior, which sends a really bad message to their kids.
Paul Fillius Jr.
Make point without vocabulary lesson
Ronald Entwistle's letter printed June 5 was a display of bombastic vocabulary based on the use of Webster's Dictionary. There was little content. If there was a point, the reader was distracted by more than 20 words that would not be familiar to the proletariat. This isn't laudable.
I find a similar issue with political interviews on TV. Questions by the reporter or host are rarely answered. By the time the guest finishes talking, one cannot remember the question in the first place.
By the time the guest is through the duplicity that they regurgitate incessantly, the listener drifts off into disinterest. After being inundated with inflammatory partisan hyperbole that bludgeoned veracity and logic, one just tunes out.
By the way, I didn't have to use the dictionary to write a plethora of showoff words. I just plagiarized some of Entwistle's words. The point is, instead of playing games with words, make it terse and simple instead of emoting to impress others.
Social Security fix easy, mostly painless
The recent commentary by Michael Marlow, an anti-government economist, states his opinion that Social Security is essentially doomed. To borrow an old analogy, if we all lie down in front of a steam roller, it is the most deadly machine in the world.
The point is to take action to resolve the problems. Small relatively painless changes now can prolong the soundness of Social Security into the next century.
Bill Clinton in his current book "Back to Work" summarizes the facts in an easy-to-read manner.
The Simpson-Bowles Commission has offered fair and effective modifications to provide actuarial soundness for Social Security. Other workers have concurred.
Marlow states that the $2.7 trillion in trust funds "are simply pieces of paper." Every U.S. government bond is simply a "piece of paper" and yet investors rush to buy them whenever they seek safety in unstable economic conditions. How likely is it that the United States is going to default on its bonds?
On Oct. 2, 2011, the Times published a commentary on Social Security by Steve Butler, your regular columnist and a retirement planning expert. Please reprint the article and add to the community's understanding of the status and fixes for the Social Security system.