Letters to the Editor

Letters: Smartphone addicts don’t belong in the wilderness

Backcountry ethic

Re “Wire the wilderness? As cell service expands, national parks become the latest digital battlegrounds” (sacbee.com, Dec. 27): This article aptly describes the latest dilemma over cellphones, which fundamentally undermine the purpose of wilderness travel by interfering with serenity and one’s total immersion into nature. But in emergencies, cellphones can save lives.

Previous generations of backpackers developed wilderness-friendly ethics, such as not cutting live wood, forgoing campfires at high elevations and packing out all trash. We need a backcountry ethic for cellphones: They should be used only for emergencies or for a daily check-in with loved ones. If you can’t go one or two days without yakking on the phone, texting or plugging into social media, you don’t belong in the wilderness. The sooner that advocates, park managers and hikers embrace such an ethic, the sooner we can make intelligent decisions about how extensive backcountry phone coverage should be.

Allan Hirsch, Rocklin

Reefer Madness

Re “Think California is ready for legal marijuana? Think again” (Editorials, Dec. 29): Run for the hills! Run for the hills! The pot boogeyman is coming! Never mind that alcohol will cause a “mess,” as it always does, and kill people across the region the night of which this fear mongering piece was printed in The Bee, while marijuana will not kill a single soul. All this editorial is missing are clips from the hysterical film “Reefer Madness,” where pot users are jumping out of windows. Articles like this will be mocked for generations to come.

Robert Fausett,

West Sacramento

Not ready for pot

Re “‘Where are all the people?’ Capital crowds modest as California starts selling legal pot” (sacbee.com, Jan. 1): The Bee’s happy front page article about legal pot having arrived was shallow insofar as big problems lie ahead. From now on, how are we to know if important professionals haven’t ended or started their day with cannabis? It’s a Pandora’s box that the voters went for decisively, and I don’t think we are fully prepared for what problems lie ahead.

Bill Sanders, Gold River

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