Re “Complaints of illegal pot grows in Sacramento County are soaring, particularly in these neighborhoods” (sacbee.com, Oct. 21): In 1996, California voters approved “medical marijuana” in good faith, but California’s healthiest cohort, young males, used more than anyone else, demonstrating that most use was recreational. Although readily available by growing your own or paying $50 to a pot doc for a card, illegal growing and distribution continued, often despoiling natural resources. Now we’re beyond de facto legalization, partly because voters believed that legalization would cure our financial woes and rid us of cartels. As The Sacramento Bee article demonstrates, that’s always been a lie. Criminals want tax-free profits. The more government takes from legal businesses, the more profit is available to criminals, and there always will be the youth market. Can government clamp down? Maybe, but I doubt it. Pot is easy to grow and smuggle. We began with the camel’s nose under the tent. Now we have the entire beast.
Harvey Swenson, Sacramento
‘Just say no’
If you are real quiet, you can hear the late Nancy “Just say no to drugs” Reagan spinning in her grave after hearing that Sacramento pot growers will get help from the Sacramento Municipal Utilities District. I never was a fan of the war on drugs, but the turn around to where we are today is phenomenal. And haven’t lots of taxpayer dollars been spent on the no-smoking campaigns?
Michael Hamiel, Elk Grove
Re “They’ve been gardening in the same place since the ’90s. Now the city wants them to move.” (sacbee.com, Sept. 14): I am flabbergasted that the city of Sacramento is kicking harmless immigrants, including a good friend of mine, out of the International Garden of Many Colors while brothels masquerading as massage parlors proliferate throughout the city. On the one hand, we have people of modest income growing nutritious vegetables to improve their diets and stay off the horrible cheap food, manufactured from GMO corn and soybeans, that our government encourages through agricultural supports of various kinds. On the other hand, you have mysterious enterprises paying landlords to station their “massage” parlors throughout the city. The houses are ubiquitous. Behind those doors lurk pimps, madams and probably sex-trafficked young women. And the police can do nothing? At least that’s what one city councilman told one of my restaurant customers who is trying to stay in business in trendy East Sac, despite a “massage” parlor operating next door. Long story short: The city is evicting decent gardeners while turning a blind eye to sex-trafficking. I’m sickened, and disgusted.
Milton H. Whaley, Pleasant Grove
Re “Could first jobs mean better futures for these teens? Mayor hopes so” (sacbee.com, Sept. 30): The Sacramento Municipal Utilities District is a supporter of Mayor Darrell Steinberg’s Thousand Strong Initiative. In May, we committed to placing three students in paid internships, but exceeded our commitment by hiring five students, and did not use the funds the mayor received from the state for training. SMUD provides meaningful work to help students prepare for careers, learn about our company’s culture and about giving back to our community. Ensuring we have a prepared workforce to meet the challenges of our industry is a vital component of SMUD’s workforce pipeline plan.
Susan Wheeler, Sacramento
Re “After #MeToo, then what? We can’t hashtag our way out of sexual harassment” (Shawn Hubler, Oct. 22): Shawn Hubler’s column was disconcerting. She acknowledged the power of this collective speaking-out against sexual harassment. Then, she said it wasn’t not enough, blames women for not getting women to run for office, and for not risking their livelihoods to report harassment, and attributes the lack of women in show business to women not telling their own stories. Although there is lip service to the fact that discrimination exists, the column inexplicably blames women for not simply achieving equity and positions of power, with no mention of other systemic barriers. Finally, the advice: Moral superiority is the consolation prize life offers to losers. That made me wonder whether she advocates abdicating integrity in service of winning. By this logic, is a woman a loser if she takes the moral high ground and reports harassment, and loses her career in the process?
Lisa Murawski, Sacramento
What about Clinton
Shawn Hubler writes that women must tell their stories to create change. Taking it a step further was Hillary Clinton who once said victims of sexual harassment should also be believed before removing it from her website? Now that Weinstein has become an outcast in the progressive community, it is safe for its members to pile on and demand that women should no longer have to endure such predatory behavior. Where was the outcry when the White House was the venue for sexual extra-marital trysts? Hillary Clinton was the ultimate enabler, dismissing her husband’s victims as bimbos. So effective was her smear campaign that Rush Limbaugh’s best advice to Weinstein was that he should hire Hillary Clinton.
James Mccandless, Roseville
Re “I am gravely concerned that the president’s actions could lead us into war” (California Forum, Oct. 15): As a Marine, former diplomat and intelligence officer assigned to the North Korea threat, I know that real diplomacy with North Korea is done by acting tough. It’s calculated tough, but tough nonetheless, backed with courage to not accept the regime’s threats. I’m no fan of when President Donald Trump leads by tweet, but toning down our message creates conditions all too familiar to North Korea, with equally bad results. That means letting North Korea join the nuclear club, which I’m not ready to accept. The U.S. should not look to start a war, but we should not look to deescalate tensions essential to removing a significant threat. More pressure, through military, diplomatic, and economic channels, is critical to creating conditions that protect America and its allies.
Andrew Grant, Folsom, is a Republican candidate for California Congressional District 7
Re “Trump’s gutting of Obamacare is as illegal as it is cruel” (California Forum, Oct. 22): UC Berkeley Law School Dean Erwin Chemerinsky writes that President Donald Trump cannot halt one of the two existing Obamacare subsidies simply by executive fiat. But that is exactly how President Barack Obama sustained the subsidy. If there is, as Chemerinsky says, “a strong argument that Congress has mandated these subsidies,” why did that same Congress appropriate funds for only one of them? Trump isn’t eliminating the properly funded subsidy, because he can’t. The presidency has evolved into a quasi-monarchy, making these ridiculous policy swings almost inevitable. Over-empowered presidents bypass a legislative process that is clumsy but yields somewhat permanent results. I wish Chemerinsky would focus his considerable intellect and influence on the root cause of the problem rather than joining the cacophony of partisan screamers.
Tim Walker, Sausalito
Re “California now has fairer laws on HIV” (Viewpoints, Oct. 20): Three cheers for California moving forward with HIV laws that help remove stigma, protect specific groups from abuse, and encourage testing and treatment. Now’s the time to battle the world’s biggest infectious killer: Tuberculosis. Some forms of this disease are easily treatable while others are extremely drug resistant. Its airborne spread creates a need to treat it globally. Funding for this battle is three fold: first our pledge to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria; second our tuberculosis programs, which are endangered by some of the current budget proposals; and, third, is America’s own public health system which has faced years of cuts. Each of us can help by making sure our representatives vote for full funding of all three of these programs. Call those who represent you can help make the difference.
Willie Dickerson, Snohomish
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